Monday, October 10, 2011

List of Schools Doing Large-Scale MAP Testing this Fall

There are 41 schools that have opted to do school-wide MAP testing this fall.  (All schools have to test new-to-the district students in the fall but obviously, that's a much smaller number.)  That's a fair number of schools and somewhat surprising.

I'd love to know each school's reasoning (and would it be the same school to school).  If you see your school on this list, ask your principal and let us know.

There are six high schools: Sealth, Cleveland, Franklin, Interagency, Rainier Beach and West Seattle.  

There are four K-8s:
Blaine, Madrona, Orca and South Shore.

There are three middle schools;
Denny, Mercer and Whitman.

There are 28 elementaries:
Alki, Arbor Heights, Dearborn Park, Dunlap, Emerson, Gatewood, Hawthorne, Hay, Highland Park, Kimball, Lafayette, Laurelhurst, Lawton, Loyal Heights, Maple Elementary, MLK, Jr., McGilvra, Montlake, Olympic Hills, Olympic View, Queen Anne, Sandpoint, Stevens, Van Asselt, Viewlands and Wing Luke.

The variance in elementaries is to be noted as compared, say, to the high schools participating.  That Viewlands is doing it (as a newly opened school) but not Rainier View is interesting.

69 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are at Queen Anne Elementary. I am so impressed with the principal and staff and the very thoughtful way they approach things. They are not afraid to rock the boat, they think hard about what works and what does not, they are energetic and committed to a person. If they think the MAP is useful to their efforts, I believe it is.

QAE parent

po3 said...

Thank you for this list, very helpful.

Dora Taylor said...

And how many weeks each school year is your school library closed so that your child can take a multiple choice test?

There is a huge imbalance between this test taking and providing the students with the opportunities to learn as well as the imbalance of developing a test-taking culture where the emphasis is placed on doing well on one of these tests and little more.

And they are damned expensive! Sue Peters and I figured out that so far the MAP has cost us $11M to buy and implement. Is that really the best use of our dollars?

As an aside, check out: Stand for Children, School Board Races, Washington State PTA and Charter Schools

Anonymous said...

hmmm...where did you get your info? i didn't think mcgilvra was doing all-school fall testing, but perhaps i'm mistaken. they do have a ton of new kids this year, so perhaps it ended up being easier to just do everyone as opposed to third/half of the kids.
fyi -- map testing doesn't affect the library at all at mcgilvra.
mcgilvra mom

Anonymous said...

according to my son at view ridge, kindergarteners are taking it (mom, we had extra recess again today b/c the kindergarteners were hogging the computer room). higher grades are not.

-Diane

Wildcat said...

Last year, Whitmman's principal used MAP testing to identify areas of weakness. He felt it was an opportunity to address instructional weakness.

Melissa Westbrook said...

McGilvra, I got this list straight from the district. If you know something different from your principal, please let us know.

RosieReader said...

Ummm Dora? Isn't principal-autonomy something you typically approve of?

anonymous said...

Again, this seems like a step in the right direction for Dr. Enfield and the new administration. Under MGJ MAP testing was mandatory at every school, and was administered two to three times a year! Now it is at the discretion of each schools admin/principal/BLT. Isn't this a step in the right direction?

momster

Josh Hayes said...

That's interesting, Diane (that View Ridge kindergarteners are the only ones taking it) -- at Pinehurst we deliberately opted out of taking it in large part because a lot of kindergarteners don't know how to use a mouse/computer combination. Why on earth make them take a test on technology they can't yet use?

This is perhaps less of a problem in the View Ridge area, but I don't want to make unwarranted assumptions about family incomes and available-in-home technology. At any rate, our decision to opt out at Pinehurst wasn't just the reflexive "no testing" AS1 mentality, but a considered, cogent "no testing" decision. :-)

Erin said...

Bagley is not doing all school testing in this fall. However, we received a note last week that because our son did not have a Spring test he will be tested during the fall session with Kindergartners and new students. We had withdrawn him from the Spring test intentionally.

Be aware that they will attempt to test all students who do not have Spring numbers, so get your opt out letter in for Fall even if your school isn't scheduled to do an all school test.

Anonymous said...

How is it that MLK is on this list? Hasn't the school been closed since 2007?

-- Rita

emeraldkity said...

Rita, Brighton school was renamed MLK - last year I think.

cascade said...

Josh, Not to mention that there is little assurance from the testing company itself that in the K-2 grades the MAP data is valid. I believe there were previous threads where it was pointed out that our District is being used as a Test Case by the test company to see whether they can sell the test into earlier grades elsewhere. Maybe a different reader of the blog can provide details around this concern.

[WV suggests the fraternity 'PhiPsi' is a fan of MAP.]

seattle citizen said...

momster,
You write that "Under MGJ MAP testing was mandatory at every school, and was administered two to three times a year!"
It is still mandatory at every school, at least twice a year. The third administration (fall) is what is optional.

You go on: "Now it is at the discretion of each schools admin/principal/BLT."

Only the fall test is under the discretion...of somebody...It's unclear how makes the decision at each school: Staff, through vote or consensus; BLT (which could be a mere rubber stamp of principal, or a stronger group of staff, parent, student, or some other iteration); or Principal fiat, either through independent decision making or through pressure from on-high (Ed Director or Super.)

Lastly, you ask if "Isn't [optional MAP testing] a step in the right direction?"

