Thursday, August 14, 2008

Metrics for the Southeast Initiative

Hello


I have been meaning to do this for quite sometime, but I just found my copy of this. There are concrete metrics that Rainier Beach, Cleveland, and Aki Kurose are going to be held accountable to. These metrics will be used to determine if the SE Initiative is a success or failure.

There are 4 Academic Milestones, each with multiple Academic Achievement Metrics. I don't know how this will come across, since I am copying an Excel Spreadsheet, but here are the metrics:

Academic Milestone Academic Achievement Metric
Cross-Milestone 1-1 Annual Enrollment
2-1 Annual Average Attendance
9th Graders Ready for High School 3-1 On-time 9th graders earning at least five credits (%)
10th Graders Passing WASL 4-1 Reading WASL (%)
4-2 Math WASL (%)
4-3 Writing WASL (%)
4-4 Science WASL (%)
4-5 Met AYP
Students Ready for College & Work 5-1 Graduates meeting college credit requirements (%)
5-2 On-time cohort graduation rate (%)
5-3 Graduates enrolling in a post-secondary educational program (%)

I can't speak to what the goals for Cleveland and Aki Kurose are, I can only speak about Rainier Beach High School. The data is created by the Research, Evaluation, and Assessment Department.

In the 2010-2011 school year, the goals for RB is an enrollment of 500 with average annual attendance of 88%. In 2007 - 2008 we had 361 students with an average annual attendance rate of 81%.

In 2010 - 2011, RB should have 74% of the 9th graders earning at least 5 credits. In 2007 - 2008, 64% of the freshmen earned at least 5 credits.

In the 2010 - 2011 year, the goal is for 87.1% meet the WASL standard in Reading, 81.2% meet it in Math, 87.1% meet it in writing, 35% meet it in Science and we need to make AYP. For 2006 - 2007 those numbers are 70% in Reading, 37% in math, 72% in writing, and 11% in science. We made AYP in 2006 - 2007.

The data for Students Ready for College and Work is not complete. My copy of the spreadsheet says that the 2010 – 2011, the goal for on-time graduation is 80%. In 2006 - 2007, that number was 64%. The other two metrics were not filled in. Im sure it is because the data had not been complied. Given the fluid nature of the student body at RB, I'm sure this is very hard to do.

These are pretty lofty goals. I like the idea of having something that we can wrap our arms around and understand. I don’t know if we are going to make all of them. I know the staff and administration at RB are fully committed to this. My initial thought is that 3 years really is not a long enough period of time to determine success or failure, since in 2010 – 2011, this years’ 6th graders will only be in the 8th grade. I would of liked to have seen a 6 year commitment, so any student who is entering Aki this fall, would have the benefit of the SE Initiative for his or hers entire secondary education. Maybe there will be enough success so that 3 years from now, this program will be renewed and expanded to include all the schools in the SE and we can make real progress in closing the achievement gap and the enrollments are RB, Cleveland and Aki have increased.

12 comments:

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Ya know...I suppose these are lofty requirements considering the current state of the school, but it still seems very oriented toward the at-risk student. For those of us with children who currently love school and learning, the idea that "In the 2010-2011 school year, the goals for RB is an enrollment of 500 with average annual attendance of 88%" is a goal that is not quite good enough for me.
I want my child in a school where 95+% attend on a regular basis—an indication that they all value their education (maybe I'm being naive and can't expect that from any high school...but what is the attendance rate for Roosevelt and/or Ballard?).

It's been my experience that the at-risk students get the brunt of the teachers' and administration's attention—which is understandable, even admirable. But if you have a child who is a decent student (but not an official AP superstar) they can get overlooked because they are not as needy. They're already able to pass the WASL, earn the required credits and graduate on time. When a school's focus is on bringing the underachievers up, the adequate+ students can get lost in the shuffle and often earn As that would not equal an A in a more rigorous school.

reader said...

