Sunday, January 31, 2010

Updates

I heard back from Director Carr on her query to Dr. Enfield about NTN (New Tech Network). Her reply:

Yes. Here is the text that was included in the document:
  • The New Tech Network started in 1996 as a replication model for schools focused on building 21st Century Learning Skills through a project-based learning experience. This network currently includes 41 schools across nine states. Within this broader network, 13 high schools (31%) have a focus on STEM content. In 2008, New Tech Network became a wholly owned subsidiary of KnowledgeWorks Foundation based out of Ohio. KnowledgeWorks was originally a student loan organization that converted into an endowed foundation. It is governed by a board of directors comprised of business, education and community leaders. A list of their board members can be found at: http://www.kwfdn.org/about/board.
I looked at the link. They look good but it does seem like NTN would have this at their own website.

Also, I had asked Director Carr about some differences between the original BTA levy list and what is listed to be done on the voter flyer. (As I pointed out in a different thread, there are striking differences and most of them mean fewer projects for fewer buildings.) Fred Stephens, head of Facilities, says that everything on the original list is still on the approved list to be done. I wrote him (and cc'd the entire Board) asking him to verify a couple of items that he says are to be done. Namely:
  • The original list had 17 roof replacments/seismic. The voter flyer has 11.
  • The original list had 7 seismic/reinforced masonry. The voter flyer has 3.
  • The original list has 6 buildings listed for energy efficiencies including roof and heating. The voter flyer reflects only heating (and it's a whole paragraph on heating).
So Mr. Stephens is saying that the original list IS the list. So why not, if you are doing so much more, list everything you are doing? There is room for it on the flyer (I used to be in publishing and they could have easily printed more). And why spend a whole paragraph on the energy efficient heating and yet not mention, by the way, we're also doing green roofs?

Once the get the money, they get to do whatever capital work they want with it. It is very easy to say, "it's on the list" and then say later "something came up" when they never intended to do the work listed. But not even starting from the voter flyer with all the projects certainly seems odd.

Lastly, anyone from Hale? A friend of mine told me that the construction managers and workers and even a few teachers are wearing face masks as they walk through the building. Yet, no masks have been offered to students even those with asthma. Any idea why?

14 comments:

sully said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sully said...

My kid is at Hale.

I haven't seen teachers or workers wearing masks, but it wouldn't surprise me. During destruction/tear down there were days when there were plumes of dust hovering over the school and the surrounding area - while school was in session. Some days the dust was so thick it was hard to drive through it.

Lately I notice that there is alot of dust covering the floors, desks, and chairs in certain parts of the building. This of course means the kids in those parts of the building are breathing it in.

In addition there is still a temporary roof (tarp/plastic) on the main building and it leaks. There are water buckets under the leaks to catch the water. This isn't so bad, as long as it is not causing any mold, which of course would affect the air quality in the building.

Question: Who, if anyone, is responsible for monitoring the air quality inside the building during construction? Does anyone know?

Melissa Westbrook said...

The district and/or the construction management? I'll ask some members of the BEX Oversight Committee.

dan dempsey said...

About New Tech here is their section on the web:
http://www.newtechnetwork.org/

I sure hope no one is expecting to get an honest look at the results of these schools by just reading the vendor's claims.

Try my Data submitted previously here and to district officials.

Incredible ... it is Sunday night and the vote is Wednesday and the Admin has not answered questions. Either no answers will come or there will be a profusion of answers after testimony and before the board votes.

If that happens, I can only respond "Hey, Peter has any of this been vetted."

dan dempsey said...

From the web in regard to NTN.

Unlike students in traditional high schools, where most teachers lecture and use textbooks as a teaching approach, teachers in New Tech high schools design rigorous, real-world projects tied to state and district standards and customize them to their location and the interests of students. The result: students who are deeply engaged in learning and develop important skills such as critical thinking and collaboration.

[[ but students acquire very little in the way of mathematics competency... This is quite clear when end of course tests are examined as well as other State Administered tests of mathematics. ]]

The schools selected as demonstration schools are as follows:

Sacramento New Technology High School, Sacramento; Napa New Technology High School, Napa, Calif.; Los Angeles School of Global Studies, Los Angeles; Welby New Technology High School, Denver; New Technology School of IDEAS, Indianapolis; Zebra New Tech High School, Rochester, Ind.; New Tech High @ Arsenal Tech, Indianapolis, Ind; North Daviess 21st Century High School, Elnora, Ind.; Bloomington New Tech High School, Bloomington, Ind.

