Wednesday, January 28, 2009

C-SIPs now online

The District has finally fulfilled a long-standing promise and has posted the Continuous School Improvement Plans (CSIPs) to the web. They were supposed to have been posted by November 30, 2008.

These are the plans that used to be called School Transformation Plans and form the District's compliance with WAC 180-16-22.

They sometimes make for interesting reading and you can search them for specific items.

As you read them, notice how many discuss goals for raising students from Level 2 WASL results to Level 3 WASL results. And notice the dearth of schools that set goals for raising the number students with Level 4 WASL results. It's not on their map. They simply aren't interested in it.

Here's another item to look for. Schools with Advanced Learning Programs are required to make mention of their programs in their CSIP to retain their program certification. Believe it or not, that is the only requirement - mention the program in the Plan document. Yet a number of elementary Spectrum schools don't even meet this ridiculously low standard. There is no mention of their Spectrum program in the CSIPs of West Seattle, Wing Luke, Leschi, View Ridge or Broadview-Thomson. The reference is not very clear for Muir and Whittier. So, will the District de-certify any of these programs for failing to meet the requirement? I seriously doubt it.

I know that the requirement is ridiculous and therefore it should not be the basis for either re-certification or de-certification, so why bother to address it? For two good reasons. First, it is a simple and straightforward test of the District's sincerity about accountability. Second, and more importantly, it evidences the fact that the District's Advanced Learning Office is not involved in the drafting of these plans. Third, and most critically, if the Advanced Learning Office is either unwilling or unable to police this simple and easily determined criteria, then how in the world are we supposed to believe that they will be able and willing to enforce a consistent Spectrum curriculum at all of these schools? We know that they don't, and this provides just more evidence that they can't (or won't). How then, is anyone supposed to believe that the District will enforce a consistent APP curriculum between Lowell and Thurgood Marshall or between Hamilton and Washington? It simply isn't credible. The whole notion of any sort of district-level quality assurance in advanced learning, once a stated fiction, can not even be stated any more, not even as a fiction.

As far as middle schools go, there is no mention of the program or advanced learners in the plans for any of the schools except Washington and Meany. Tragic.

9 comments:

Syd said...

And we are surprised because.....?

This is what I meant about knowing the details. The devil is in the details. Giving vague assurances in lieu of actual details is a well known political gambit - it allows you to push through your agenda without explaining what the agenda is...until it is too late. It is our responsibility as citizens, not just parents, too question our officials and their policies. We should not allow them to not answer questions.

On another note. I think our superintendent might be a bit more accepting of community input if she was elected or if the board was paid. Right now she is responsible to the board. And frankly, the board does not have a lot too lose if they are ousted from office (they lose what - community prestige?) - so their main concern may be just keeping a warm body in the seat. The board should be paid positions; that makes them more accountable. If your livelihood depends on you doing an acceptable job in the minds of those who placed you in the position, it makes a difference.

SPSMom said...

Does anybody know what the "Nine Characteristics of Highly Successful Schools" are?

dan dempsey said...

Dear SPSMom,

How about more than 9....

Characteristics of Highly Effective Schools


• Highly qualified teachers
• An organizational culture of respect, communication, and collaboration
Strong accountability and performance monitoring systems
• Emphasis on providing more instructional time for reading and math
• Professional development and supports aligned with individual and school needs
Data-driven decision-making and intervention strategies
• Meaningful involvement of adults, at home and in school
• Consistent application of curriculum standards in the classroom
• Focus on low-performing schools and needs-based allocation of resources
• High expectations for all students and teachers that are well- communicated
• More intimate school settings
• Safe and orderly learning environments
• Strong partnerships with the community
• Rigor in instruction and assessment
• Strong, effective, and fair leaders
• Clear and well-communicated expectations

These come to you courtesy of the Austin Texas Independent School District.
http://www.austinisd.org/inside/docs/sp_resources_Highly_Effective_Schools.pdf

SPSMom said...

I am refering to the 9 characteristics referenced on the C-SIPs web page, that seem to come from the stratigic plan, but cannot locate them.

Charlie Mas said...

SPSMom, the nine characteristics appear in each CSIP in Section 1.

They are:
1 Clear and Shared Focus
2 High Standards and Expectations
3 Effective School Leadership
4 Supportive Learning Environments
5 High Level of Community and Parent Involvement
6 High Levels of Communication and
Collaboration
7 Frequent Monitoring of Teaching/Learning
8 Curriculum, Instruction and
Assessment Aligned with Standards
9 Focused Professional Development

Charlie Mas said...

The Nine Characteristics don't come from the Strategic Plan, they pre-date it.

SPSMom said...

Thank you!

Ananda said...

I would point out that in the focus on advanced learning, you missed that Chief Sealth's goals also included goals related to IB. Advanced learning at the high school should not be simply AP classes.

Cara said...

Charlie Mas said "As far as middle schools go, there is no mention of the program or advanced learners in the plans for any of the schools except Washington and Meany. Tragic."

Yeah, too bad Meany is on the chopping block. There is sincere effort and achievement happening with our ALO's.