Tuesday, November 12, 2013

State of the District Shuffle

The superintendent declared the State of the District to be fabulous, despite failing to meet 22 of 23 statistical goals for academics.

The District remains focused on closing the academic achievement gap, but still refuses to develop a plan to achieve the goal. The Superintendent claims some progress and attributes it to improved instructional quality resulting from the new teacher evaluation system.

21 comments:

Po3 said...

Improve systems district-wide to support academic outcomes and meet students' needs.

What does that mean:

Restore summer school offerings?
Restore staff?
Reduce class size?
Change start times?

What district-wide changes will be implemented?



mirmac1 said...

Po3,

Essentially undo whatever MGJ and Enfield undid.

KG said...

Re-instate the COLA. Get rid of most of the Central admin. monster.

dan dempsey said...

Hummm...

The Superintendent claims some progress and attributes it to improved instructional quality resulting from the new teacher evaluation system.

I will agree that there has been some improvement in academic results in certain areas.... perhaps the Superintendent would like to name these areas as the District report card didn't.

His attribution of improvement resulting from the new teacher evaluation system .... seems to be wishful thinking and without supporting data... Hey maybe the supposed improvement is due to global warming or whatever.

He lacks a valid causal link for such a claim.

So what is it about the new teacher evaluation system that would bring about progress in certain areas and not in others?

Mr. Banda's attribution sounds like unverifiable political BS to me.

empowered culture said...
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mirmac1 said...
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English teacher said...
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Anonymous said...

Like Banda doesn't have to talk the talk? We need to realize the balancing act Banda has before him. And as we know, we could do a hell of a lot worse! Been there, done that!

We have many Ed Reformers, including LEV and the Alliance wanting teachers' performance to be tied to test scores. Every session, they get new ALEC-modeled or ALEC-written legislation that pushes us further down that road, regardless of the research and problems associated with it. Pay attention to what's going on in Olympia under Turncoat Tom's leadership before you jump too far down Banda's throat.

The same king-makers and their pocket propagandists at the Times could readily turn on him at any moment, which I think he's well aware of. The SI job is not immune from politics; recognize it when you see it.

WSDWG

Anonymous said...
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David said...
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empowered culture said...
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mirmac1 said...

English teacher, I agree. If you haven't noticed my opinion on Africatiown differs from the writers on this blog. And all opinions posted should be respected on this blog.

As a harsh critic of Ed Reformies, I don't necessarily want my employer known. "What's my line" (for young folk, that is an old game show where you guessed a person's profession) is uncalled for and a threat.

At the same time, if someone were to respond to me by saying "you had better tread lightly" because of X, or something along those lines, I would perceive it as a threat.

This exchange is done and gone and hopefully won't happen again.

On the subject of this thread, I often wonder how the heck much we've spent on the academic datawarehouse/student growth/teacher evaluation metric in the last four years. I'm venturing an educated guess of $25M < Y < $30M. No kidding.

English Teacher said...
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petty said...

Please stay on point and do not discuss things from other threads or personel issues.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Back to the subject of this thread, I attended the State of the District speech (the one put on by the Alliance; the shorter version is today at 4 pm before the Work Session - "The presentation will be televised on Channel 26 and can be viewed online.")

There were lot of staff as well as a couple of City Council members, one legislator (Gerry Pollet), three Board members plus the two new ones (with Sue taking notes, that's the journalist in her).

I was amused to hear Sara Morris of the Alliance say that the Alliance is "the local ed fund for SPS." If only.

The Superintendent pointed out that last year was the final year for Goodloe-Johnson's Excellence for All strategic plan.

He did throw off a line early on that I caught "For those who follow the district, we'll explain why we didn't meet our targets." I missed that explanation later on but it may have been more nuanced.

He singled out West Seattle Elementary and MLK, Jr. Elementary for doing well and noted that both Garfield and Ingraham are now Level 5 schools.

He also mentioned the Legislature, funding and two things: lifting the levy lid and "ghosting." I don't know what ghosting is; anyone?

Common Core was mentioned several times but no mention of student data privacy. There was also mention of 21st Century Skills but not of what those are.

They also had Charles Wright and Kelly Aramaki speak along with SCPTSA president, Katherine Schomer. Katherine is a real asset to our SPS community and very frank speaker. She mentioned that the district is having tough conversations on various issues and quoted Bernardo Ruiz, that if we don't all take the words on any given sheet of paper given out by the district to heart (and to work), we might as well just be recycling paper. Meaning, we have to act on the words we speak in this district.

In singling out Ingraham, they handed out their school report. One really interesting thing - and I pointed this out to the Superintendent who hadn't noticed it himself - the majority of the students at Ingraham, 52%, are listed as "multiracial."

This is the first time I have seen this at a school (but there may be others). The next largest group is white (45%) but they have a lot of diversity. This is the face of America in one high school.

One other thing I noted from Ingraham's report (which contrasted Ingraham with the district HS average) was that in 2011-2012, 65% of 9th/10th graders were proficient on the state Algebra and Geometry tests (first time test takers) but in 2012-2013 only 50% passed. I wonder why the big drop.

Mary Griffin said...

The demographics at Ingraham are incorrect. It's more likely that multiracial is at about 5.2%. Last year, the percentage of students at Ingraham who identified as multiracial was 5.1%. The highest amount in the district is 13.4% at Sand Point elementary, and the average across the district is 6.6%. Overall, the district is definitely trending towards more students who identify as multiracial.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Is that right, Mary? Gee, I was all excited about this. I'll check.

Anonymous said...

When you're looking at EOC pass rates, you need to take into account that both Garfield and Ingraham are APP pathway schools. A significant number of students in those schools will have taken the Algebra and Geometry EOCs in middle school. Those scores are not factored into overall pass rates for their respective high schools. Looking ahead, if school populations are shifted district wide with the boundary redraws, comparing year to year school pass rates will be like comparing apples and oranges. You also need to look at the school pass rates in relation to state and district pass rates. The pass rate trends - up and down - tend to follow those of the district as a whole.

-js

Lynn said...

Melissa,

It looks like the demographic data on all the high schools is incorrect. (I checked Ballard, Chief Sealth, Franklin and Garfield.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, Doh! I didn't even notice the numbers don't add up correctly (Principal Floe pointed this out). I'll let the district know they missed that decimal point. Thanks,
Mary.

Noam said...

Po3

More District administration has always been the response.

Or kick the little guy/gal.

Sadly, Banda seems a natural.