Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tuesday Open Thread

 The Legislature did not finish its work last night; so it's onto another special session.

Upcoming stories;
- canceled/moved programs for next year
- charter schools update
- monetizing the blog

Look who won the Mega Millions lottery in Maryland - an elementary school teacher, a Special Ed teacher and an administrative worker.  One person works two full-time jobs and one has two other jobs.  Each won $35M.  When asked about leaving their school district jobs, all indicated they didn't want to leave their students.  

What's on your mind?


Sahila said...

“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” ~ Henry Adams.

So why dont we respect teachers and treat them so badly?

Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
dan dempsey said...

What is on my mind is the coming Superintendent selection and the likely talk about achievement gaps by the Board and the candidates.

The facts are these about the Gaps. The Board has repeatedly ignored committing to actions that would positively impact students often by 4-3 votes.

In the past Michael DeBell has stated that he thinks that principals need to be more accountable. When it came to TFA (continued 4-3) ... KSB trusts the principals.

Look at the Achievement Gaps in Math and the performance in High School Math since the 4-3 Discovering adoption. Its all down hill ... yet Principal John Boyd stood before the Board on adoption day and said all secondary principals were behind the adoption of Discovering.

I have little faith in the Board because they frequently ignore overwhelming data to make incredibly bad decisions (Discovering $1.2 million, New Tech Network $800,000 ..... and TFA). So I am not expecting much from the Superintendent selection. {{The Board has yet to do anything but vote for Education Reform Proposals at every opportunity.}}

The District is plainly faking it when it comes to the education of far too many students.

Try those Central Admin generated school report cards for 8th graders ready for high school math. The SPS says that the WA 2008 math standards are the curriculum.... OSPI says that the 8th grade MSP is the tool for measuring the WA State Standards.

In Spring 2010 for grade 8 "ready for high school math" = 80% (but MSP pass rate = 60.4%; with at level 1 =>21.5% and no score 1.1%)

Results for that cohort in high school Spring 2011:
Totals for entering 9th graders => 3074 took EoCs and 1096 (35.7%) failed to meet standard with 607 (19.7%) well below standard.

Clearly 80% of this cohort of students were not ready for high school math. The MSP was apparently a better predictor for the cohort than the highly optimistic SPS "READY Number".

Things will likely be no more accurate with the 2011 ready numbers. In Spring 2011 for grade 8 "ready for high school math" = 87% (MSP pass rate = 61.6%; with at level 1 20.4% and no score 1.1%)

In 2011 the District has raised the reported Ready number by 7% in one year while the MSP pass rate went up only 1.2%.

The Disconnect between ready and actual MSP scores varies greatly from school to school. Those ready rates are likely influenced by the course grades received by students. {{Think grade inflation as in Massive grade Inflation at some schools in math.}}

Mia Williams ran a process in which 3 TFA corps members were selected for Aki Kurose. At Aki in 2011 the MSP pass rate was 36.4% yet 77 percent were ready for high school math. {{Blaine k-8 => 77% ready for HS Math & MSP pass rate 77%}}

Keisha Scarlett ran a process that selected 1 TFA Corps member for South Shore k-8. At South Shore in 2011 the MSP pass rate was 37.7% yet 93% were ready for HS Math.

The SPS strategy to close the achievement gap?
There isn't one ... unless lying about achievement with phony grades is a strategy.

Rita Green has often mentioned the poor skill level of students entering RBHS and how RBHS was doing well with many students given the low academic level that many students enter RBHS.

Too many grades are fake. The discipline is inadequate. Yet KSB trusts the principals that TFA is what is needed. It appears more to me that singing the correct song for the Superintendent is needed to keep this flim-flam going.

The District adamantly refuses to do what is known to work, preferring to push practices and materials that do not work. All the while claiming to be concerned about the achievement gaps.

Now for selecting a Superintendent .... unfortunately the board always has at least 4 votes for Education Reform.

mirmac1 said...

From B. Rosenthal's twitter feed

Seattle School Board member Sherry Carr opines about leadership turnover, urges residents to be nice (Crosscut, of course)

mirmac1 said...