It depends on who you ask. If the purpose of MAP is to inform instruction, then those that think it should be done might not be happy. If the purpose is to target interventions for low-level students and to guide placement for higher-level students, then people who think it is good for THAT might not be happy. If it is to evaluate educators, then, well, I guess those that think it should be used for THAT won't be happy.

It is disconcerting to see part of what was a district-wide initiative be suddenly made optional. One wonders why, if it is such a great tool and so important (apparently) that we spend $11,000,000 on it that it is so flexible. Is it a system or isn't it? Is it an experiment? Is someone playing with data at students' expense?

WV is a woman named Deborah and she produces music: debrap!

Charlie Mas said...

I think it is interesting to note which schools are NOT on the list. I thought that there would be a high correlation between Level 1 and Level 2 schools and MAP participation. At the high school level that appears to be the case. No school north of I-90 is doing it.

Among the middle schools, however, I notice that Aki Kurose is NOT on the list.

Looking for southend elementaries on the list we see four of the six schools in the Aki Kurose service area doing the full MAP: Dunlap, Emerson, Wing Luke (a Level 3 school), and MLK, but not Rainier View or Graham Hill (a Level 2 school).

From the Mercer service area, we find 4 of the five: Dearborn Park, Kimball (Level 3), Hawthorne, Van Asselt, and Maple (Level 3)- but not Beacon Hill (Level 3).

I wonder if it the decision was driven more by a percieved need or value in the MAP or more by the structural resouces of the school - do they have a dedicated computer lab, do they have computer-lab-on-a-cart, will it occupy the library, etc.

Either way, the decision does not appear to be driven by the school's place on the district's segmentation.

Jan said...

I think the "informing instruction" element was a red herring all along. While some parents on this blog have commented that it has been useful information to have in evaluating their kids, I don't recall any post, or any other information from the District, that indicates that it is used to "inform instruction" on any sort of real time basis for entire classrooms of kids. Instead, I think it is used for three things:

1. To evaluate teachers (which means that it has to be administered at least 2 times per year, I think -- or at least once -- to each student); and
2. To prepare the "school reports" that evaluate each school against every other school (MSP/HSPE/EOC exams are used in the same way for this, as well as for No. 1 above).
3. To qualify children for gifted ed possibilities and/or sort them into groups for things like walk to math. From what I have read here, it sounds to me like the test is invalid as a gateway test for gifted ed programs -- though if all they do is use it to INCREASE a pool that they then test with more proven measures, that is less objectionable. And I suspect that it may also be weak (and maybe inappropriate) for sorting into ability groups for math and reading. I would think that more spontaneous, shorter analyses of skill levels would be better than three-times a year testing -- or at least shorter, more frequent "progress checks" are what I have seen work best in situations where kids are loosely ability-grouped in scenarios where the groups are expected to change (i.e. -- NOT APP type stuff).

I think that the more we can make it optional, the better -- because then we can begin conversations with schools that use it, and schools that don't, about why they are willing to make the time/space tradeoff, what they hope to gain from their decision, -- and hopefully, after the fact, an analysis of whether their choice yielded the benefits they had hoped for. To me, this makes the whole thing FAR more interesting, and potentially useful, than heavy-handed, top-down edicts from on high that all schools will use it in X way, for X grades, X times per year.

I also think that Downtown ought to set up a big "downtown" testing center -- and as schools elect either NOT to use the test, or to test only selected kids, we ought to return school space to our squeezed schools, and send the few kids to be tested downtown to take the test. Fewer computers needed. Less loss of library/cafeteria/stage/whatever space. In fact -- I think that weekend testing ought to be an option -- for families who want it. It is simply not necessary to disrupt schools to the degree we have been.
There were many problems with the WASL. And ultimately, it was replaced -- but it took several years of conversations about what its flaws were, and how we could accomplish the same (or better) results less expensively. I think the same will occur with the MAP -- but only if schools and families are allowed to evaluate it honestly, rather than having the only analysis be the flawed, self-serving stuff that serves as analysis by District Staff.

anonymous said...

SC says "Lastly, you ask if "Isn't [optional MAP testing] a step in the right direction?"

Yes, I ask that, because I believe that autonomy is a step in the right direction. I believe it is in the best interest of the community, who best know their school, students, demographics, community, and needs, to decide for themselves what is in their best interest.

In my opinion shifting some autonomy to schools is progress. Would you prefer the 100% mandates of MGJ? Or can you concede that this IS PROGRESS. Not the be all, end all, for sure, but a step in the right direction.

momster

seattle citizen said...

The fact that about 3/4s of the schools opting for fall MAP are south or central strikes me.

As with TFA, are south schools, perceived to be "in trouble" (even tho', of course, it is only some students in some schools that are "in trouble"), the ones that get the more standardized, more packaged, more "reformy" schools?

Will Seattle end up, in five years, with some schools south of the Ship Canal structured as "reform schools" (hmmm....) while none to the north will be structured thusly?

Will south end schools get less deep, less innovative, less critical thinking, while north schools are free to NOT MAP, NOT TFA...

seattle citizen said...

momster,

I, too, value the ability of schools to determine their own course(s) to SOME degree (and when such course is determined by an informed community, not by a principal with an agenda or mandate from above, and when the course is arrived at by consensus, rather than my majority rule)

BUT: MAP was sold to the district (by the previous superintendent, who was on their board, alas) as a district-wide system, that would enable tracking of students and educators. That it is now partially dismantled makes me wonder about the entire system: If schools can pick and choose, can they (or will they) pick and choose to opt out of MAP completely?

