Bill-O Tells a Fib

Education, Wingnuts Being Wingnuts

I just came across a column by Bill O’Reilly in which the Big Giant Head says,

Here’s a lesson that is both ironic and sad at the same time. According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of the eight graders in Wisconsin cannot read proficiently. But assuming the kids are skilled enough to watch TV, they can now see their teachers demonstrating to keep their generous union benefits. So, while things do not seem to be going well in the classroom, any thought of holding teachers somewhat responsible is cause for a protest march.

Bill-O provides no link to wherever the Department of Education said such a thing. Since I just did a post about education statistics last week, however, I knew where to look for Department of Education statistics. And according to the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the average reading score on the National Assessment of Educational Progress for Wisconsin eighth grade students is comfortably above the national average.

So either kids in other states are mostly illiterate, or Bill-O told a fib.

Through another page I learned that the average reading scale score for eighth graders nationwide was 262 (out of what I do not know), and the Wisconsin average was 266, Wisconsin’s eight-graders ranked 21st among the states. Massachusetts was first at 274, and last among the states was Mississippi, at 251.

I did some keyword searches on the Department of Education site and found nothing that said two-thirds of Wisconsin eighth graders don’t read proficiently.

Bill-O attributes his own superior education to St. Brigid’s School on Long Island, where there were 60 students and one nun in the classroom. “The nun brooked no nonsense,” he said. “She forced us to learn.” However, she forgot to teach him it’s not nice to pull data out of his ass.

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  1. c u n d gulag  •  Mar 7, 2011 @4:31 pm

    Thank you for only mentioning his education at St. Brigid’s School on Long Island, but I have to admit, Bill Orally went to Marist College a couple of years before me.

    I think I may have told this story before, but I like it, and if I’m repeating it, sorry.
    About 9 or 10 years ago I was flipping by FOX, this was back in the day before they went COMPLETELY off the rails, just wanting to know what the opposition was up to. Bill-O was on and I watched for just a couple of minutes. Whatever he was talking about, is was a complete mash-up of BS lies and stupidity. In other words, a typical FOX and O’Reilly show. That evening though, talking to some guest, he pointed out his blue-collar upbringing by talking about the HS and Marist, and how he really understands how the middle class feels about things.
    So I sent Bill an e-mail that basically said, ‘Look, if you’re going to get stuff wrong, or lie about things, please don’t tell people that you graduated from Marist College. And that no one as stupid and ignorant as you could possibly have graduated from there. But even if you did, please don’t tell people that because it makes the rest of us graduates look bad.”
    He sent me the following reponse – “GO FUCK YOURSELF!”
    I sent him this as a response – “See! I knew you didn’t go to Marist College. If you did, you’d know that was physically impossible.”

    I never heard from him again. Can’t imagine why…

    Bill Orally is an ignorant liar and a bully. That is all anyone needs to know.

  2. buckyblue  •  Mar 7, 2011 @5:45 pm

    By most measures WI has one of the better educational systems around. And much better than the states that do not allow any collective bargaining. Not sure why Gov. Wakawaka wants to change that, well, I guess I do know. He’s just a shill for the corporations. We’ll end up like CA if those Dem14 decide to come back without a deal.

  3. uncledad  •  Mar 7, 2011 @5:54 pm

    “However, she forgot to teach him it’s not nice to pull data out of his ass”

    He didn’t pull anything out of his ass, he just a liar plain and simple.

  4. MandT  •  Mar 7, 2011 @6:43 pm

    Pulling data out of yer ass is a venal sin.

  5. erinyes  •  Mar 7, 2011 @9:26 pm

    Those union bustin’ guys; Beck, O’Reilly, and Lushbah all belong to AFTRA.
    Go figure.

  6. Swami  •  Mar 8, 2011 @1:14 am

    Well, fibbing is slightly better than sexually harassing, so Bill is making some progress in area’s of personal development. Aside from that, why should Bill be held to a higher standard when all of his other conservative buddies are working full time pulling stuff out of their asses..Look at Gingrich, or Huckabee, or Palin, or any of them for that matter…one is worse than the next when it comes to fabricating. Making shit up is the order of the day for theses’s their stock in trade!

    I just recently read a story about Newt Gingrich that made me recoil in disbelief when I got the lowdown on his classless act. Newt has got to be by far one of the worst offenders when it comes to pulling fictions and false facts out of one’s butt. He’s a master in the art of self invention who remains peerless when fabrications, distortions, and lies are the essential building materials of the craft. He’s a lair without equal and a fraud in the highest degree.