"As a member of the School Board, I pledge to select the person who best reflects what the community wants and needs. And we need you, our community, to help foster a healthy, productive environment in which the next superintendent can succeed. Only then can we work together to improve student achievement and close the achievement gap. Only then can we create a system that ensures every student receives the high quality education they deserve."

Sherry we need you and some of the others running our district to quit just doing what your friends and cronies want - to the detriment of improving student achievement, at the cost of our kids' high quality education. Our kids don't "deserve" a new elementary in SLU, or TFA newbies, or crappy textbooks.

If being nice means not calling out the corruption, undue influence, and prevarications that pervert our district's true mission, then I can't be nice. Sorry about that (not really).

Anonymous said...

Another article on the math debate, by statistician N. Stouffer:


My advice to parents… Work with your child to reinforce the traditional math algorithms that you learned.

...A bigger problem that affects all students is that it takes time for a child to ‘discover’ mathematics, so Connected Mathematics wastes a lot of classroom time ‘discovering,’ instead of directly teaching efficient methods for solving math problems. Compared to other middle school math books, Connected Mathematics actually covers less material.

If you talk to particular members of the Board, they will say the books don't matter, it's the teacher that matters, and they are always free to supplement.

The books do matter, and shouldn't they select books that maximize student learning and minimize the extra work on the teacher's part?

It's time to revisit the middle school math materials (7 years), so make your voices heard.

mathy mom

dan dempsey said...

Ms. Carr needs to wake up a smell the coffee. If she expects the populace to all sit back and watch while being rolled by the Ed Reform crowd .... she needs to have a reality check.

If Ms. Carr would make evidenced based decisions, I for one would be a lot "nicer". However Ms. Carr repeatedly ignores vast quantities of evidence to keep the ED REFORM TRAIN running. .... Look for more of same from her in the future.


Perhaps Ms. Carr would like to address her decision making, achievement gaps, k-12 math performance, social promotion, behavior at Aki Kurose, and the need for marginally trained TFA newbie teachers in high minority/ high poverty schools. She could begin by commenting on the numbers below.

Here are those MSP pass rates and the SPS Ready for HS Math percents and some demographic data.

MSP .. Ready . Reliability ... Low .......... Black
Math . For ....... Ratio ...........income....... Student
Pass .. HS ..... MSP divide ...percent ....... percent
Rate .. Math .. by Ready

77.0 ..::.. 77 :: 1.00 :: ..::.. 15.0 :: ..::.. 3.50% : Blaine K8
69.1 ..::.. 82 :: 0.84 :: ..::.. 52.8 :: ..::.. 27.00% : Washington
70.8 ..::.. 85 :: 0.83 :: ..::.. 27.5 :: ..::.. 8.20% : Hamilton
80.1 ..::.. 97 :: 0.83 :: ..::.. 22.1 :: ..::.. 7.10% : Eckstein
66.4 ..::.. 86 :: 0.77 :: ..::.. 29.4 :: ..::.. 8.20% : Whitman
66.8 ..::.. 92 :: 0.73 :: ..::.. 67.3 :: ..::.. 22.90% : Denny
60.7 ..::.. 87 :: 0.70 :: ..::.. 77.3 :: ..::.. 25.90% : Mercer
56.3 ..::.. 84 :: 0.67 :: ..::.. 40.0 :: ..::.. 15.00% : McClure
64.9 ..::.. 97 :: 0.67 :: ..::.. 44.7 :: ..::.. 14.90% : Madison
60.3 ..::.. 95 :: 0.63 :: ..::.. 12.8 :: ..::.. 3.60% : Salmon Bay K8
51.6 ..::.. 89 :: 0.58 :: ..::.. 29.8 :: ..::.. 18.10% : TOPS K8
36.4 ..::.. 77 :: 0.47 :: ..::.. 87.1 :: ..::.. 46.90% : Aki Kurose
42.5 ..::.. 93 :: 0.46 :: ..::.. 45.9 :: ..::.. 18.30% : Jane Adams k8
42.1 ..::.. 100 :0.42 :: ..::.. 43.9 :: ..::.. 7.90% : Pinehurst K8
37.7 ..::.. 93 :: 0.41 :: ..::.. 64.1 :: ..::.. 42.60% : So Shore K8
34.7 ..::.. 88 :: 0.39 :: ..::.. 38.6 :: ..::.. 10.60% : Pathfinder K8
34.8 ..::.. 98 :: 0.36 :: ..::.. 81.3 :: ..::.. 75.10% : Madrona K8
18.5 ..::.. 75 :: 0.25 :: ..::.. 36.1 :: ..::.. 23.60% : Orca K8
40.7 ..::.. ?? :: ???? : ..::.. 57.7 :: ..::.. 23.40% : Broadview-Th K8