Is MAP necessary for each school, if it is, why, and if it's not, why not?

Is it a district-wide system? If so, why the variance?

I do like some diversity in schools, but "let the community choose" sounds suspiciously like "let those who are actively trying to change that school choose," which of course could open the door to such things as parent triggers and other "democratic" takeovers of public schools that belong to every citizen in the city...

There is a district for a reason; there is a board for a reason; to let communities choose just any ol' thing is not something covered under board policy, and not something I would personally advocate for.

In the South, for centuries, "the community" chose to support slavery. Hmmm....

anonymous said...

Sc says "Will south end schools get less deep, less innovative, less critical thinking, while north schools are free to NOT MAP, NOT TFA..."

I understand your concern SC, but you can't have it both ways. Either you want autonomy and are willing to shift control over to individual schools, or your aren't. If you aren't then you allow the folks at the John Stanford Center to decide what is best. Pick your poison.

I choose autonomy even though I acknowledge it is NOT, and will NOT be perfect.

Personally, I believe if a school is performing satisfactorily (via year to year progress) that they should be granted a fair amount of autonomy. And those schools that are not making year to year progress should receive more oversight, and a loss of at least some autonomy.

momster

seattle citizen said...

This is the rub of our disagreement, momster: You seem to believe that SCHOOLS do well (or not), but I believe STUDENTS (and staff....and parent/guardians...et al...) do "well" or "not"

All schools, all students, all staff fall under district policy. Why should a struggling student in a school that might, as a whole, be percieved as "doing well" have to get curriculum, instruction, building policies etc that are supposed to benefit the "good" school, while a student who is doing well at a "bad" school have to suffer through increased oversight, more district-mandated stuff, etc?

The district should be managed to assist individual students. It's about the kids, right?

Yes, ALL schools should have some automony to choose their "way," EVERY school, not just the "good" school. There are high-level, low-level students in every school, and they should each have their needs met, not by judging the whole school as this or that, but by looking at individual students.

I mean, the argument about TFA pertains: Will ANY school north of the Ship Canal CHOOSE TFA? Probably not (tho' now that it's been brought up, we might see a principal up north "encourage" to "choose" TFA, for appearances' sake) WHY would we staff schools south of the Ship Canal with uncertified people?

Are you suggesting that if a school...somewhere...wanted to staff a building entirely with TFA, that we should let them do that?

What are district policies FOR, then? Are they a hammer on "bad" schools, hammering struggling students and excelling students alike? Or are they flexible enough to allow some deviation yet maintain the democratically elected board's policies throughout while meeting the needs of individuals?

"Schools don't fail; people do."

Syd said...

Ding,ding,ding! Charlie wins the prize. Graham Hill lost the computer lab to a new 5th grade class. I have no idea how they are going to complete Winter and Spring MAP testing.

seattle citizen said...

@Syd,
Don't they have some macadam still available out by the portables?

Tester said...

I am happy to be at one of the schools who tested, especially since they're now tying our evaluations to student growth, using test data. Not that I approve of using test scores that way.

tester said...

And my school uses the tests for identifying areas where students need to focus. (Hawthorne)

Chris S. said...

Great, principals have autonomy to work with their staffs on how best to game the eval. system. I bet that's a consideration in some cases, anyway.

Anonymous said...

What about students who "opt out" of MAP testing. How does that effect teacher evaluations?

Curious

Diana Sesarin said...

41 schools that is a lot. But is a good info.

RosieReader said...

Seattle Citizen @ 5:40 pm -- oh. So now I understand it. Autonomy is only good if the decision reached is one you agree with. Otherwise, you'll tie yourself up in knots trying to explain why the decision is a bad one, and why a top down approach (but only in the direction you want it) is the right call.

NLM said...

I hope these schools will use the MAP to not only ID and support struggling students but also those who could benefit from ALO-type enrichment. There are three new families on my block alone whose kids are essentially locked out of AL programs because they're new.

none1111 said...

There are three new families on my block alone whose kids are essentially locked out of AL programs because they're new.

This is very interesting. Are they transplants from other cities, or are they families that moved from elsewhere in Seattle or near Seattle? And are you in an area with "desirable schools"?

Anecdotally we always hear about people moving within the city to get into better schools, but I'm curious if the NSAP has accelerated this process.

Anonymous said...

Blogger ate another post. Mel/Charlie?

another mcgilvra parent said...

McGilvra is not doing fall testing. I heard this from my child and my child's teacher.

seattle citizen said...

RosieReader, maybe I wasn't clear (and I don't see where I'm saying "Autonomy is only good if the decision reached is one [I] agree with.")

My problem (that maybe I wasn't clear enough about) is that MAP was rolled out with much hoopla as being a district-wide system, the fall test requirement was eliminated, but many schools (particularly south-end schools) are continuing fall MAP. THIS strikes me as odd, that a system that is supposed to be so important that we spend 11 million on it is evidently malleable at will regarding one part of it.

My concern (detailed in later posts than my 5:40...I don't see where you found what you accuse me of in the 5:40...) is that some schools (in the south, particularly), under the guise of "autonomy," will be reformed into TFA/MAP track schools.

