REASONS EDUCATORS, JOURNALISTS & POLITICIANS AVOID NUMBERS

11-16-15

Greetings, Educators, Journalists, Politicians and all—

For the past several years, Iowalive has requested educators, journalists and politicians to provide numbers, to describe their expectations and if they claimed to have any better than Iowalive’s.   None have done so.   They will not even make and give estimates.  But they have asked for the names of Iowalive net workers who provide numbers—and in return Iowalive has explained how a network works—asked why names were needed, and got no  asnwers.  

As a result, the following two tables provide reasons for their peculiar behaviors.   They were derived using Iowalive’s proprietary algorithms and data base, similar to those used for Integrity and Operating Efficiency, posted on unrefuted websites http://www.iowalive.net/integrityderivation.htm  and http://www.iowalive.net/deriveopeff.htm    

The third table below shows Iowalive net workers’ numbers filling the numbers void left by a journalist’s transparency guest column in the 11-15-15 Cedar Rapids Gazette.

FIRST & SECOND TABLES

The dancing behavior of a retired journalist, who recognized UI needed to improve but disliked Board of Regent’s selection methods, was most helpful in determining the reasons in the first table below.  He  expressed strong concern about the cost and then number of highly qualified applicants who would not apply for the next Iowa university presidency because of bad Regent’s selection behavior. 

When Iowalive pressed him in various ways to state the number of high quality applicants he thought would not apply—2, 10, 50, 100?  1%, 5%, 10%, 30% of them, or what?—he stubbornly refused to provide a number.  Here are quotes of some of his responses, as they were not answers.  And he would not give a reason for wanting to know the names of Iowalive net workers, which are essentially impossible to gather. 

1.    Oh my heavens, whoever you are.  The cost to which I refer is not dollars and cents.  The cost will be highly qualified individuals deciding not to apply, because they believe Iowa's Board of Regents don't conduct fair, open, professional, and ethical selection processes.   That cost is more important than dollars and cents. 

2.    Professional journalists don't write and report for measurable results

3.    You don't get me and I certainly don't get you.   What numbers do you place on family values, on happiness, on kindness and caring, etc.  To do that is to reduce their value to only numbers.  Numbers are just that...numbers.

4.    Your obsession with numbers reminds me of the quote about someone who knows the cost of everything, and the value of nothing.  

5.    Measuring the public response is neither the job of the reporter or the editor, unless of course the editor determines the public would be endangered by it

6.    What's with you (whoever you are) and numbers?  

7.    You never sign your name.  Do you just neglect doing it, Or is there a reason you don't want those to whom you write to know who you are and where you're from? 

8.    You never provide name or names of the person(s) writing the highly partisan messages for "iowalive9."

9.    At least one reason I've asked for identification whoever writes these questioning narratives for "iowalive" is it appears different people are asking similar questions at different times,

10. When you were growing up what were the numbers when you decided which movie to see, or which girl to ask out, or whether you wanted to play on a team sport, or not? If you're married, what were the numbers determining who to ask to marry you and when to ask it?

11. To whomever it is who's too afraid to reveal his or her identity

12. Iowalive (whoever he, she, it is) resembles a drunk driving the wrong way on a one way street, firmly believing everyone else is wrong.  If you're so ashamed of what you write that you're afraid to identify who you are, why do you keep writing this stuff?   What number would you put on how ashamed and how fearful you are?

13. I have no interest in spending the money it would take to scientifically sample survey to determine numbers.  

14. .  If you attempt to remain anonymous, what you write or say should be ignored.  Besides all you talk about it numbers.  You don't put number on the most important experiences and beliefs -- such as loving and respecting and caring and kindness, etc. -- in our lives.

EDUCATORS, JOURNALISTS AND POLITICIANS AVOID MAKING ESTIMATES OF RESULTS EXPECTATIONS

THERE ARE REASONS EDUCATORS, JOURNALISTS AND POLITICIANS AVOID USING THEIR OWN NUMBERS TO DESCRIBE THEIR POSITIONS ON ISSUES.   Source:  Iowalive 11-16-15

DESCRIPTION OF REASONS

AVG. % CONTRIBUTING

Insecurity and fear of being ridiculed

23%

Their numbers would show how little they know about what they are speaking

19%

They are basically dishonest

18%

Fear of the truth

18%

They have a guilty conscience

10%

Laziness

8%

Fear of showing their  bias

2%

All Other

2%

TOTAL

100%

Anyone claiming to have better numbers is asked to provide them. 