That's exactly the point. It isn't lofty and it isn't middle class. The goals for RB are to get everyone to show up and pass the WASL... lots and lots of time working toward that. That is all fine and good... to a point. Longtime neighborhood families (and I'm talking generations) who want to attend RB AND to get into a competitive college are neither welcome or supported. In fact, when they show up for tours, it's like nobody ever heard of a tour. Academically competitive graduates isn't the priority at RB. It seems that its students have so many challenges, that these minimums have still to be met. Middle class families will not be choosing this school any time soon. It isn't strictly about having a selection of AP classes, it's about having a cohort of serious students, who value education and expect to attend college.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm confused by the timeline. The Southeast Initiative is for three years. Those three years are 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010. Why does Michael write that the goals are for the 2010-2011 school year?

Also, I think that some of the goals are extremely ambitious - raising the WASL pass rate from 37% to 81%!?! That's quite a jump. Is that the actual WASL pass rate or is it the phoney-baloney number with the margin for error added that is used for AYP?

Other goals are abysmally low. Enrollment of 500? That is not what this school needs to do. Let's not forget that there are over 2,000 high school students who live closer to Rainier Beach than any other comprehensive Seattle public high school. Let's not forget that the building has a capacity of about 1,100. Let's not forget that increasing enrollment is the whole purpose of the Southeast Initiative. That bar is too low. So is the 74% of 9th graders earning five credits. Too low a bar.

I don't see anything here that makes me change my view of enrolling my child at that school.

dan dempsey said...

Seems to me that in 2005-2006 WSHS had best attendance of all Seattle's comprehensive high schools at around 92%.

95% attendance would be an average of each child missing around one school day per month.

10th grade WASL Math statewide has been around 50% for the last 3 years.

For RBHS to improve that amount in Math up to 81%, would require much greater preparation at the k-8 level. Looking at Everyday Math and Connected Math Project unless the test becomes remarkably easier 81% is unrealistic. Where in the world did that 81% number come from?

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Charlie said it perfectly. So far there's not much there to make me change my mind about looking elsewhere for my child. I'm not worried about her passing the WASL, earning enough credits, or graduating on time.

I am worried about her keeping her love for learning, continuing to be stimulated by engaging teachers who are passionate about what they teach, and being prepared to gain admittance to and perform well at a rigorous college.

The District has a tough job in the parts of town that have extremes of socio-economic populations (specifically the Southend and the CD). I noticed on the District's website that for the 2007-08 school year, RB had 66% returning students and only 17.3% picked the school as their first choice. A few AP classes aren't going to change numbers like that. Cleveland had about 65% returning students, but almost 29% picked it as first choice (though I think all the bad gang PR will hurt Cleveland come next enrollment period). Franklin on the other hand, had 80% returning and nearly 50% selected it first. It's obvious that even the kids from low-income families want more than what RB and Cleveland have to offer.

Having 35+% of students not returning to a school is a definite red flag to me. I spent a few hours online going over the current enrollment booklet and there is so little hard info (other than the class comparison chart) that I feel compelled to use hearsay to help make my decision.

I also note that though the Center School is lumped with the Alternative Schools, it is not an all-city draw. Distance is the number one tie breaker.

A perusal of the various schools' websites is also disheartening. Some are incredible. Others haven't been updated since 2005!

The District needs to spend some money on aligning information of all of the schools so parents can make informed choices--that includes background on teachers (no. of years teaching, degrees, and other relevant experience). Crime stats for each school would also be welcome--perhaps the perceptions do not jive with reality.

If they're going to let us have choice then they need to give us all the info to make that choice well.

Michael Rice said...

Hello all:

I will try to respond to the many questions and comments. I hope we can get a dialog going on this topic.

Solvaygirl1972 wrote: I want my child in a school where 95+% attend on a regular basis—an indication that they all value their education (maybe I'm being naive and can't expect that from any high school...but what is the attendance rate for Roosevelt and/or Ballard?).
Well, according to the sheet I have the annual average attendance in Seattle is 88%, so you maybe a little naive to expect 95% attendance.