Columbus Signature Academy, Columbus, Ind.; Patrick F. Taylor Science & Technology Academy, Jefferson, La.; Tech Valley High School, Albany, N.Y.; Hillside New Technology High School, Durham, N.C.; Anson New Technology High School, Wadesboro, N.C.; Manor New Technology High School, Manor, Texas; Math, Engineering, Technology & Science Academy @ RL Turner High School, Carrollton, Texas; Akins New Technology High School, Austin, Texas; and New Tech High@Coppell, Coppell, Texas.

I've examined results from the bolded demonstration high schools and math performance is extremely poor.

================

It seem like we are trapped in some kind of Chain letter pyramid Ponzi scheme and it is important for everyone to believe that inquiry in small problem centered groups is really effective. Unfortunately this is NOT working but Anna Maria and MGJ think it is all the fault of the teachers and that performance management will cure the math malaise.

NEWS Flash for them. Research shows the foundational structure of your math learning approach is highly flawed and only the really ignorant would be pursuing this agenda after this much data reveals you are full of baloney.

Once again New Tech Sacramento's API ranking fell like a rock from API 6 to API three.... IT was like an annual count down to doom...
6, 5, 4, 3

What doesn't the central administration understand. We have figured it out if the Directors make baloney decisions that continue harming kids .... It is time for Superior Court. If you find a decision "Arbitrary & Capricious" for around $200 you can file an appeal in Superior Court. File it pro se and do it yourself. A great project based learning experience. You will not be a highly competent attorney when you finish, but you will have a good time and likely be fully engaged during the process.

dan dempsey said...

Big News for MGJ....

This comes from KnowledgeWorks the patent of NTN....


Districts must identify ways to reduce teacher loads, both in terms of number of students and number of classes taught each day

Yo Dude .... these folks think class size matters ... what's up with that. Does MGJ know this?

dan dempsey said...

How about this for an Update on NTN, the New Tech Network.

This is looking more and more like a Bernie Madoff production:

the Better Business Bureau speaks

About New Tech's parent KnowledgeWorks:

http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/cincinnati/knowledgeworks-foundation-in-cincinnati-oh-9032

"BBB is Wise Giving KW Alliance a Comment"

Despite written BBB of Cincinnati requests in the past year, this organization either has not responded to BBB of Cincinnati requests for information or has declined to be evaluated in relation to the BBB of Cincinnati’s Standards for Charity Accountability.
While participation in the BBB of Cincinnati’s charity review efforts is voluntary, the BBB of Cincinnati believes that failure to participate may demonstrate a lack of commitment to transparency. Without the requested information, the BBB of Cincinnati cannot determine if this charity adheres to the Standards for Charity Accountability. A charity's willing disclosure of information beyond that typically included in its financial statements and government filings is, in the Alliance's view, an expression of openness that strengthens public trust in the charitable sector.
The BBB of Cincinnati reports on national charities and determines if they meet 20 voluntary standards on matters such as charity finances, appeals, and governance.
The BBB of Cincinnati does not evaluate the worthiness of the charitable program."

Pancho Speaks on KW and NTN:

New Tech was the "New Tech Foundation" before being swallowed by KnowledgeWorks. KW is at least registered as a non-profit, despite their lack of transparency. If NTN is so registered, I haven't found it anywhere. Maybe I need to look harder, or something. Now they are a "Network". Does it mean anything? I'm not sure. I just can't assume that they're all in it to make the world a better place. I would think that if they are a non-profit, then they should be registered as such, and present the credentials.
============= .. cont....

dan dempsey said...

Following the money....

Dateline Holland Michigan....

Joining the New Technology Network costs $450,000 over two years, plus $139,400 annually per 100 students.

The district has received a $25,000 grant from the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators and a $200,000 federal Title IID competitive grant. Individual donations pledged to date are $125,000.

