Saturday, January 12, 2008

Education Week's Survey of States

Education Week released its findings comparing education in the 50 states to the national average. Washington got a C. Dr. Bergeson says we are in the middle (hooray) but seem to be plateauing. The top states are Mass., New Jersey, New Hampshire, Conn., and Vermont. I'll let you read the article but here are a few highlights:
  • what area did we do the worst in? Equity and spending indicators, of course. We got a D+ (compared to a national average of C+). We are 44 out of 50 for funding in the U.S. Our worst is spending where we are at 52.7% compared to a national average of 70.3. We spend an average of $7,432 to a national average of $8,973.
  • oddly, it states that Washington state has no school program to reduce or limit class size (maybe initiatives don't count?)
  • we have no state definition of school readiness (13 states do), no school readiness assessment (17 states have it) and no school readiness intervention (21 states do)
  • One good thing is our AP scores are higher than the national average and so are the numbers of students taking them
  • we got a B- on our assessments but only rank 31st


Anonymous said...

Poverty Gap (National School Lunch Program, noneligible vs. eligible)
Reading gap – 4th grade NAEP scale score (2007)
Math gap – 8th grade NAEP scale score (2007)

Poverty Gap (4th grade reading and 8th grade math): Scale-score difference in 2007 State NAEP achievement between public school students eligible and noneligible for the National School Lunch Program. Larger values indicate higher performance for noneligible students. Ibid.

Poverty-Gap Change (4th grade reading and 8th grade math): Change in the size of the poverty gap for public school students between 2003 and 2007. Ibid.

I haven't time to go to the source of this calculation, HOWEVER

some of the roots of the gap in preformance are:

blame the teacher group work ideology,
blame the teacher differentiated instruction ideology,
blame the teacher classroom management ideology,
fear of the hard work needed in math and science, hence the quest for whiz bang splashy fluff curriculum ...

all of these ideologies are created and nurtured in schools of education and education bureaucracies by people who probably come from upper middle class backgrounds, and or now live in upper middle class enclaves

AND who really really haven't a clue what life (jobs, housing, career mobility, household finances) is like for the bottom 50% or 75%!

lets look at the what the 'research' of state and national tests show ...

the poorer you are the less you learn, the less you learn the fewer opportunities you have!

So lets make blame the teacher artifices of fluffy standards and bad practices, based on what 'works' in affluent schools where affluent parents have the money (because they are affluent!) to overcome bad standards and bad practices!

Have to run ... I need to talk to Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

tweedle anon

dan dempsey said...

More from the EdWeek survey.

In 2004 the US graduation rate was 69.9% and Washington's was 66.5%.

As far as closing the achievement gap in elementary school Reading for children of poverty from 2003 to 2007:
Nationally it decreased by 1.1
in Washington it grew by 2.5

For 8th grade math an even worse story on the Achievement gap and children of poverty for WA:
Nationally it decreased by 2.4
in Washington it grew by 3.3

So much for the paramount duty of the state. The WA constitution says:
Washington State Constitution
Article IX, Section 1. Preamble.

It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

The rest of this constitutional fairy-tale can be found at:

The Fairy-Tale continued

Remember at the SPS School Board meeting on 10/17/2007 Dr. Terry Bergeson our reigning education monarch in Olympia told us that the SAT participation rate was 70%, while in reality it is 53%.

Hey the 2008 campaign season is coming soon and Dr. Bergeson is running for a fourth term. Get ready for a lot more Fairy-Tales from Dr. Terry Bergeson.

More bad news Dr. Bergeson is now rewriting the Math Standards while largely ignoring the State board of Education's recommendations. {Ignoring the law SHB 1906}.

Read an analysis of this at:
The Klein Report

Lots more at:
The Math Underground

Don't forget to cast your vote for Dr. Richard Semler and lend him some support during his campaign for Superintendent of Public Instruction.

More at:

Then this State's Paramount Duty will have a shot at being fulfilled.

dan dempsey said...

When I heard Dr Bergeson talk I did not here this:

Dr. Bergeson says we are in the middle (hooray) but seem to be plateauing, which Melissa heard.

At the SPS board meeting of 10/17/2007, Dr Bergeson said we are near the top but are plateauing.

Perhaps reality has intruded upon her since October.

