Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shark and Shepherd:'Pants on Fire for Politifact'

The Wisconsin blog "Shark and Shepherd" lowers the boom on a recent PolitiFact Wisonsin item on the performance of students in charter schools.

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke said there was no evidence Wisconsin's charter schools improve student performance.  PolitiFact Wisconsin rated her statement "Mostly True."

Enter Shark and Shepherd's Rick Esenberg, who goes into detail to point out a slew of problems with PolitiFact's fact check.

Here's Esenberg's introduction of the topic (with minor reformatting):
Every once in a while there is a Politifact whose little emoticon (true, mostly true, pants on fire, etc.) is so gobsmackingly wrong that it leaves you speechless. Here’s the latest.

The statement to be checked is an observation by gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke that Wisconsin’s school choice program “has no research that shows its going to improve student learning.” Writing for Politifact, T[o]m Kertscher rates that the statement “mostly true.”

He’s got it completely wrong. In fact, the only evidence that exists on whether the voucher program improves student learning says that it does.
We encourage interested readers to visit Shark and Shepherd to read the rest.

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