Sunday, December 14, 2014

Seattle Public Education Updates

Update One comes from the Charter Commission which, according to the Times, has rejected the plan that First Place charter school, created in light of issues discovered in the management and running of the school.

The plan from First Place, which has floundered since opening in September, was deficient in some key areas and not submitted on time, said Joshua Halsey, the commission’s executive director. As a result, Halsey said he didn’t have enough time to review it.
Now begins a round of stricter negotiations, where Halsey will detail what changes First Place must complete or face losing its charter.
“The next step is to go over (the corrective action plan),” Halsey said. “It will become more prescriptive, as opposed to the school having the ability to pick the plan and how they’re going to go about that.”
Update Two is that the district has hired a handwriting expert to uncovered who may have altered many test booklets at Beacon Hill International School last year.  
So, either the district can't narrow it down or can't narrow it down enough and hence, the handwriting expert.  How long this will take seems to be unknown.
The PTA president at Beacon Hill gives an answer I wish I could support:
Molly Sedlik Hasson, the co-president of Beacon Hill’s parent-teacher association, said in an email Friday that the school has moved on from the testing debacle. The school community “isn’t really talking about it anymore,” she said.
“We are waiting for the investigation to be complete and trust that the appropriate action will be taken by the school district in response to the findings.”
I wish I could believe that ANYONE will be held accountable but that's not really what this district does.  They ofuscate and remain silent and deflect but being accountable?  Not really.
For evidence, who was held responsible for the lack of oversight for the Superintendent's transition into SPS so that he didn't make a bad error like signing a grant without Board permission?  
Who has been held responsible - either in the Special Ed department or the Legal department - for the disclosure of thousand of students' data?  
So they may find out who did it but do I think heads will roll?  I do not.


Anonymous said...

Were there words written besides the erasures and correcting of multiple choice questions?

Anonymous said...

Ya, handwriting analysis of color in the bubble. Sure to catch the culprit.


Anonymous said...

Reader, about 25% of the test is multiple choice, fill-in-the-bubble. The rest is handwritten short answer and extended response.

--- swk

Anonymous said...

This souls be VERY easy for the District. There is a testing coordinator at every school. That person and the principal are the only people who should have access to the booklets. There is a significant amount of training given to these folks. One of them should be held accountable.

-SE Teacher

Melissa Westbrook said...

SE, apparently you missed the story. The test booklets were in a large storage closet for many weeks. That closet was accessible to at least 9 people (and the keys are not accounted for). There's the problem.

Anonymous said...

But that's what I mean; it's the testing coordinator's fault that it wasn't locked up in a space only available to him/her and the principal. The buck stops with them.

-SE teacher

joanna said...

This situation should be fodder for rethinking the bonus for the principals.

frustrated parent said...

Bonus for principals. Is that a joke. They are already way overpaid paid at $120,000 per year.
Our principal is barely competent. The pta had to pay for the half time vice principal to become full time to help the principal.

Charlie Mas said...

I agree with SE teacher. There was a person responsible for the security of the test booklets. That person failed to comply with the rules for test booklet security and should be held accountable for that failure.

That was the first failure, before the test answers were changed.

Lynn said...

Absolutely the responsible person needs to be held accountable. At the same time, let's consider the root cause of the (alleged) cheating. What have we done to create an environment that makes test scores so important that an educator would behave this way? If we don't figure that out, this will happen again.

Melissa Westbrook said...

What did they do? They set it up for principals to get bonuses based on test scores. There's one thing.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, yeah. I just heard about that principal bonus thing last week. When did that go down? Do teachers know?

The only reason a teacher would have to cheat is if that stood to gain something. I can't imagine a teacher would do it since they stand to gain nothing other than a gold star on their personnel folder for demonstrating high growth.

mirmac1 said...

Excuse me, but I recall reading about PASS incentives as far back as the MGJ MAP kerfuffle. So, 2011....?

Anyway, welcome to the world of MGJ, Enfield, Ferguso and today's Codd, Wright, Tolley, minions, Our Schools Coalition (what for them soon...) ad nauseam.

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