I've never heard Dr. Bergeson say that we were anywhere near average.
In August of 2006, She did say we had a state-wide math failure. That seems not to have kept us from being near the top in her opinion.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the figures for Seattle? WA is a big state, and district statistics vary drastically. I would like to see some stats for Seattle, instead of the state.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have the figures for Seattle? Did Ed weekly break them out by city or district? WA is a big state, and district statistics vary drastically. I would like to see some stats for Seattle, instead of the entire state.

dan dempsey said...

Dear Anon,

This Poverty Gap data is based on the 8th grade NAEP Math scores and the 4th grade reading scores. In WA at grade 4 only 3,800 kids are tested from 130 schools and at grade 8 only 2,800 from a different set of 130 schools. There are about 75,000 students at each grade level in grades one through eight.

No NAEP data is available for any Washington student subset view unless it is based on the entire state.

The Best you can do for Seattle is to look at WASL data since that is all that Seattle has used for testing since abandoning the Iowa tests in 2005.

Highline SD has used the MAP for the last 5 years which is a lot more useful.

Interesting data from Ed Week.

Remember this is the NAEP data and shenanigans may abound.

The NAEP is only useful for same state comparisons from year to year.
Look out for huge changes in exclusions and accommodations ala NY.

Poverty Gap change from 2003 to 2007

negative values = narrowing the Gap

California 8th grade math -3.6 {#12}

Washington 8th grade math +3.3 {#48}

From the Best to the worst here we go #48 out of 51

"Math 8th Grade Poverty Gap
NAEP Scale Score"
-6.9 Georgia {#1}
-6.8 New York
-6.4 Tennessee
-5.8 Wisconsin
-5.6 Florida
-4.9 Maryland
-4.6 Louisiana
-4.5 Pennsylvania
-4.3 Vermont
-4.1 Illinois {#10}
-3.7 Delaware
-3.6 California {#12}
-3.2 New Jersey
-2.8 Hawaii
-2.4 Idaho
-2.4 Rhode Island
-2.3 Massachusetts
-2.3 Maine
-2.2 District of Columbia
-2.0 North Dakota {#20}
-2.0 Iowa
-1.6 Colorado
-1.5 Michigan
-1.4 Kentucky
-1.3 Texas
-1.3 Oklahoma
-1.2 New Hampshire
-1.1 Wyoming
-0.9 South Carolina
-0.7 Arizona {#30}
-0.7 Mississippi
-0.6 Virginia
-0.5 Ohio
-0.4 Utah
-0.3 South Dakota
-0.2 Nevada
-0.1 Minnesota
+0.1 North Carolina
+0.5 Indiana
+0.7 West Virginia {#40}
+1.1 Alabama
+1.3 Alaska
+1.4 New Mexico
+1.6 Missouri
+2.2 Arkansas
+2.6 Nebraska
+2.9 Kansas
+3.3 Washington {#48}
+4.0 Oregon
+4.2 Connecticut
+4.3 Montana {#51}

Anonymous said...

Washington Facts

Washington State has high math remediation rates
In 2003, 49% of Washington State high school graduates attending two year colleges needed remediation in mathematics. Those who take remedial math in college only have a 63% rate of graduating.The remedial math rate in 2005 for college freshmen in WA State was 50 – 60%.
– Dr. William Schmidt, February 27, 2006, Seattle School District Meeting

Washington State students are below average in college readiness
In September 2003 the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research reported that the national average for graduates with college readiness is 32%, Washington State is 24%, a full 8% less than the national average. Education Working Paper, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, Jay P. Greene PhD and Greg Forster PhD, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research Website.

Tutoring revenue in Washington increases 340% in the last ten years
This information was issued in a memorandum from Barbara McLain, Research Analyst for the Washington State legislative House Education Committee to State Representative Glenn Anderson.

Washington State math standards graded “F”
The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, based in Washington D.C., published “The State of State Math Standards” in 2005. The average ranking is “C”. Washington State received an “F”. Our state standards are “poorly written, needlessly voluminous, difficult to understand, and at times have little to do with mathematics. Standards devoted to problem solving are of especially low quality.” The State of State Math Standards, David Klein, Fordham Foundation Website (pdf. 130 pgs).

Pearson, the author of the WASL, has a conflict of interest
Pearson Education is both the distributor of the curriculums used in many of our schools, including TERC and CMP, and under contract with WA State to develop and implement the WASL. This is a major conflict of interest. Pearson is selling us our curriculums and are in charge of testing our students to see if their own curriculums are working. Meanwhile, state funding of the ITBS test was cut so we can no longer compare WA students’ progress nationally or internationally.