 

EDUCATORS, JOURNALISTS AND POLITICIANS WANT NAMES OF THOSE USING NUMBERS

THERE ARE REASONS EDUCATORS, JOURNALISTS AND POLITICIANS WANT TO KNOW THE NAMES OF THOSE USING NUMBERS TO DESCRIBE THEIR POSITIONS ON ISSUES.   Source:  Iowalive 11-16-15

DESCRIPTION OF REASONS

AVG. % CONTRIBUTING

They can't evaluate the numbers and determine their validity themselves

65%

To attack and discredit them

19%

For retaliation

9%

For verification

4%

Laziness

1%

All Other

2%

TOTAL

100%

Anyone claiming to have better numbers is asked to provide them. 

Out of  fairness to the cooperative journalist, Iowalive estimates an increase of at least 7% in the number of applicants for the next Iowa university president solicitation.  They will want to distinguish themselves by being a finalist in the eyes of the highly scrutinizing Iowa Board of Regents. 

THIRD TABLE

The following table appplies the above tables and provides performance scores of quotes from the  600 word guest column in the 11-15-15 Gazette by the journalist, executive director-editor of the non-profit, non-partisan Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism-IowaWatch.org  complaining about Iowa’s lack of government transparency.  He implied it was bad and damaging but as usual provided NO numbers to show how bad or damaging HE thought it was—based on the contents of his column or whatever. 

To fill his numbers void, Iowalive net workers evaluated the transparency ‘problems’ he cited and surprisingly found they in fact produced surprisingly beneficial results—especially the 11% performance gain resulting from the Regent’s UI president selection process!   The table again proves what folks already know—making sausage can be a messy process that can be highly beneficial to having its details somewhat subdued.    

Furthermore, it’s the R word that mostly matters, Results!  Transparency also matters.  Sound evaluations determine the perspective.  The contents of the table help keeps things in perspective.

TRANSPARENCY ‘PROBLEMS’ ACTUALLY  IMPROVE AFFECTED AGENCIES’ PERFORMANCE RESULTS

JOURNALIST'S CLAIMED TRANSPARENCY PROBLEMS ACTUALLY RESULTED IN IMPROVED AGENCY PERFORMANCE.  NO JOURNALIST STATEMENTS INCLUDED ESTIMATES OF THE RESULTS IN ORGANIZATION PERFORMANCE--TO SHOW WHAT WAS TALKED ABOUT.  Source:  Iowalive  11-16-15

FAVORABLE IMPACT RANK ON AGENCIES' PERFORMANCE

QUOTES FROM WRITER’S 11-15-15 GAZETTE COLUMN ON IOWA'S TRANSPARENCY PROBLEMS

TRANSPARENCY'S 'PROBLEM'S' RESULTANT % IMPROVEMENT  IN AFFECTED ORGANIZATION'S OVERALL  PERFORMANCE

1

Iowa's Board of Regents is under fire for the procedure used to hire new University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld that included prearranged meetings with Harreld for some regents by Regents President Bruce Rastetter before Harreld was hired.

11%

2

Evansdale fired its former police chief, Kent Smock, but redacted all but a few pieces of information earlier this year when releasing documents related to the firing.

8%

3

Burlington refused to release police video that showed what happened when an officer accidentally shot and killed a resident last January.

3%

4

But incidences such as secret settlements for fired state officials, legal disputes over how Iowa awarded its Medicaid health plan, and how closing the Iowa Juvenile Home and mental health institutions in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda was decided have taken a toll. Executive accountability, taking a C+ in the 2012 study, collected a D this time.

1%

5

Iowa's procedures for public access to information landed the state in first place in the transparency study, albeit with a C- grade. The way Iowa has treated concerns about government transparency recently contributed to that C-.

1%

Anyone claiming to have better numbers is asked to provide them. 

 

Sincerely,

Iowalive  A growing network of volunteer citizens and professionals for improving Iowa