  7. Bonnie  •  Mar 8, 2011 @2:55 am
  8. erinyes  •  Mar 8, 2011 @6:55 am

    Bonnie, I don’t think it’s a war on women as much as it is support for a uniform.
    The common thread is “support” for those who wear one; soldiers, cops, firefighters. Plus, those groups are seen as the protectors who can collectively kick one’s ass.
    I find it very curious that while the US military is the world’s largest financial black hole, the right, which is always squealing about saving money, has no problem dumping massive amounts of money (and lives) into the abyss.

    While they will attack teachers and trash collectors, I haven’t heard one peep about the officer corps who retire at 55 with full benefits and a generous monthly income, PLUS the chance of working in the defense industry (or media).

    A very close friend of mine, currently suffering from Parkinson’s, was telling me he buys his meds through the VA at rock bottom prices (like a hundred bucks a month as opposed to several thousand) because he served in the army for two years just prior to the war in V.N. He is, btw, retired and a millionaire.( if I was diagnosed with a major disease, my best chance would be to die quickly, since I’m broke, and have no VA to rely on)
    He’s a really good guy, but the last time I visited him, he was ranting about how a homeless man doesn’t need to take a piss test to get welfare but a job applicant does.
    I don’t know how things got so screwed up.

  9. David Smith  •  Mar 8, 2011 @10:02 am

    I located what looks like the source for this statement. Page 33 of this National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 4 & 8 (“The Nation’s Report Card”) from the Institute of Educational Sciences at the National Center for Education Statistics, US Dept of Education, provides a table of average scores and achievement-level results in NAEP reading for eighth-grade public school students, by state/jurisdiction, for 2009.

    Detailed descriptions of basic, proficient, and advanced skills appear on page 36.

    Here’s the summary description of proficiency:
    Eighth-grade students performing at the Proficient level should be able to provide relevant information and summarize main ideas and themes. They should be able to make and support inferences about a text, connect parts of a text, and analyze text features. Students performing at this level should also be able to fully substantiate judgments about content and presentation of content.

    Here’s the summary description of basic skill:
    Eighth-grade students performing at the Basic level should be able to locate
    information; identify statements of main idea, theme, or author’s purpose; and make simple inferences from texts. They should be able to interpret the meaning of a word as it is used in the text. Students performing at this level should also be able to state judgments and give some support about content and presentation of content.

    While Bill O’Reilly may be failing to substantiate his judgments about the content by providing a link, and his source for the “factoid” may have been Terence Jeffrey of CNS News,” title=”Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently—Despite Highest Per Pupil Spending in Midwest” (Tuesday, February 22, 2011), the data is valid.

    It appears to me that Bill and Terence (and, likely, the other conservative sites referencing this study) are failing to make accurate connections within this text and, thus, making errors explaining causal relations. These are advanced reading skills which, as the data shows, tends to be mastered by a relative few.

  10. maha  •  Mar 8, 2011 @10:40 am

    David — thanks for the link. And according to Table A-19 on page 65, Wisconsin 8th-grade reading scores for proficiency are above the national average, a point that the literacy challenged righties didn’t notice. Last place among the states is, no surprise, Mississippi. Fewer than one-fifth of Mississippi 8th graders scored at proficient and above. But would the Faux News staff do even that well?

  11. Swami  •  Mar 8, 2011 @12:05 pm

    Bonnie..I don’t think it’s a war on women per se, although women are experiencing the brunt of the conservative/teabagger assault..I think the teabagger brigades are attacking the most vulnerable segments of labor and that they exempted the police and firefighters union to further weaken resistance from public push back.

  12. Bonnie  •  Mar 8, 2011 @4:28 pm

    Sorry, guys, I think it is a well thoughtout war on women. Until more women begin to realize it and fight back, it will be one more war on women we will lose.

  13. maha  •  Mar 8, 2011 @7:28 pm

    Sorry, guys, I think it is a well thought out war on women.

    There’s sexism behind this, certainly, since it’s the traditionally “women’s” jobs that get dumped on. Policemen and firemen are not just uniformed; they also have that suffix “men” going on. It’s still there in our heads, even when we don’t say it. But I don’t know how well thought out it is, and how much of it is subconscious.

  14. Stitch  •  Mar 8, 2011 @7:52 pm

    “According to the U.S. Department of Education, two-thirds of the eight graders in Wisconsin cannot read proficiently”

    So that’s two and two-thirds graders?