Say WOW ... 8 of the 9 schools with the most inflated ratios are k8s. How about that Madrona with 98 percent ready for high school math and a 34.8% MSP pass rate? Its OK with 81% Low Income and a 75% Black student population no one should care. Right?

Little wonder the entire Board and Superintendent and Holly Ferguson ignored the legal requirement for a careful review of all options for closing achievment gaps before requesting conditional certificates for TFA corps members. A careful review would involve an investigative look into the Gaps and possible causes. .... WOW that would likely bring down this entire house of cards... much easier to just keep pushing the Nonsense and reject actually serving students.

Good enough for the WA Supreme Court to ignore the violation of students' rights under the WA State constitution article IX at least until 2018 ..... so good enough for the Board to completely ignore the causes of achievement gaps..... blather on Ms. Carr ... blather on .... and you in the public sphere: Ya'll be nice now .... ya hear.

Charlie Mas said...

Sherry Carr writes: "Our biggest challenge is reducing the turnover of leadership at Seattle Public Schools."

Wow. Then maybe she shouldn't have fired the superintendent last year. If she thought stability was important then maybe she should have offered a contract to Dr. Enfield instead of making her dangle for nine months. Maybe she should recognize her own hand in the creation of her problems.

As for the turnover in the next level of management down, once again, what was her role in feeding that? Did she ever speak to a superintendent about the turnover and the corrosive effect it had on the culture of the district or the way it cancelled progress? Why did we never see turnover reflected as a concern in any of the superintendent performance evaluations?

As for the turnover at the board level, I have to believe that if her colleagues Mr. Maier and Mr. Sundquist had done their jobs they would still be in those roles. Yet they failed in the duties, as she did. They did not fail because the work was beyond them; they failed because they actively and consciously chose not to do the work. So did she. The state audit of 2010 did wake her up a bit, but her response has been weak and slow.

Tell us, Ms Carr, why doesn't the board enforce policy? Tell us why YOU don't enforce policy? You, as an individual Board director, have the authority to enforce policy yet you don't do it. You have the duty to enforce policy yet you don't do it. Tell us, Ms Carr, why you give more weight to the views of the central staff - unsupported by data - than you give to the views of the community when they have all of the data to support their positions? Whom were you elected to represent? Why do the whispers of a few influential movers and shakers like Jon Bridge and Frank Greer carry more weight with you than the voices of a thousand students, families, and teachers?

Ms Carr writes about a hypothetical new team of middle managers and says "Through them, we can continue mending the relationship with our families, labor partners, and the public." Gee, Ms Carr, how about you start doing some of that work yourself right now? What efforts, if any, have you made to restore trust. I'm watching and paying attention and I don't see many. Your audit response - slow, late, and feeble as it may be - is your best effort. It is inadequate and you know it. You acknowledge that the trust is lost and has not been recovered.

So now she comes to beg for the trust even though she has not earned it. Now she comes and she ask the public to defer their advocacy. This can be easy. She just has to pay attention to what the people are saying - particularly when she disagrees - and she might actually see that advocacy for the positive and healthy influence it really is, instead of seeing it as negative and destructive.

Anonymous said...

Speaking to a group of business leaders recently...

And there's your problem, Sherry, right there! Wrong place to start.

Put the cart back behind the horse and meaningfully consult the impacted communities FIRST, THEN go speak to the business community about what your community wants and needs to succeed and hire a proper SI.