She also wrote: It's been my experience that the at-risk students get the brunt of the teachers' and administration's attention—which is understandable, even admirable. But if you have a child who is a decent student (but not an official AP superstar) they can get overlooked because they are not as needy.
Like I have written before, it is next to impossible for a student to be invisible at RB. That adequate student who will be lost in the shuffle at a large high school will be recognized and valued at RB because of the size of the school. Part of the reason we are broadening our AP offerings is to offer challenges to the adequate student. The philosophy we have about AP at Rainier Beach is that AP is not for the elite, it is for the prepared. We believe that any student who has the interest can be an AP student and be successful in that environment.

In another post she also wrote: RB had 66% returning students and only 17.3% picked the school as their first choice. A few AP classes aren't going to change numbers like that. Cleveland had about 65% returning students, but almost 29% picked it as first choice (though I think all the bad gang PR will hurt Cleveland come next enrollment period). Franklin on the other hand, had 80% returning and nearly 50% selected it first. It's obvious that even the kids from low-income families want more than what RB and Cleveland have to offer.

I think this is what the SE Initiative is all about. Remember RB has made AYP the last two years, so to say that there is no education going on is false. We offer opportunity to any and all students who come through our doors. We take all students. That is not a statement every high is this city can make.

Reader wrote: Longtime neighborhood families (and I'm talking generations) who want to attend RB AND to get into a competitive college are neither welcome or supported.
I really don't know what this means. We send students to colleges throughout the state and we also send students to colleges all across the country. We have programs that help students apply for college, get scholarships and develop a support network to help them through the whole process.

Reader also wrote: Middle class families will not be choosing this school any time soon. It isn't strictly about having a selection of AP classes, it's about having a cohort of serious students, who value education and expect to attend college.
All I can say is that the great majority of the students I have in Integrated 3 are serious and college bound and ALL of the students I have in AP statistics are that. Are there disruptive non-motivated students at RB? Of course there is. There are those students at every high school in America.

Charlie Mas wrote: 'm confused by the timeline. The Southeast Initiative is for three years. Those three years are 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010. Why does Michael write that the goals are for the 2010-2011 school year?
As it has been explained to me, 2007 - 2008 was a planning year and the three year window starts with 2008 - 2009.

The goals are VERY ambitious. I have no idea how we are going to get 81% of the students to pass the WASL math when right now only 57% pass district wide.

Mr. Mas also wrote: Other goals are abysmally low. Enrollment of 500? That is not what this school needs to do. Let's not forget that there are over 2,000 high school students who live closer to Rainier Beach than any other comprehensive Seattle public high school. Let's not forget that the building has a capacity of about 1,100. Let's not forget that increasing enrollment is the whole purpose of the Southeast Initiative. That bar is too low. So is the 74% of 9th graders earning five credits. Too low a bar.

I agree with a lot of this. I will say that Ballard has about 2300 kids in their area. 74% of the Freshmen earning 5 credits is too low also. It should at least be at the district average.

When your daughter is ready for High School, I would ask you and your daughter to come for a visit. You will be amazed at the individual attention and commitment to the students that the staff has here.

I find it disheartening that so many people who live in the RB area won't even come for a visit to see what the school is about. As a reminder, we have partnered with the College Board to become an EXCELerator school with the goal of getting every student college ready, even if they are not going to college. This program has had success working with students similar to our students in Washington DC and Tampa, Florida. We have already had a workshop and the College Board will be here during the year offing their guidance and experience to help make all our students ready for college.

reader said...

Michael, I feel your passion and believe it is transmitted to your students. But here's the disconnect. A friend of mine DID exactly as you suggested for his student who lives right down the street from RB and will be an incoming freshman. He came to the tour. Nobody else did. AND it was a big shock that he was there at all. The shock was that anybody would show up and want to see the place, or find out anything. He asked about what opportunities for competitive college preparation, and was basically told to go elsewhere. Here's a neighborhood person who sincerely wanted to attend RB despite its perception but was essentially driven out. Do you think he will support the SE initiative when it refuses to support him or his family? How can we resolve the difference in your picture and the actual experiences of families? It isn't all about people not giving it a chance. My kids are young, but I don't expect them to be in schools where there are daily fights. It really isn't that way at "every high school in America".