I wouldn't think this is autonomous at all, in fact it is quite the opposite; it joins that school to a MORE standardized model.

You seem to think I believe choices shouldn't be made except where they favor what I like. Perhaps you get this because I've been in favor of alternative schools. Those schools are, in my mind, truly alternative, each designing various aspects (but under board policy) that are unique; each seem to have (to some degree) a vibrant community around them that supports that uniqueness (and the community appears to be complex: parent/guardians, other alt supporters, district, building staff...)

It appears to me that when talk about "parent choice" they are saying "parents will be choosing to standardize," which to me seems an oxymoron (and when the "choices" are TFA and MAP, I suspect, and perhaps I'm wrong, the push of district staff directing these because these are district initiatives...tho' apparently only for south schools...and thereby don't appear to be choices made by individual school communities.

Hope that helps clarify my position, Rosie. I think that it was a vibrant discussion going on between momster and I. If I got overbearing and convoluted, I apologize but I think your snide, "what SC wants is what he wants" sort of comment wasn't that helpful. If you think my argument is weak, argue back. Unless is seems more profitable to you to attack the speaker in order to discredit her or him, rather than actually argue...

Jan said...

RosieReader and Seattle Citizen: I tried to post yesterday -- and the post disappeared (I always assume this means the blog monster thought it too long and boring, and declined to inflict it on everyone -- but I see another reference to eaten posts, so maybe it is more benign than I feared).

As much as I loved taking standardized tests as a kid (yup -- loved 'em, because I was naturally pretty good at them -- and they didn't reveal my real educational weaknesses (procrastination, bad planning, tendency toward laziness), I am not a MAP fan -- too expensive, too time consuming, too space-consuming, used for things that are not valid, NOT used (as far as I know) for the things it was stated to be used for (periodic assessments to "inform" teaching strategy, pacing, content, etc) and brought in under a thick miasma of deceit, conflict of interest, top-down heavy handedness by MGJ.

But -- here we are!! And the staff that promoted it and the Board that voted for it (at least those up for re-election this fall) are not about to expose how bad the whole thing was by dumping it now. In light of that -- I welcome the fact that some schools are "choosing" to use it -- and others, not. I think it gives us a great opportunity to ask schools who do, and don't use it -- what their thinking is, and then follow through. In schools declining it, are 'scores' going up as much? More? Less? How do families feel about getting fewer or more MAP scores? Are the referral rates for APP/ALOs higher or lower in schools that use MAP more or less?

This may be a way to "slowly" ease MAP testing out altogether, if the schools that don't elect to use it can come up with better, less expensive, less time and space consuming ways of evaluating kids. Ultimately, I would like to see MAP testing be something that come out of school budgets -- so schools that have the creativity and resourcefulness to come up with a less expensive alternative are rewarded for it. We are light years from that now -- but maybe this is a start.

I do agree with Seattle Citizen, though -- that the idea that you "punish" all the kids -- including those doing well -- at "bad" schools by imposing heavy handed top-down administration -- and let all the kids at "good" schools have all the creativity and local, site based management is reprehensible. It is so scummy, I hardly know where to start.

Jan said...

Reading my last post -- I wanted to make clear, it is the District -- and not any commenter here -- who I think it responsible for the "scumminess" to which I refer. This whole "punish the school" idea came with MGJ -- though I think the jury is out on whether Dr. E will see her way clear to jettisoning it in favor of a return to reasonable school management.

seattle citizen said...

Jan, I want to be clear that I am not particularly a fan of MAP (or least in its current usage here in Seattle) except where it might, MIGHT, point to trends to identify, over time, student struggles or student need for higher levels.
On a basic level, I'm not sure of its accuracy: Students aren't ALL avid test takers, eagerly searching for the right answer, always giving their top performance...There seems to be too much variability in the test. So even as a predictor (given trending "levels" I'm not sure that without trained and attentive triangulation to other data (hopefully, qualitative data, the "humanistic" data as opposed to the "technocratic" data mentioned by Mr. Whelan somewhere recently on this blog)

So I'm not a fan of MAP It's expensive, it's simplistic, its unreliable, it's (now) not even presented the same way across the district, and for a district mandate that seems...sketchy.

But I do agree that it would be hard to dump it all of a sudden; that would require a massive acceptance of error on the part of those who bought this contraption from the previous superintendent.

I also believe, as one might be able to figure out, that the trend in "reform" seems to be to give "reform schools" a bunch of standardized narrow stuff, as opposed to the broader range of freedom that "good" schools have. That there are all sorts of students in every school means that successful students in "bad" schools suffer and unsuccessful students in "good" schools suffer (if resources that supposedly support students are focused only into the "bad" schools.

Better to spend the eleven million on about 100 case managers who actually look for and help students. Money much, much better spent.

WV sent its obsolete and broken off-road-vehicle to the quadomp

Syd said...

@seattle citizen - There are no portables at Graham Hill anymore. Those were removed years ago.

seattle citizen said...

That's good to know, Syd, so we don't have to MAP test...on the macadam...outside the portables...
(It was a lame joke, sorry!)

anonymous said...

"I do agree with Seattle Citizen, though -- that the idea that you "punish" all the kids -- including those doing well -- at "bad" schools by imposing heavy handed top-down administration -- and let all the kids at "good" schools have all the creativity and local, site based management is reprehensible."

