I attended the quarterly Strategic Plan update this evening. It was, far and away, the best one ever. Credit for the clearer and more informative format goes to Mark Teoh, the new person in charge of the Strategic Plan. He said it was easy to present the information clearly. He didn't say that was true once the goal became to share information rather than horde it.
The Board, except for Director Martin-Morris - who was silent throughout the presentation, was engaged and asked some good questions.
The Powerpoint speaks for itself, so I'll just make a couple notes...
On slide 8, Special Education, the District doesn't yet keep IEPs as electronic records, so it is extraordinarily difficult to measure or track the work. They are transitioning to an electronic format. It was noted that two schools experiencing a lot of progress and success, West Seattle Elementary and Highland Park Elementary, are using a "workshop" model in the classroom which allows the teacher to provide more individualized support and instruction.
On slide 9, ELL, the typical growth measure is based on the median (or mean?) growth in year-over-year MAP scores nationally for test history peers. So that 65% growth goal isn't an automatic one from the Colorado Growth Model. 65% of students exceeding the typical growth is actually a pretty ambitious goal.
The District's goal for the ALO's (slide 10) is a bit soft - it is to get 100% of Spectrum- and APP-eligible students in the five targeted schools to "participate" in the ALO. I just don't know what that means. It could be good. It could be meaningless. I have no idea how many students we're talking about.
Slide 11 is about math and it needs some explanation. First, you'll notice that every other goal is measured in student outcomes. The District is counting students. In math, however, they count schools. The Milestone target is listed as "100% of schools" and the Actual outcome says "90% of students". This is a typo. It should have read "90% of schools". Apparently the District cannot track students from year to year. I know that it appears that they do so in a number of other cases, but they claim that they cannot do it in this case. I spoke with Ms delaFuente and she showed me the raw data. Of the students in the Level 1 and Level 2 schools, 61% saw their test scores rise as much or more than the average for their test history peers. That's not bad, but we don't know which students that is. Some schools, notably West Seattle Elementary and Dearborn Park made exceptional growth.
On slide 14, the one about curriculum alignment, Director Carr asked about the accuracy of the self-survey. Kathleen Vasquez told her that there will be coaches in the schools who can corroborate the data.
Finally, I want to direct everyone's attention to April 13 when the Strategic Plan Refresh is due. We can look forward to some clear information about what is in the Plan, what progress has been made, what it is costing us, and which parts will be continued, altered, deferred, added, or dropped.