Michael Rice said...

I would very much like to hear more about that families' experience. I would like to find out who is trying to sabotage the efforts to improve the school. I have a hard time believing that a staff member would do that. Would you be so kind as to ask that family to contact me?

I would also like to know where the idea of daily fights come from? There are not daily fights on campus. In fact fights on campus are pretty rare. I only had one by my classroom all of last year.

SolvayGirl1972 said...

Michael
Perhaps because of the level of class you teach, you are not seeing a big picture of the school. It sounds like you are an incredible teacher and would be an asset to any school.

I have a friend who worked at RB who told me there were constant fights and would not ever consider sending their own children there. I am sure there are great kids at the school, but there are definitely safety issues there (as there are at Aki and Cleveland and, I know, even Garfield) and a number of students who are just biding their time.

I am also still curious about the credentials of both the drama and music teachers. Are their degrees in either drama or music? Or are they doing double duty?

I will, as you suggest, check the school out; I owe you and the other fine teachers there that much. But, I will expect to be welcomed and have my concerns answered honestly. Please be sure to post the dates of RB's open house on this site. I've been checking the District's site, but there's not much on it yet regarding admissions for 2009-10. The independent schools get a jump on the District, with open houses starting in October. Their websites are already full of admissions info.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't know who gave approval for changes in the Southeast Initiative to make 2007-2008 a "planning" year. The Board has not voted to approve the change as they voted to set the timeline, so I'm going to go with what the Board voted for instead of any revisionist history.

You'll remember Michael that you wrote about the Southeast Initiative last year and you wrote that it was up and running during 2007-2008. You didn't think it was a "planning" year then.

dan dempsey said...

Late entry here:
Michael said:
In the 2010 - 2011 year, the goal is for 87.1% meet the WASL standard in Reading, 81.2% meet it in Math, 87.1% meet it in writing, 35% meet it in Science and we need to make AYP. For 2006 - 2007 those numbers are 70% in Reading, 37% in math, 72% in writing, and 11% in science. We made AYP in 2006 - 2007.

So how did things look now that the 2008 WASL results are in for RBHS?

For Spring 2007 then Spring 2008:
70% in Reading, 69.1% -1
37% in math, 28.6% -8
72% in writing, 92.7% +21
11% in science. 10.9% +0

Here is Cleveland:
62.7% in Reading, 62.8% +0
17.9% in math, 12.2% -5.7
73.7% in writing, 76.6% +3
8.0% in science. 6.9% -1

and Aki Kurose at grade 7

54.9% in Reading, 45.5% -8.4
21.8% in math, 22.4% +0.6
57.5% in writing, 59.2% +1.7

dan dempsey said...

In regard to SE intiative and WASL.

So how did things look now that the 2008 WASL results are in for RBHS?

For Spring 2007 then Spring 2008:
70% in Reading, 69.1% -1 ..goal is for 87.1%
37% in math, 28.6% -8 .. goal is for 81.2%
72% in writing, 92.7% +21 .. goal is for 87.1% {Nailed that one Hooray!!!}
11% in science. 10.9% +0 .. goal is for 35.0%

Here is Cleveland:
62.7% in Reading, 62.8% +0
17.9% in math, 12.2% -5.7 (shows what UW NSF dollars can do? zilch minus)
73.7% in writing, 76.6% +3
8.0% in science. 6.9% -1

and Aki Kurose at grade 7

54.9% in Reading, 45.5% -8.4
21.8% in math, 22.4% +0.6
57.5% in writing, 59.2% +1.7

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If the district refuses to put a decent k-8 math program in place there is NO WAY that RBHS can make an 81% WASL math passing goal.

It looks like OSPI is going to go for end of course testing for Algebra and Geometry (and maybe Int I and Int II testing) rather than the 10th grade WASL (sometime in the next few years). Thus that goal of 81% math passing of the WASL may be irrelevant.

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There is way too much math repair needed at grade 9 after students survive SPS k-8 math for much high school level math to be taught.
Let's see what the board comes up with for a promotion / non-promotion policy as they are currently working on it.