Well I guess we all have different ideas of what we think is reprehensible. If a school continues to stumble, and their students are not makimg progress from year to year, I think it is reprehensible to allow it to continue without any intervention or oversight (I guess what Jan would call heavy handed top down administration).

I believe that no matter the demographic, most kids can make yearly progress. Many of our schools serving low income students make tremendous progress (think Maple, Olympic Hills, Beacon Hill, AS1, Jane Addams). It can be done, and I personally, expect it to be done. And if it is not happening I think we OWE it to the children at those schools to intervene.

Maybe the school needs new leadership, maybe staff needs coaching on how to meet curricular requirements, maybe they need to week out some bad teachers, summon more parent involvement, start a BLT or PTSA?

No intervention is reprehensible IMHO.

momster

seattle citizen said...

momster, STUDENTS make progress, not schools. If students are struggling give them support, but don't modify the whole school, that messes up the education of those who finding success.

No one is saying "no intervention," but I personally don't think MAP tests and TFA are the way to go.

"Maybe the school needs new leadership, maybe staff needs coaching on how to meet curricular requirements, maybe they need to week out some bad teachers, summon more parent involvement, start a BLT or PTSA?"

Some of these might help individual students, some not. What if the staff is already doing a fine job but some students are still struggling? Do you think there are more "bad teachers" at schools that have more struggling students? It's the teachers' fault? Or are there "bad teachers" everywhere, and students still find success at some other schools? I'm not following...

seattle citizen said...

"I think it is reprehensible to allow it to continue without any intervention or oversight"

But let's not disrespect the many educators in EVERY building whole use interventions every day, try new curricula (their own or the districts), rely on the diminishing pool of counselors and other non-classroom supports (hey, here's an idea, restaff those lost positions!) and do everything possible to get individual students the supports they need.

I'd bet if the OUTSIDE support system was strenghtened, if poverty was mitigated, if tutoring were paid for, if case management were funded...well, THAT, in my opinion, would be very, very successful.

But "no inteventions" being done now? Tell that to the teachers calling home, talking to/tutoring students after school, providing volunteer hours in clubs and other activites, buying a kid lunch, paying for classroom supplies that will help their individual students...No interventions? There are plenty. Let's support the teachers doing that work amidst the diminishing support of those outside the classroom: diminishing non-classroom staff; diminishing funds for FTE in classrooms (meaning larger classes); diminishing respect for educators are people blame them for students who struggle...

If you want to support those already doing intervention, support educators in buildings. They're doing the heavy lifting and getting maligned for it.

Linh-Co said...

The 5th grade winter MAP math score was used for advanced math placement. The cut score was 230. Anna- Maria dela Fuente did not share this information when I asked. This is what the Whitman staff told us at Math Info night.

Whitman also uses the spring MAP score in order for students to maintain their eligibility in advance math. Students need to score in the 92nd percentile or better, an arbitrary number.

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

"But let's not disrespect the many educators in EVERY building whole use interventions every day, try new curricula (their own or the districts), rely on the diminishing pool of counselors and other non-classroom supports (hey, here's an idea, restaff those lost positions!) and do everything possible to get individual students the supports they need."

You make these sweeping statements as if this describes every single teacher in SPS. Well it doesn't. It doesn't describe the drug and alcohol counselor at RBHS that was fired for selling drugs during school hours. Nor does it describe the coach at Garfield that cheated the system to get star athletes to play (and fake them passing their classes). It doesn't describe the SPS teachers that have been fired for sexual assault of a minor. It doesn't describe the principal and teachers at Madrona that didn't welcome middle class white families into their school, and it doesn't describe the McGilvra principal who was finally exited for complete incompetence. I know there are a lot of good teachers and administrators out there. But there are bad teachers too. And we owe it to children to weed them out. If a school, like RBHS, limps along from year after year, under enrolled, and low performing, something needs to be done to turn it around. I believe that ALL kids can learn, and progress. And I believe that if they aren't then there is something wrong and it needs to be corrected.

momster

anonymous said...

And I'm not sure why you keep bringing TFA into this??? I've not said a single word about TFA. You are knee jerking again.

momster

NLM said...

Ling-co...very helpful info, thanks. I asked school staff what they were using for math placement since the school now has clusters and only got district ID for AL as an answer. If that, then why administer fall MAP? I am hoping the groupings math will prove more flexible since it's MAP, and not AL designation, that determines MS math placement.

None111... the new folks in my area are from out of state. All summer moves to an area with "desirable" schools.

anonymous said...

Seattle Citizen what do you make of this comment that Melissa made in the enrollment thread above??

"It seems to me, after a long period of time, that Madrona is slowly going the way of African-American Academy. Its model does not seem to be working well for the students there nor attracting neighborhood students. I wonder how long it will take the district to transform that school."

DM

Jan said...

Momster: Did I say TFA? I hope not. If I did, you are correct. It was a knee jerk reaction and I apologize.

I think I agree with you at least in part -- I don't think the status quo is acceptable. But what I disagree with (and maybe I need to drop it -- since it was MGJ who implemented it -- I need to keep repeating, she's gone . . . she's gone. . .she's gone . . . ) is the idea that there are "good schools" that get autonomy as a reward for good test scores -- and "bad schools" that are punished (the District would say "assisted" but the teachers and kids would know better) by lots more supervision, control over curriculum, coaches, pacing guides, etc.