Holland is to be the first New Tech school to begin with eighth grade, Davis said.
==================
So let me get this clear.... A subsidiary of KW, NTN takes in lots of money ... the schools use an ineffective method for teaching mathematics, which produces crappy results. $350,000 of the money comes from grants and donations No one has any idea how much of the money winds up in the KW directors' pockets.

Few if any of these NTN folks have any STEM background. The NTN president Monica Martinez, an acquaintance of MGJ, has a degree in Sociology and many of the KW heavy weights are lawyers.

Yet the Seattle Central Administration will not answer any questions but assures us that all 41 NTN schools are successful, despite a profusion of evidence easily available on the web to the contrary.

CAO Enfield tells us that "Calculus" will be a requirement at Cleveland STEM. The principal, Princess Shareef tells us that Cleveland will be serving many students of Cleveland's current demographic.

MGJ tells us that the school will eventually enroll 1000 students with 250 at each grade. Even though data shows most NTN schools find the 11th grade class is only 65% of the 9th grade class and rarely is any NTN school larger than 400.

Neither MGJ or Secondary Director Michael Tolley can answer as to whether the NTN Show horse school that Directors Sundquist and Martin-Morris and CAO Enfield visited costs more to operate than other Sacramento High Schools.

{You must be kidding me... the SPS spends 9% of budget on Central Administration almost $1000 per student and these folks cannot answer an obvious question when they propose spending $800,000 in a week. ... This is Insanity and most folks believe the School Board will approve this spending proposal by a 4-3 vote with only DeBell, Patu, and Smith-Blum dissenting.


Hey I have a great Idea perhaps Director Sundquist can propose that the SPS buy the Brooklyn Bridge for $800,000 from me. I think that will produce at least as much academic advancement in Mathematics as the MGJ proposal. I mean really why not throw the money at me?

Does no one realize the "M" in STEM stands for Mathematics?

With the speed that TEAM MGJ throws this nonsense down the proposal for action pipe hardly anyone has the time to thoroughly research anything. I give my chance of a sale about a 50% chance. Steve I'll cut you in for 10% of what I make on this deal.

Wanna bet $200 bucks on whether the Cow can jump over the moon?

The school superintendent is making well over $250,000 per year and this passes for leadership.

By God we need to be electing the Superintendent because our apparently mindless board will rubber-stamp anything.

Oh KSB please save us now.
Someone must direct the Superintendent.

Great leadership under MGJ.
Adopt an "unsound Math series".
Ignore achievement gaps that expanded in Math with the Everyday Math adoption for Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, American Indians, Low Income and English Language Learners. WOW 6 for 6 ... I think that is a double hat-trick. By ignore I mean they spent around $300,000 for consumables instead of switching to a real math program Singapore Math. You know the one written in English for students in a nation where over 50% of the students come from non-English speaking homes. The one that has led the world in 4th grade math scores. {Oh crap, what am I thinking that is using data of past performance and we do not do that in Seattle School math adoption decisions}

dan dempsey said...

Instead we rip out tens of thousands of recent construction to build an over 1500 student 6th - 12th school, Denny/Sealth. This is such a great idea that Seattle is building the only one of these on the West Coast in at least the last 20 years.

Our kids are trapped in a School District operated by a highly paid highly incompetent Central Office
with only a spineless school board for protection.

God help us all because we sure need it.

dan dempsey said...

Hey Sully,

On air quality at Hale....

Why not call Absher construction. They have the Hale contract.

Dan

A2Z said...

Dan, are you on the speaker list for Wednesday? I am sure my kids would love to illustrate a poster of a cow jumping over the moon with a "$200 bill" in her mouth.

Honestly, folks we need to send an email to all the directors to not be bullied again by the CO and delay this irresponsible decision.

southmom said...

So what happened to the McGilvra principal?

dan dempsey said...

A2Z,

Appreciate the humor. Send the Cow poster as a .pdf to board members as a multiple choice question.

R U betting on:
a. the cow
b. the moon
c. none of the above a or b
d. all three of the above a and b and c

gavroche said...

southmom --

fyi...

A letter dated Jan. 21, 2010 from Supt. G-J to McGilvra staff and families announced that the principal "will be on leave from the District effective Friday, January 22, 2010."

"Former principal and long-time educator Birgit McShane will serve as acting principal at McGilvra."