Thursday, March 30, 2017

Friday Open Thread

(Editor's note: yes, I knew it was Thursday when I put this up.  I had thought I was going to be unable to get it up early Friday morning and chose to post it on Thursday.)

Update report from the Times about the widely-lauded Road Map Project with some modest success and extension of their goal timeline.
Seven years after setting the goal of doubling the number of students in South Seattle and South King County who finish college or earn a career credential, the Road Map Project is increasing the target to 70 percent — and extending the deadline from 2020 to 2030.

Created in 2010, the Road Map Project is a regional partnership working to dramatically boost college-completion rates in seven school districts.
Interesting article from Spokane's KPBX about why some children of immigrants excel in STEM.
As the Times of India pointed out, Das was one of five Indian Americans among the competition's top ten finishers. In last year's contest, according to one study, more than 80 percent of finalists were the children of immigrants

For a new study published in the journal Demography, Rangel, an economist at Duke University, and his co-author, Marigee Bacolod of the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, looked at U.S. Census data for young adults who arrived in the United States before age 18. The data covers in detail the relative skills required for different occupations, such as physical strength, communication skills, social skills, math and reasoning. For those who went to college, they were also able to see what major they chose. 

What's unique about this study is that Bacolod and Rangel subdivided the immigrants in two ways. First, whether they arrived in early childhood, before age 10. Second, whether their native language was linguistically close to English — say, German — or less similar — say, Vietnamese. Most linguists agree that these two factors have a dramatic impact on someone's chances of becoming perfectly fluent in a second language.
Use of medical marijuana in schools?  It could happen.  From KOMO News:
 Lawmakers in the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee heard parents like Holt speak about the benefits of medical marijuana and how it has helped their children function without pain or other issues until their next dose. House Bill 1060 would allow a parent or guardian to privately administer medical marijuana to a child while at school, on a school bus or at a school-sponsored event.
According to the Washington Department of Health there are 87 children registered for medical marijuana since the roll-out of the database last year, but the DOH doesn't know the circumstances surrounding each child or if they're enrolled in school.
Fun idea for a "March Madness"in an environmental science class from KNKX.

C is for César (Chávez) - a new book about the activist.

Twenty-five particularly funny tweets from parents - you may recognize yourself in one or two. Caution: must like sarcasm.

The Board Work Session scheduled for yesterday was cancelled due to a lack of quorum.  They were to discussion Health and Safety and the 2017-2018 budget.  I was a bit puzzled by this as the Board does not regularly vote on anything at work sessions.

What's on your mind?


mirmac1 said...

How many MILLIONS of taxpayer dollars went to these mediocre Road Map projects. Recognize that those millions were awarded as "seed money" with the expectation that districts would be astonished by the Gates' initiatives and would rush forth with their own funding to carry on these pet projects.

digging around said...

Speaking of student data (SAT/ACT and Road Map articles), a couple weeks ago in this thread I mentioned that there is a pilot program running right now in a few SPS schools that is putting our kids' student (and parent) data in the cloud. Everything from contact info to grades to discipline records to fine details can go in this system (Homeroom).

Melissa, you said "I'll look into this". Have you learned anything yet?

I'd really like to know which schools this pilot is running in, and whether they asked or even informed parents about this experiment.

A lot of people are NOT okay with this, with inBloom being the ultimate example of a system like this being not only killed off, but made illegal (in New York state).

Watching said...

I have argued that a Seattle's teacher strike would hurt Seattle. many state leaders want students in schools. Both Dems and Republicans have argued against the court using school closure as a mechanism to fund education.

A leading Republican has filed an amendment to the budget:

"EFFECT: Legislative intent is declared to ensure continued operation of public schools and compensation of public school staff. If a judicial ruling orders public school closures or invalidates state appropriations for public schools, the Governor is authorized to direct the Treasurer to permit expenditures from the Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) for the Superintendent of Public Instruction to allocate to school districts under basic education funding formulae."

There is no doubt in my mind that a strike would precipitate a negative response from Olympia- especially if Seattle is leading the effort and Seattle is the ONLY participating group of teachers. No doubt, Seattle Equity Educators would claim resounding success. Would Seattle Equity Educators be willing to accept reponsibility for negative and punitive response from Olympia? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Connecting kids to nature at Carkeek Park: This project will restore a vital environmental education connection trail between the salmon-bearing creek in Carkeek Park and the Viewlands Elementary School that sits adjacent to the park. The project will connect kids to nature by rebuilding and rerouting parts of the trail to provide safe, equitable access for the school and the surrounding community. You can vote for this project starting April 1 by texting carkeek to 35350.*


dan dempsey said...

So seven school districts plan to raise college completion rates in the future.

Do they ever plan to increase the 8th grade students' competence in mathematics?

I recently constructed a spreadsheet that looked at NAEP math score changes from 2013 to 2015 at the 4th and 8th grade levels. Gates put huge $$$ into Hillsborough Co schools (Tampa) pushing Common Core and required the district to increase funding as well. Kentucky was perhaps the earliest adopter and implementer of Common Core.

The Nation USA for the first time had a statistically significant decline in math from 2013 to 2015. I also looked at WA State NAEP performance.

USA NAEP 2015 -- of statistically significant changes from 2013 to 2015 8th grade math => Puerto Rico only UP and 22 states Down => 4th grade 3 UP and 16 Down.

Whoever is deciding on instructional materials and teaching strategies needs to re-examine thinking as the results are poor. Ms. Box recently put out a very one sided questionnaire in regard to a coming middle school math adoption.

Kentucky was a really early adopter of CCSS-M

Hillsborough Co Florida (Tampa) spent enormous sums via GATES money and local $$ to do lots of CCSS reform.

Thus one would assume that any positive NAEP changes due to CCSS-M implementation could be detected in change of scores between 2013 and 2015 in these two areas.

I also ran WA State and the Nation.

I looked at change in percent of students scoring at each level 4th and 8th grade
below basic, basic, proficient, and advanced.

{Spoiler alert - it ain't a pretty sight - especially the increase in students at the Below Basic level}

All my data came from NAEP website. NAEP = the Nations report card, said Arne Duncan and others.

Here are the percent increases in each of the 4 regions in percent of students scoring Below Basic at grades 4 and 8.

region :: grade 4 :: grade 8
Tampa FL : -1 ::: +9
Kentucky : 0 ::: +3
Nation :: +1 ::: +3
Wash ST :: +3 ::: +5

So while WA State, the Seattle Schools, and Mayor Ed Murray whine about the size of the "Opportunity Gap" I find that the students inhabiting the lowest level of performance is expanding.

Meanwhile a great many districts in WA State are moving to EngageNY math materials and other CCSS aligned materials if they are not already using them. Perhaps rather than just looking at CCSS alignment, a look at whether the particular materials are effective is needed. (Ya Think?)

The change in grade 8 scores is extremely discouraging but not nearly as discouraging as looking at the politicians and educational leaders responsible for this mess.

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data."
-- W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

Educational leaders are apparently anti-science when it comes to decision-making.

-- Dan Dempsey

dan dempsey said...

Here is a link to the Spreadsheet

Red indicates a change for the worse from 2013 to 2015
ex: more below basic = worse .. while fewer advanced = worse

Light Blue indicates change for the better
ex: fewer below basic = better .. while more advanced = better

You will find USA had in 8 cells no light blue and 7 red.

Yet still the push for more Common Core aligned materials and practices continues.
This is all about the Top-Down pushing of an ideology without any supporting data.

A big victory for No Vendor Left Behind and Race to the Bank.

What will Seattle do for a middle school math adoption?

Link to NY Times article on JUMP Math.

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