As I read Sherry's MBA style, top-down management inspired screed, I just have to shake my head in amazement as she advocates to re-enact the definition of insanity yet again: Do the same thing over and over, while expecting a different result.

Here we go again, folks. Same old, same old. Being nicer has nothing to do with it. Any competent person would expect the Seattle constituency to be upset, disgusted, and exhausted from fighting against our own Board for the past 4 years. What is so hard to understand about that?


Anonymous said...

How is "ready for HS math" defined or calculated? The K-8s look pretty bad when you break out the numbers as you do. How do you explain it when only 25% of those "ready for HS math" actually passed the MSP?

(Thanks for the data, Dan)

a reader

Anonymous said...

Different thread maybe, but I have been curious about the breakdown of APP enrolled students who qualify by SPS administered qualification via MAP+CogAt and those that qualify in on appeal - alternate test scores, etc.

Also if there is any information on % of students that test into APP and/or Spectrum but choose to stay at their neighborhood school.

-Hopefully Considering the Options

Juana said...

So there's talk about building a new school near downtown as well as plans to re-open schools and upgrading those. My mind keeps going back to the huge maintenance backlog that nobody seems to talk about anymore. Is there no longer any backlog? If there is, shouldn't that be addressed first?

Anonymous said...

Not exactly what you're asking for, but interesting statistics on AL/demographics/MAP (from the AL task force link):



SPS Parent said...

Bet Greer helped write Carr's piece. Wonder if there is an email string on it?

mirmac1 said...

No. Nobody spews the management speak like that but you-know-who.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hopefully, I'll try to work up some numbers but need to check my file.

Juana, no, that backlog has a small dent but we are treading water on it.

We might have been making more forward progress except that we keep reopening very old buildings that need a lot of work just to be opened.

But the backlog is a combination of basic maintenance and major maintenance and so it continues on. We can't really build our way out of it so keeping up with basic maintenance is the way to go. Problem is, we don't have the money or the staff.

So it's (almost) the never-ending problem. That the district finds the need to hire more administrative staff (apparently HR is needing more people to enact their new plan)rather than really get out ahead of this problem is troubling.

I hope the economy turns so that we can do good work on ALL fronts.

I can only urge that everyone write to Tim Burgess and the Mayor and the Board and tell them no.

suep. said...

Interestingly, Susan Enfield does not meet Carr's criteria for a superintendent:

(from Crosscut:)

(...)Our situation is urgent and we have no time for on-the-job training. We need an experienced superintendent, an educator and a leader with a track record of successes. Our district, the largest in the state, needs a leader committed to stay for five to 10 years — one looking for the capstone to a successful career.(...)

And yet, Carr said in a Jan. e-mail (courtesy of SPS Leaks) that she was ready to offer Enfield a three-year contract.

Hard to make sense of all these contradictory sentiments.

Anonymous said...

We still need a culture shift at JSCEE, and not the kind favored by Ed Reformers. We need the boring, competent, capable, accountable, serious, unglamorous, subtle but effective kind.

All this "Why are you people so angry(?)" denial and the entitled attitude of folks like Brewster, Greer, Bridge, & Co., is more toxic, in and of itself, than anything discussed on these blogs.

I'm aghast at Carr's lament, given that she and her fellow Board members caused so much of the churn in the district by rubber stamping a bully & tyrant's agenda for 3 years straight, causing multiple changes on a massive scale throughout the district with the school closures followed by the new NSAP.

And it was all supposed to work out great. But when it doesn't close the achievement gap and turn out peachy keen, the root cause somehow morphs into staff turnover?

Talk about denial and lack of accountability! Holy Cow! Sherry's nice & all, but the more I think about her mindset, the more I think she needs her batteries changed. She's doubling-down on worn out platitudes and just plain bad ideas.

With all the talent in the schools throughout this district, I'm waiting for the person who can come to Seattle, see the big picture, recognize the hugely overlooked value of parental resources, and embrace all the positive energy that flows through our schools, instead of letting their ego interfere because they need to establish their legacy so they can keep up with their colleagues & old classmates filling the ranks of the Ed Reform Industrial Complex. WSDWG

Someone said...