Your example of GHS is a good one. The school is full of lots of kids -- many of whom have 4.0 grade points, 750+ SAT scores, they swim, they play jazz, they are the soloists in orchestra concertos, they volunteer, they act -- they do all the other stuff that "good students" in all our high schools are doing. There allegedly are some teacher/coaches who operated outside district rules. Actually -- there is WORSE stuff (at least in my opinion it is worse). If you look at their EOC math scores for last spring, GHS is average in its scores for low income and/or minority kids. And since NONE of the scores are great -- average is NOT ok. At least under MGJ, "bad schools" were to get a whole host of top down "punishments" -- no ability to vary from District selected courses or materials, coaches, pacing, etc. I do not, for a minute, think that the entire school should be labelled as a "bad school" and put into some sort of District disciplinary program.

I DO think that the District needs to deal with the coaching situation -- at least in football. But they did, last year. My understanding is both the football coach AND the athletic director at the school were fired. New problems this year -- so maybe they need to fire this bunch too? From the ST, it sounds like the football coach thinks his suspension is permanent -- which is the equivalent of being fired, I think. It would appear they are on top of it -- unless you think it needs to go higher, which would mean either Mr. Howard, or the High School Director (sorry, her name eludes me) -- or Dr. E. herself. Personally, if I were the Ed Director, I would have Mr. Howard and the math department on a 2 year pip right now for improving math EOC results for the FRL/minority kids. If Franklin can get 50%, why is GHS at about 29%. But in no way should that impact, or negatively affect, the good work being done by all the other creative, invested teachers with other kids.

I am not saying "do nothing." I don't see that GHS (at least in the instance of the coaching issues) IS doing nothing. I AM saying that threatening to punish entire schools (including all the good students, and teachers doing good work) in them in order to try to fix the problems that other kids are having is, in my opinion, a reprehensible thing to do. Similarly, allowing other struggling students to go unnoticed, and unhelped, just because they are a minority lost in a school that is otherwise performing well -- is also reprehensible. The District does not need to "fix schools." It needs to teach kids.

seattle citizen said...

momster,
When a "bad" teacher is identified by admin, that teacher should be made better or exited. As it is supposed to be already (don't know any other way to deal with THAT issue...MAP scores might provide a clue as to "badness" but surely there are better ways...)

I bring up TFA because it is only targeted at south end schools, which raises the question of why a school that has more than its share of struggling students gets a less-qualified teacher. Similarly, with MAP, if it trends towards the south end schools it gives the appearance that south end schools need more standardization (through MAP.) I just don't want to see south end schools become standardized widget factories. That, in my opinion, is not an improvement for either struggling students OR those that are finding success.

My point about individual attention (what I'd like to see) is that if TFA and MAP (and other reformy whole-school changes) are targeted south, then what happens to the struggling students north?

DM, I don't know enough about Madrona's history to really comment with any astute response, but I think you're asking me if I feel that it is a good idea for the district to transform the school?

I think it's a good idea for the district to grow the support system to support students in ANY school that are struggling. Madrona has "great" students and students who struggle; all should have their needs addressed. By a BLT comprised of citizens, staff, admin, even students; by some freedom to select curriculum; by a robust network of counselors/case/managers/tutoring volunteers, etc....Like any school.

ALL schools "should" (in my opinion) have systems in place to identify struggling students (struggling with lower levels, with personal problems, with having higher levels and needing THAT support....) and that would be a good place for the district to step in and help provide support for those students by managing a flexible support system that isn't staffed at a fix rate at each school but is district-funded and goes where it is needed...by students, not by "schools."

How to attract more people to Madrona? I'm not sure, given today's strange pattern of "options" and neighborhood assignments...

WV thinks it's uptulad, up to the students to some degree.

anonymous said...

"momster, STUDENTS make progress, not schools. If students are struggling give them support, but don't modify the whole school,"

If a majority of students are not making progress then you look at the school. Especially when other schools in the district that serve similar demographics are making progress and seeing success with their students.

NRS

Anonymous said...

"We are at Queen Anne Elementary. I am so impressed with the principal and staff and the very thoughtful way they approach things. They are not afraid to rock the boat, they think hard about what works and what does not, they are energetic and committed to a person. If they think the MAP is useful to their efforts, I believe it is."

QAE Parent - you are correct, there were a lot of very well thought out reasons why the Principal/staff there agreed to move forward with Fall MAP.

1. Nearly half of the students are kindergartners - MAP results would be just one small piece of the puzzle on helping to determine how to best support each child. Also, K students are deliberately given time and practice test to help them feel comfortable on the computer before they take the test.

2. QAE has a separate computer lab, for now, so no library time was lost due to testing.

3. In the upper grades, MAP is also just another tool to see how each student may be doing. Does MAP align with what the teacher believes the student knows? If MAP shows they may know more, can they challenge the student further? If MAP shows a lower score than expected, how can they help the student better demonstrate what they know?

4. In the three MAP testing sessions last year, there were no kids that had issues, so staff felt it was low risk to do this.

5. Finally, if one of the MAP test sessions was to be skipped, it was felt that the Winter would be better to skip (so only have Fall and Spring to show general student progress). Without the Winter skip option, staff decided to do all three.

To echo other commenters, the decision at QAE to test was all about supporting individual students, not about rating or assessing progress of the "school".

Signed - Another Parent at QAE

seattle citizen said...

