One of the authors of the report done by the Center for Reinventing Education:
"I think the district really deserves some credit for day-lighting their data," said the lead researcher on the report, Christine Campbell. "I really would love for Seattle to use this as a chance to really do something."
Really do something? I wonder what CRE can mean given that 90% of their work is around charters.
District spokeswoman Patti Spencer said the district has been targeting schools with extra help and guidance throughout this research process and some of the schools exhibiting the most growth were those getting the most help.
"We feel that this is just a really critical step forward for us and for the community to publish this information," she said. "When we focus our attention and the community's attention on data that is easy to understand and accessible...we know that performance will improve."
Wait a minute, so help me out. How is it that the schools with the most growth are those getting the most help? Because Aki Kurose was getting a lot of help and didn't move at all. Which schools is she talking about? Good question for Monday.
Also, they just published this info so how did things improve from releasing it?
Campbell, who lives in Seattle's south end, encouraged the community to not be overly patient about seeing progress in the most needy schools.
"We have to really set a short time frame on what it looks like to have turnaround there," she said.
In sharing this information with the public, Seattle is following a trend started by Denver about four years. Other big districts like Los Angeles and New York spread the idea and now others around the nation are joining the movement at a progressively faster pace.
Short time frame? Joining the movement? What code is that?
In addition to giving the general public more information about how their local school is doing and where it falls within the district, Campbell speculated this may also be the first time Seattle Public Schools has looked at student and school information in this way.
Some people were grouchy about the district spending money to analyze data and come to conclusions that nearly everyone knew, Campbell said, but it's important for the district to move beyond hearsay and into real information to direct its next moves.
Grouchy? Who was grouchy? (Wondering minds want to know because honestly, I don't know who they are talking about.) Show us accurate data and we might be more enthused but grouchy? And why didn't this reporter go out and find these so-called grouchy people?
Move beyond hearsay - oh you mean like actually listening to parents who told the district for YEARS to expect a kindergarten surge.
Both South Park's Concord International Elementary School and Beacon Hill's Mercer Middle School have demographics similar to the 13 schools doing the poorest, but they dramatically outscore them in both absolute achievement and growth.
Spencer said both schools have excellent leaders, extra dollars and a district-directed plan for improvement.
"I think that's really good news for Seattle. There are places right here that we need to look at and see what's going on," Campbell said.
I would like to know what Mercer is doing but I think Concord is doing better because they have a foreign immersion program (which probably gave them a more solid parent base to back up what is happening at school). I should go back and see their scores before the program change and after.
Also, that second paragraph puzzles me. A lot of schools have more dollars so what's the issue and don't schools that are not on target for NCLB all have district-directed plans for improvement?
The last paragraph also puzzles me because we have had successful schools that never get duplicated for their ability to attract parents and make a successful school. So now the district is finally going to try to duplicate successes?
Nice spin from both CRE and the district.