Nicely stated both Charlie & Wsdwg - I've read her piece 3 times now trying to see what's really going on here - I am at a loss - all that comes to mind is the dangers of wearing blinders - was trying to find a spiffy quote that gets at what I'm thinking - this one from David Suzuki is closest:
"We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.”

Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Josh Hayes said...

Dan, those data are interesting - can you tell us what year(s) they come from? Just last year? Or what?

Since I've been tutoring at one of those schools, I'd like to have a sense of the impact of my work.

As for the texts, I agree: they're horrible, and at the same time, quite diluted. I found last year that a group of about ten motivated kids was able to combine 8th and 9th grade math into a single year with relative ease - and in fact, taken as a body, it's a lot more coherent than the skipping around called for in the current 8th grade curriculum.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sahila, we have had this discussion off-line before and I suggest you check your e-mails.

Anonymous said...

The number of students being tested at K-8s is much smaller than at the comprehensive middle schools - there were only 28 at Pinehurst - so how do you go about comparing?

You have to ask why families choose K-8s over comprehensive middle schools, and why there are disproportionately fewer students passing the math MSP. Would the same students struggle more in a comprehensive middle school? You would think a smaller school would provide the opportunity for more intervention and support. Is that the case?

-curious about the data

dan dempsey said...

Dear Josh Hayes and A reader,

The individual school data is from 2011 MSP and the school report cards that covered the 2010-2011 school year (that is the most recent available).

I have no idea how Mark Teoh and the gang at REA come up with those "Ready for HS Math" numbers.

Also does Orca k8 take the MSP seriously?

Anonymous said...

One more thought -

One of the BEX options (now off the table?) was for mushroom K-8s. The data would make a strong case against more K-8s.

-curious about the data

Melissa Westbrook said...

Curious, Director Smith-Blum is pretty high on mushroom K-8s but only if the middle school level rose enough to allow more electives to make them more attractive.

To my mind, K-8s should be option schools. As many readers have pointed out, most are not full and haven't been. TOPS is the exception and I think that may be their focus and not just that they are a K-8. It would be interesting to find out what their middle school is like and how they maintain students.

Anonymous said...

Do K-8 (6-8)staffings emphasize generalists rather than specialists--like elementary classrooms?

In other words, are there more non-math majors teaching math than in the 6-8 middle schools? Same with science? Are humanities majors overrepresented in K-8s?

Do K-8 reading scores follow similar or different trends than the 6-8 schools?

Thanks for the as-always critical information, Dan Dempsey. I realize that your point is the incosistency between HS readiness stats and MSP scores but I'm curious about the causes for the low MSP math scores at K-8s, too.

--enough already

Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

The TOPS middle school in my opinion is fabulous. A group of very dedicated teachers who do a great job with most kids. You won't find a better science curriculum or teacher anywhere in the district. Unfortunately, Ballard is the only high school that recognizes that the TOPS kids are ready for sophomore science and lets them enroll in Biology if they don't want to be part of the Bio-Tech Academy. My two kids at Ballard (one ready to graduate) LOVE science because of their experience at TOPS.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Randi. The middle school at TOPS serves most children well. They do lose kids to APP each year as there is simply not enough staff to have different math classes at each grade level. Science is top notch - with a dedicated teacher who makes it fun. And it starts early - even in first grade, the students get two weeks of science with the middle school science teacher. He fosters a love of science from very early on.

current TOPS parent

Sahila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Salmon Bay almost always has a wait list for 6th grade. The NSAP caused a bit of a blip because the letters did not explain options to people, but it has not been usual to not have a waiting list there.
We have generally had waiting lists at all grades. And this coming year will be completing an expansion increasing capacity at SB-- I think our school will be like 680 or something.
--SB parent

Anonymous said...

You might want to do a thread on teacher bargaining rights and health care that is being voted on now by the state. It's not looking good.

- concerned teacher

Maureen said...