NRS writes,
"If a majority of students are not making progress then you look at the school. Especially when other schools in the district that serve similar demographics are making progress and seeing success with their students."

Hmm,I agree that if some large number of students are struggling (maybe not even a majority)then the district might pay attention and...help the struggling students, identify educator practices that are successful and support those, identify educator practices that are not successful and remediate those...

But restructure the whole school? Based on "demographics"? Doesn't seem wise, students are a mixed bag, they aren't just the checkmarks on their registrations.

BUT: if a school, year after year, seems to be "lagging," generally, then maybe ther ARE problems in the system (not just the school) that need to be addressed. I would ask:
Why would a "school" be "struggling"? Is it that they have more than their fair share of teachers who are struggling? Is it curriculum? Is it management? Is it that they have a grater proportion of struggling students? That is my question:
What makes a "failing" school.

seattle citizen said...

Of course, we alse have to define "progress" and what that is, something rarely done, it seems, as the usual measures cited are mere MSP or MAP scores. Does anything else count?
Not to deflect - I get it: progress can be measured. But what IS it and what MAKES it?

Jan said...

QAE Parent and Another Parent at QAE: thanks so much for posting. It is very interesting to view MAP from the perspective of those who like it and find it useful.

NRS said: " If a majority of students are not making progress then you look at the school. Especially when other schools in the district that serve similar demographics are making progress and seeing success with their students."

Good point -- but the paradigm here is not to "look" at the school. It is to override what the teachers are doing -- with absolutely no assurance, as it happens, that the overriding will improve things (show me ONE instance where downtown interference in a school's teaching has moved the needle on scores). It presumes in each instance (a) that the problem is the teachers and (b) that the District override will improve things for all kids. It seems to me that in the situation you describe -- you look at EVERYTHING -- and then you figure out (of the variables you control -- which do not include family income, culture, ELL, etc) how to make changes that will change the results. For example, at GHS, as far as I can see, the ONLY real problem (vis a vis other Seattle high schools) is FRL/minority EOC math scores. The obvious, glaring point of comparison is Franklin (though even they need to improve more -- there is still a gap, and NONE of the percentages are acceptable). It should not be rocket science for Mr. Howard, or the Ed Director for the school, to require that the math departments get together and that Garfield figure out what Franklin is doing (and that they are not) -- and then, that they adapt. Theoretically, I suppose, one could discover that 60 percent of the FRL kids at Franklin do so well because they come from a middle school that has exceptionally good scores (this is all fiction, I think -- I don't believe that is the case) or that some benefactor has been financing Kumon or Sylvan tutoring in math at 3 of the local YMCA/Boys and Girls Clubs. Or (more likely), maybe Franklin has just figured out how to either use Discovery Math more effectively (or how to work around it with math materials that produce higher eoc scores. Or maybe Franklin has figured out how to get tutoring to more kids in math -- and GHS needs to make similar changes.

I just think that the entire thing needs to be approached on a much more critical, detailed basis than declaring that X school is a level 1, and Y school is a level 3. This just shouldn't be as hard, or as klunky, as the District makes it.

anonymous said...

Every student in a school can get poor or failing scores on standardized tests, but if the majority of those students made appropriate progress from the year before, even with failing test scores, then I'd think that school was doing it's job. In other words a school with a majority of struggling students, where many or most fail their standardized tests may be a great and successful school.

We have the ability and data to compare student progress broken down by demographics in this district. If school A has a majority of struggling students and they are not making adequate progress from year to year, and school B has similar demographics and they are, then I'd consider school A a candidate for intervention. Intervention could be as simple as providing the teachers with coaches, or replacing the leadership, it could be adding a program like IB to RBHS, or it could be a full blown transformation like Cleveland to STEM.

But to ignore the fact that some schools are not doing their job is just unconscionable.

momster

hschinske said...

if the majority of those students made appropriate progress from the year before, even with failing test scores, then I'd think that school was doing its job.

Believe it or not, that was originally supposed to be part of the point of using the MAP, because it can show progress along a continuous line, both within and between years. Value-added testing is actually a perfectly fine idea. Unfortunately, those in charge can mess up the best ideas around.

Helen Schinske

seattle citizen said...

momster, I like your list of possible interventions (and some of them have been used for years: "coaching" is done through the STAR mentoring program, a collaborative effort of SPS/SEA. Mentoring teachers is always a good idea, as is freeing up time in instructional leaders schedules (this could Principal, AP, Dept Head....somebody...to observe and critique in classrooms. This is actually an initiative in SPS now, and I think it's a good one: Informal "instructional walks" by admins and others who can offer praise and constructive criticism. Part of the problem with the use of these of late, however, is that so many people are so busy calling teachers "bad" (and you rarely hear about the "good," of course) and with a new evaluation system that will take into account unknown parameters, teachers might not be sure if admins are there to help them or ding them; the water around evaluation and constructive criticism has been muddied by relentless attacks on "teacher quality."
But yes, you list some good ideas. I don't see on the list, however, a support network for the students who struggle, I only see attention on the teachers....so it goes? I'm convinced that support for teachers who have struggling students is as valuable to the students as it is to the teachers.

