Just in time for the holiday season, we get an amusing feature story on a bunch of kids doing some fund raising to get more Boots for their classroom. No, the capitalization of 'boots' was not a typo, these are the type of Boots that attach to and secure a classroom door from entry from the hallway, a subject introduced here at the Ludington Torch in the article Sheriff wants The Boot in every classroom.
Many people realize the dangers to student safety by such a device in that they can prevent easy egress from a classroom if deployed, and their limitations in preventing the worse when used. Furthermore, it was noted that upper elementary students at MCC Schools were given questionable training in reacting to a 'school shooter' situation, as detailed in ALICE in Blunderland.
A Mason County Press entry on my Facebook newsfeed trumpeted a recent achievement by that same upper elementary school, undoubtedly led by their bombastic principal Kevin Kimes. Each homeroom engaged in friendly competition to see how much they could raise for the cause of installing more Boots. They were beyond successful as the teaser to the article indicates (highlighting added to provide emphasis):
As you can see 100 people liked it, and 58 people shared the good news that they exceeded the goal by 68%, with two responses (only) showing glowing support. Those who traveled via the link may have read the following and seen the video:
http://www.masoncountypress.com/2015/11/25/scottville-students-exce...
Now if you paid close enough attention to the video and the totals, you may have caught a transposition in the number that was reported. The MCP editor noted it was $4431.38, and the actual total was $4341.38 as seen in the picture below, an easy enough mistake to make in the reportage.
In fact, when Editor Alway originally did the calculation to determine that it was exceeding their goal of $2975 by 68%, he must have used the original figure, because when one divides 2975 by 4341.38 they come to his 68% figure.
Frankly, he probably should have rounded it to 69%, rather than truncating the number at the decimal point. This differs significantly than if he used the figure he put in his article, $4431.38.
Which as you can see would have gotten only a 67% increase when using Mr. Alway's method. Do you see a problem yet?
The bottom calculation shows that earning $90 more to start with, actually makes you exceed the goal of $2975 by only 67% more. Do you see the problem yet?
For simplicity sake let's say the goal was $3000, if they exceeded the goal by 100% they would have raised $6000. If they exceeded the goal by 50%, the amount would be 3000 + (50% * 3000) = 3000 + 1500 = $4500. Their goal was actually $2975, they raised $4341, they actually only exceeded their goal by under 50%.
Mathematically, to find out how much they exceeded their goal was the simple equation here can be devised after a little thought:
(goal) x (1 + r) = (money actually collected), where r is the percentage (in decimal form) of increase. Solving for 'r' in this case we find:
2975 X (1 + r) = 4341.38, divide both sides by 2975, to get:
1 + r = 1.459, subtract 1 from both sides.
r = .459 = 46%
The diligent students at MCC Upper Elementary exceeded their goal by 46%, not by 68%, a fact that many of the fifth graders could probably have figured out for you-- at least back in the time when I was going to school.
I bring this up not so much as to embarrass the mathematical prowess of the MCP editor-in-chief, but more to show how at least 100 people that liked it, the 58 people that shared it and everyone else that read and did neither, but never corrected the math in the comments to the article, took the news at face value without noting the inflated number or the fallacious method the author used to get that number.
If we have 596 classrooms with 596 Boots installed, at $230 per boot, it amounts to $137,000, unlike the $170,000 estimate given in that link's article, but nobody asks about the missing $33,000. It's easy to see why so many people involved with public projects embezzle from the people because of indifference; it's amazing that they actually get caught sometimes.
It's unfortunate this money cannot be raised and given over to something that would make the kids at MCC a lot safer, by creating more sidewalks near the schools along the roads well traveled by kids. Reinberg, Beryl, Gay Streets could use some extra pedestrian facilities. These won't come anytime soon, when we spend so much time and energy on safety-hampering Boots for every classroom door.
Tags:
Good catch X. Not only can the public be bamboozled about excessive costs and questionable spending of that money but they are easily persuaded to purchase things that the press and Government officials says is good for them. This situation reminds me of a certain movie.
Unfortunately, our local con men spouting "trouble" don't get reformed by the end of the movie. Thanks for the clip, I'll have to catch the full movie now.
A task force made up of educators and law enforcers are driving the local hysteria over these issues, supported enthusiastically by the managing editors of our news media. When they start singing "ya got trouble", it's generally for the same purpose as it was in the movie.
© 2024 Created by XLFD. Powered by