Dan, I thought we figured out that 'ready for High School math' means that the kid passed 8th grade math? Also, could you put the EOC algebra actual pass rates (ie, the percent of kids who are in the 8th grade who passed the exam--not the percent who took algebra who passed the exam). I think that could show interesting differences between K-8s and comprehensive middle schools. I know at TOPS every 8th grader takes algebra (school isn't big enough to offer multiple courses so a decision was made to aim high). Not every kid passes the EOC, but a much larger percent do than would if those same kids had been tracked the way they would have been at WMS or HIMS. It would also be interesting to see how the opt out rate differs between schools. Those zeroes can add up.

Anonymous said...

I thought perhaps the opt-outs/no scores were affecting the reported pass rates, but no, it's not the case. JA, Pinehurst, Salmon Bay, South Shore, Tops, Broadview - OSPI shows "0" no scores. For those schools that do have some "no scores," the percentage passing is only affected by a few points.

-looked it up

dan dempsey said...


I'll get to work on your task. The numbers I reported were strictly for the cohorts performance as high school 9th graders. I did not report on any Eoc taken in grade 8 (but I will get to work on that).

The 8th grade MSP covers a lot of different stuff than the Algebra EoC. It seems that in many cases similar groups of students score lower on the 8th grade MSP than the Algebra EoC.

For All 9th graders taking an EoC in Spring 2011 =>

Totals for entering 9th graders => 3074 took EoCs and 1096 (35.7%) failed to meet standard with 607 (19.7%) well below standard

Algebra EoC for all 9th graders => 1994 took it and 933 (46.8%) failed to meet standard with 549 (27.5%) well below standard

Geometry EoC for all 9th graders=> 1053 took it and 163 (15.5%) failed to meet standard with 58 (5.5%) well below standard

The Geometry EoC only tests about half the Geometry standards.

The Algebra EoC tests almost all the Algebra standards except for about 3 on quadratics.

Here is what happened on 8th grade MSP

Compare this with the 2010 8th grade MSP Math results:

3081 were enrolled and 2921 took it and 1156 (39.6%) failed to meet standard with 627 (21.5%) well below standard and 33 (1.1%) no scores

Here are the 2011 8th grade MSP Math results:

3103 were enrolled and 3007 took it and 1154 (38.4%) failed to meet standard with 612 (20.4%) well below standard and 34 (1.1%) no scores

Now I will see what kind of data I can find at individual middle and K8 schools for EoC results.

Josh Hayes said...

Thanks for the clarification, Dan.

I can tell you that at least some of the kids at Pinehurst last year blew off the MSP - even one in my class of accelerated students, who is now in ninth grade and sailing through honors geometry, couldn't be bothered to try on the MSP and "flunked" it. I have to wonder how much the MSP really tracks ability, when there's no consequence for the kids who take it - or maybe, for kids who don't have a grown-up to go to bat for them, there ARE consequences? Maybe in ordinary circumstances that kid would be stuck in a regular ol' algebra class that s/he'd already taken, because s/he'd chosen to blow off the MSP?

dan dempsey said...

I am only about a third of the way to completing Maureen's task.

But I found a really weird situation at Madrona K-8

A really bizarre decision (maybe Tacoma thinks that putting all 8th graders in Algebra is a good idea; I do not.)

In spring 2010 the 7th grade Madrona MSP math scores =>

Meeting Standard 32 61.5%
Level 4 (exceeds standard) 7 13.5%
Level 3 (met standard) 24 46.2%
Basic (met standard) 1 1.9%
Not Meeting Standard 20 38.5%
Level 2 (below standard) 8 15.4%
Level 1 (well below standard) 11 21.2%
No Score 1 1.9%

Meeting Standard excluding No Score 62.7%

Total Enrollment 55
So 7 students exceeded the 7th grade standard in 2010.... and for the next year in grade 8 we find that there were 46 students enrolled and 41 in algebra.

10 passed algebra EoC and 16 passed the grade 8 EoC. ..... notice that for this cohort in "grade 7" 62% passed the MSP then in grade 8 for that cohort 35.6% passed the MSP. Placing 89% of the cohort in Algebra generated an Algebra pass rate of 24%.

