The District has released a number of seriously overdue documents relating to Performance Management.
The first is the District Scorecard. There are a number of interesting points about this document. First, there is absolutely no reason in the world that the District could not have delivered this scorecard on time in December 2008. There's nothing here that reflects 18 months of design work. Second, the scorecard, while it does show the results for each year does not show the annual benchmarks. Are there no annual benchmarks? Moreover, it doesn't show if the District had growth or was on pace in previous years. That could have been done with some simple color-coding. I don't understand the reason that the AYP data box in the lower right was included. Do we care about that? Does that tell us anything that we want to know? I would much rather that they used the space to show how many students scored 1, 2, 3, or 4 on the WASL. Pass/fail isn't as meaningful.
The School Report Card, which is also dishearteningly late, is still incomplete. That's just shameful. I was curious by what they mean by "Students making gains on the state math test." Do they mean this year's fourth graders over last year's fourth graders? Do they mean students who got a level 1 last year and got a level 2 this year? Is it a net measurement; did they deduct for students who suffered losses? What the hell does this mean? I read the explanation, and I still don't know what the hell the number means. They still don't have measures for engagement? They still don't have measures for leadership instruction or environment? What the hell are these people working on? After nearly two years they still haven't got anything here! I'm happy to report that the average class size is based on class size as of the October 1 enrollment for the respective school year, for all scheduled homerooms and classrooms, excluding special ed and elementary BOCs.
On the Middle School Report Card I wondered how they would determine if 8th graders are leaving middle school ready for high school math? What's the measure for that? According the explanation, it is "8th graders earning a C or better in an on-track or advanced math course. Advanced math courses include any Integrated Math course, Selected Math Topics, Mesa Math 8, Mathematics 8H, Mathematics 8, Middle School Math, and Mathematics 8E." Wow. The people who wrote this thing don't know that integrated math has been replaced. And what are all of those other courses? Hasn't middle school math been aligned?