January 9th, 2006

buzzed, B&W


I know I've raved about PostSecret in the past, but I really liked this week's cards.

(I haven't linked to any of the images directly as it seems blogger blocks direct linking to their images, at least from LJ)

The first card hits home for me, as I remember thinking the same thing at one point when I was in marching band my senior year. I had a solo during the show, and my parents hadn't been to a show. Of course, they had no idea, as I hadn't told them. I eventually did tell them, and they got some of the later halftime shows as well as some of our contests.

The one about posting on taxpayer time has some relevance . . .

The two abortion ones are rather poignant . . .

The one that's just plain text by the 70 year old guy reminds me of conversations I've had with Kelly. The old man has no regrets, but he's apparently got some "what if's".

The irony of the smoking one made me smile.
buzzed, B&W

Workplace pain

So, I've griped about lack of good originals before. (Twice in fact.) And now I'm doing it again.

I'm having to update the Goals and Benchmarks on our website. I thought this wouldn't take that long, but no, apparently whomever created this originally didn't store their data. There are probably a dozen random spreadsheets that I've been going through, trying to reconstruct the data, and create one comprehensive file, so my successors will not have the ordeal I did.

Of course, this would be much easier if data sources were consistent, or if people who wrote reports bothered to proof their work. Why am I ranting so much? Well, let's look at this crap.

The 2001 Montana Statewide Education Profile is one of the sources used for some of the data. On page 41 of 138 of the PDF, we have this chart.

Do we see a problem? 19,825 graduates in '97, when the enrollment (collected in October) was only 11,611. Forgive me for being dubious that 8,214 students transferred into Montana schools.

Okay, so someone made a typo . . . it happens. But, look, there's another data soure (still from the Office of Public Instruction) - Enrollment Booklet - Fall 1999-00. Now if you refer to page 5 of 61 in that PDF (sorry, no image as it's a full page table) you'll see that the table is "Enrollment Data, Fall Reports 1989-90 to 1999-00" and includes enrollment by grade level and graduation data for the years 1989-90 to 1999-00. (Crazy that the title of a table might actually match it's contents!) So, according to that table, the enrollment numbers for the class of '97 were 11,018 with 10,322 graduates (93.7%), while the class of '99 had 11,611 enrolled, with 10,925 graduating (94.1%). Um, excuse me?

You mean that the screwed up table from the 2001 Montana Statewide Education Profile actually has the data juxtaposed? Are you freaking kidding me? And that whomever prepared the table apparently can't round properly? (10,322/11,018 = .936830 . . . which is definitely 93.7%, not 93.6%)

Hmm, okay, so maybe the table in the report was mixed up a bit, and the same person who missed the fact that they typed 19,825 instead of 10,925 switched the years around in the table. Oh, if only that were the case . . .

From page 36 of the report:The overall percent of graduating 12th graders declined somewhat from 1997 to 1999. American Indians are the largest minority group in Montana, and their graduating percent declined also.

Egads - are you kidding me? Whoever wrote that report was incompetent enough to include a finding that's the exact opposite of the data, becuase they can't keep track of data!?!?

Maybe there's a reason people make fun of state employees . . . *sighs*