41 kids in Algebra
24 score well below standard
7 score below standard
8 meet standard
2 exceed standard

Same 41 kids are in the 46 kids that take the 8th grade MSP
Meeting Standard 16 34.8%
Level 4 (exceeds standard) 3 6.5%
Level 3 (met standard) 12 26.1%
Basic (met standard) 1 2.2%

Not Meeting Standard 30 65.2%
Level 2 (below standard) 12 26.1%
Level 1 (well below standard) 17 37.0%
No Score 1 2.2%

This school and the district should be sued for misfeasance and malpractice. .... but no one cares.

Madrona K8 demographics =>
Low Income students = 81%
Black students = 75%

mirmac1 said...

Interesting how Sara Morris and Tim Burgess feel they can call the shots...

SPS/City emails

Anonymous said...

Doesn't pushing students into algebra (when they aren't ready) have a double negative effect - 1st, they miss out on solidifying skills prior to taking algebra, and 2nd, they have to take a higher level of math to meet minimum graduation requirements, which is doubly hard because maybe they weren't ready for algebra to begin with.

Correlation is not causation...if studies show students that take algebra in 8th grade are more successful, it doesn't mean taking algebra in 8th grade will suddenly make students more successful.

Then there's Mercer:
98% passing algebra EOC (n=61)
61% passing 8th grade MSP (n=139)
71% passing 7th grade MSP (n=182)

...of course you're talking different math books.

dan dempsey said...

Ask Sara Morris and Tim about the complete failure to deliver an appropriate math program to most eighth graders at Madrona K8, yet proclaiming that 98% are ready for high school math.

But no one cares as politics is far more important than students lives or measuring actual results.

Kathy said...


Consider test fatigue. 8th graders are expected to take end of year MAP, MSP and EOC. Any wonder these kids blow offf exams?

Anonymous said...

From Frank Greer to DeBell:

"Michael, Wanted to share this note I sent to Kay…I understand from Jon Bridge that she is very upset about “you” going to the media…"

By now, it is clear that DeBell works for the money boys. What
needs more scrutiny is "Kay's" relationship with "Jon" and Co.

Why is she telling Jon, who is telling Frank, who is telling Michael that she is upset?

Betty Patu was upset with DeBell, too, but you didn't read about it in these emails--Betty Patu didn't have a private discussion about board policy making and colleagues with Jon Bridge or Frank Greer.

No, Patu was up front with it, as evidenced in this ST quote:

"We've never had any problems with micromanaging," member Betty Patu said. "Everything was fine until Michael decided to write his own policy from his own personal perspective ... He's upset that Susan's leaving. That's why he wrote this."

How much influence did Jon Bridge and Co. have on Kay Smith Blum's vote for TFA and the approval of the Creative Schools MOU (and against the Peaslee amendment for board oversight)?

--enough already

mirmac1 said...

you nailed it, enough already.

dan dempsey said...

Maureen here is the excel spreadsheet for the Middle School stats for EoCs that you wanted. You will need to download it.


This should run automatically by clicking the above link (I hope).

Let me know if this download works or not.

Only 3 schools put more than 50% of eighth graders into Algebra. Orca, TOPS, and Madrona each put about 90% of 8th graders into algebra.

8th grade Algebra Pass rates for those three schools were:
44% Orca
24% Madrona
73% TOPS
District=> 88.1%
State => 82.0%

8th grade MSP pass rates 2011 were:
19.2% Orca
35.6% Madrona
51.6% TOPS
District=> 62.3%
State => 51.0%

7th grade MSP rates from 2010 were:
33.3% Orca
62.7% Madrona
87.9% TOPS
District=> 65.2%
State => 55.9%

((MSP rates excluded students with No Score))

and the SPS School Report cards have 98% of Madrona 8th graders as ready for high school math.

Josh Hayes said...

Oh, Kathy, I wasn't blaming them. I just wonder how robust one's conclusions can be when drawn from suspect data (i.e. the "results" from these tests). Cheers!