We need standards that compete with the top performing nations
Washington State needs math standards that are rigorous, academically focused, and coherent, identifying what all Washington State students should know and be able to do at each grade level. As our students progress from grade to grade there should be requirements in place for increasingly advanced knowledge and understanding of mathematics and for increasingly complex applications and problem solving. Any curriculum adopted by schools/districts must be required to support these standards.
“Expanding view of trade called a must for state, Kirsti Heim, Seattle Times, 3/25/06

Almost 29,000 Washington High School Students Can’t Pass Math WaSL
A little more than one-quarter of the 11,673 high-school students who retook the math portion of the WASL in August earned a passing score. That leaves about 29,000 students — 42 percent — in the Class of 2008 without a key portion of their graduation requirements.
“Nearly half of Class of ‘08 still lacking on the WASL,” By Lynn Thompson, Seattle Times, 11/09/06

Shirley McCune, second-in-charge of Washington State’s Department of Education, has said: “The issue for most children and the issue for society, is that what is changed in education today, is that we no longer see the teaching of facts and information as the primary outcome of education.” What is the primary outcome of education?

For more info;

Please consider Dr. Richard Semler for State Superintendent of Schools in November


Anonymous said...

OSPI Pays $770K to Keep Math Status Quo

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Terry Bergeson hired the Dana Center of Austin, Texas to oversee the revision of Washington State math standards at a cost to taxpayers of $770K, plus undetermined expenses. The Dana Center proposal was nearly six times as expensive as a competing bid from a highly qualified firm. A careful examination of the first draft of the resulting revised WA math standards, released December 4, reveals that OSPI has poorly used public funds, producing a new framework that will do little to raise Washington State’s math to world-class standards.

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) was directed by lawmakers to improve math standards as per House Bill 1906, passed in the 2007 legislative session. The State Board of Education (SBE) hired a consultant and formed a Math Advisory Panel to review existing standards and make recommendations for improvements. The consultant, Strategic Teaching of Millersville, MD, issued a final report on August 30, 2007. Current WA standards were compared to those of states and nations considered to have the best, including California, Indiana, Massachusetts, Singapore and Finland, and were found to be lacking in content, rigor, focus and clarity. The Strategic Teaching report specifically recommended that Washington State model its standards after those exemplary states and nations, as well as the NCTM Focal Points. The Math Advisory Panel endorsed the report, and SBE adopted it on September 19, 2007.

OSPI requested bids from companies to help draft the new standards. One of the unsuccessful bidders was StandardsWork, an organization that helped rewrite the California and Indiana standards, considered exemplary by the SBE report. The StandardsWork bid to rewrite WA math standards was $130,000. However, Bergeson selected the Dana Center, whose bid of $770,000 was nearly six times that of StandardsWork. Additionally, OSPI is paying an undisclosed amount for additional expenses

The Dana Center has supported the adoption of reform math curricula in other states, including TERC/Investigations, Connected Math, and Everyday Math. Dr. Uri Treisman, Director of the Dana Center and leader of the WA revision team, served on the advisory board for Connected Math. Dr. Susan Hull, another Dana Center leader of the WA revision team, was on the advisory board for Connected Math 2. Treisman was also influential in the adoption of Everyday Math in Texas and New York City

OSPI has been entrusted with solving a problem they created through the imposition of reform math standards and curricula on Washington State. For years they have ignored protests of parents and teachers, as well as declining math performance of students. Now Terry Bergeson and colleagues at OSPI are undermining the intent of HB 1906. By selecting the Dana Center, a like-minded contractor, OSPI appears determined to further a reform math agenda at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers. But the bigger cost will be paid by our children, whose math education will remain inferior to their peers in other states and nations. The public has until the end of December to voice their concerns to their state representatives and the State Board of Education. The draft of standards revisions and related information can be accessed at OSPI’s Project Website

Please consider Dr. Richard Semler for State Superintendent of Schools in November.

Anonymous said...

OSPI Prologeed: Statement from the Ministry of Truth - "Fellow Progressives, students without shoes will still be allowed to attend school, but in a self-directed cubicle, called an Apex.

Virginia's office announced NSF funding for their latest proposal -The Blackwhite Project. All teacher training will be given in Room 101.

Administrators blamed low attendance on the flu. Decided to open classes to train stray cats. Strict rules will be enforced.

Latest WASL results show spectacular gains, proving young geniuses are children. College really does mean success for all.

Respect is given; not earned.