Lastly, you write, still, about how "some schools are not doing their job."
And I'll repeat: How does a "school" not "do its job"? It's bricks. Unless you are suggesting some sort of culture (of staff, or of students, or both...or the community...) is malevolently contaminating students? In every building there is success or failure: To "restructure" the entire kit and kaboodle, to just stick a program in there, ignores the successes and failures of individuals in the building.

anonymous said...

"It should not be rocket science for Mr. Howard, or the Ed Director for the school, to require that the math departments get together and that Garfield figure out what Franklin is doing (and that they are not) -- and then, that they adapt."

Bingo Jan! That is a great example. But lets say that Mr Howard does not have his math team sit down with Franklin's math team? And doesn't take any other steps either? Then what? If you have a leader that is not willing to, or not motivated enough to, take the appropriate steps to improve his/her school, then what to do? That's where I say the district must intervene.

Next, Jan said " It is to override what the teachers are doing -- with absolutely no assurance, as it happens, that the overriding will improve things"

Fair enough Jan. How would we know if the district intervention would actually work? We don't. But what we do know is that if we do nothing, and turn a blind eye, then we are assured nothing will improve. Isn't this our thinking with the school board challengers? We don't really know what kind of job they will do? But what we do know is that if we don't vote them in and we keep the incumbents we are sure to get more of the same.

momster

anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle citizen said...

momster,
You write that "what we do know is that if we do nothing, and turn a blind eye, then we are assured nothing will improve."

Of course. No one is arguing for the "status quo." We hear this over and over: "People want to do nothing; they're for the status quo."

But there IS no status quo. People try new things every day, experiment with curricula, change bell times, start a NSAP...

Many of these are good, as far as I can tell freom a layman's perspective, and, in my opinion, many of them aren't good. The problem is that we aren't working at the individual level, seeing what works with teachers, what doesn't, what works with students, what doesn't...THAT is the valuable research. But to say, "we can't do nothing; we must enact dramatic change" (some of your suggested changes aren't dramatic, given, but do we even have the research on the efficacy of those? Or on what Franklin, say, is doing right and Garfield isn't? to suggest (as some do) that an entire school schould be restructured, the entire teaching core replaced or held to some crazy metric, to suggest, as some do, that MSP scores are the only useful data points to use to drive school-wide restructuring...well, that ignores all the changes people make, all the different things they try, all the "non-status-quo" stuff that goes on every day.

Who is doing nothing, who is not changing? Please tell me who those people are, and I'll go give 'em the what-for.

WV has been writing poetry in the loo again, WV has been writing hypoo...

Jan said...

momster: in my example, if Mr. Howard won't jump in and address the problem -- he needs to be reassigned. If he is doing his damnedest, and it is the Ed Director, she needs to either step it up, or be reassigned -- and so on, and so on -- up it goes.

As for your second point, I think me answer is the same as Seattle Citizen's (if I understood it). I have no problem at some point with the District coming in and saying -- this MUST change. Make a proposal -- and if we don't like it, we will implement ours.

But it ought to be a surgical strike -- at the problem, not the whole school. And if the District solution is imposed, there should be the same follow up and critique that the school-based solution would have gotten, had it prevailed. Pick a period of time, evaluate what you tried and what results you got -- and then make further changes if you are not getting reasonable results.

And I feel the same way about the School Board. This Board was blindsided by a great deal of ed reform nonsense when they got MGJ. I can totally understand it taking them some time to figure out what the real agenda was, and how far it was from what many parents and Seattle taxpayers wanted or understood they had signed up for. But at some point (about year 2, I think), they should have figured it out. They either didn't, couldn't, or agreed with it all. Many of us had hoped that possibly the Great Debacle" of Pottergated and the sacking of MGJ might have ushered in a new way of governance and oversight. If it had, I can think of at least 2 incumbents I would still be supporting. But it did not. Time for a change. I realize the four challengers do not come with guarantees. At a minimum, I think they "get" the level of District disfunction, and some of the staff shenanigans. Whether they will "grow" into their governance roles better than the four incumbents, I don't know -- but in my opinion, we are clearly at the point of consistent, continued failure with what we have.

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

I think we agree Jan! What you wrote above, is exactly what I've been saying throughout this entire thread. When something is broken, fix it. Surgically. The course of action depends on the situation. Remember what I wrote in an earlier post "Intervention could be as simple as providing the teachers with coaches, or replacing the leadership, it could be adding a program like IB to RBHS, or it could be a full blown transformation like Cleveland to STEM." What action needs to be taken depends on the issue, and circumstances.

Seattle C., I'm sorry I can't follow your posts. They ramble and are all over the place, and accuse me of things I never even came close to saying. So it's hard for me to respond to you.

momster

seattle citizen said...

Momster, I'm sorry you can't follow my posts. I do ramble sometimes. I don't think I accused you of anything. You wrote that "what we do know is that if we do nothing, and turn a blind eye, then we are assured nothing will improve."
I argued that people do things all the time, and that the "status quo" argument just doesn't hold water.

Yes, I ramble (particularly by not ending parentheticals, alas , but I thought I was pretty clear. I'm glad that we agree on some things, such as interventions where necessary, I just don't agree with the extreme of changing a whole school, a "full blown transformation like Cleveland to STEM", I prefer that we address the individuals who need support.

arvind kumar said...

the state government. Information on the administration of school education, policies, acts and rules, local bodies, and statistics.
Forum list

jayesh sharma said...

Thanks for the sharing so nice and so use full information ... Is these do follow forums are seo friendly.online payment system