WASL Scores now available

The OSPI has released the WASL pass rates for the tests taken in the Spring of this year.

In general, the results are not good. Of the 48 different pass rates for the high schools (12 high schools with a reading, writing, math and science pass rate for each), 33 of them are down and only 15 of them are up. And 6 of those 15 are in science, which is still in the early growth phase.

Areas of particular concern are the schools in the Southeast Education Initiative.

All four pass rates for Rainier Beach High School were down, some down sharply. Rainier Beach has the lowest pass rate for all of the high schools in three of the four categories. I don't know what the accountability goals were for Rainier Beach around WASL pass rates, but there is no way that the school met the goals.

Cleveland high school saw an increase in two of the four pass rates - for math and science. Of course they are still next to last in reading (only RBHS is lower), next to last in math (only RBHS is lower), and next to last in science (only RBHS is lower). Cleveland is third from last in writing, with only Sealth and Ingraham having lower pass rates.

Aki Kurose middle school's pass rates were essentially flat for reading and math - so that won't help them meet either AYP or accountability goals - but the school saw a spectacular increase in the pass rate on the 7th grade writing test from 59.2% to 74.6%. This is huge! I don't know if it will outweigh the truly dismal 45.8% pass rate for reading (second-worst among continuing comprehensive middle schools) and the abysmal 22.5% pass rate for math, but it is a bright spot. That math pass rate of 22.5% is not only the lowest in the district among continuing comprehensive middle schools, but it is lowest by a long way. The next lowest is Denny at 40.1%

Now we will see how the accountability is applied - or, rather, if it is applied.


Josh Hayes said…
Charlie, are these scores online somewhere? Inquiring/horrified minds want to know.
Charlie Mas said…
Wow! Check out the District's press release on WASL scores!

It actually celebrates the results because they beat the state averages.

The Superintendent writes:
"I am very proud to see the hard work of our students, staff, families, principals and teachers recognized in the ongoing increase in WASL scores made in all grades. Gains of this magnitude are only achieved as a result of years of focus and effort by a dedicated team and strong leadership throughout the district."

Gains? WASL pass rates for 10th grade students were down in math, flat in reading and writing, and up in science.

The press release claims that Cleveland High School pass rates were up in all four categories, but Cleveland's pass rate on the writing test was down from the previous year's rate.

The press release claims that "Aki Kurose Middle School students showed excellent progress with significant growth in all subject areas" but the 7th grade pass rates in reading was up 0.3% and the pass rate for math was up 0.1%. Hardly what I would call "excellent progress" or "signficant growth".

The press release actually claims that the 7th grade reading pass rate increased by 2.3 percentage points when the OSPI reports an increase of only 0.3 percentage points. What's the source of the discrepency?
Charlie Mas said…
You can find the test results by visiting the OSPI web site and clicking on the "School Report Card" icon on the right.

Or follow this link.
wseadawg said…
The passing rates are abysmal and the SI is spraying perfume on the pig. Can't say I'm surprised.

Unfortunately, with the SE initiative biting the dust, yet more changes and so-called "reforms" (translation: instability in kids' lives) are a sure bet. I grieve for the struggling kids who need the most help, but won't get it, over and over again.

When will the reformer types realize that blaming and undermining teachers will not help the children?

Nobody, and I mean NOBODY talks about giving teachers what they need to do their jobs RIGHT NOW. Instead we hear about "coaching, professional development (as though teachers are currently incompetent), incentives & merit pay (as though they don't work hard enough), and the list goes on and on.

No idea will work if it isn't supported. We need less new ideas - obviously - and more support for teachers, parents and students in the classroom to get kids interested enough in school to do better.

This isn't rocket science, or any "discovery based" learning exercise. It's about treating people like the human beings they are, and not shoving ideas and reforms upon people when they didn't ask for them.
Charlie Mas said…
Changes in the Academic Achievement Gap for Black students increased in all disciplines in the 4th, 7th, and 10th grades.

4th grade
Reading: gap widened by 4.6 points from 31.0 to 35.6.

Math: gap widened by 3.5 points from 46.3 to 49.8.

Writing: gap widened by 5.7 points from 23.8 to 29.5.

7th grade
Reading: gap widened by 4.2 points from 34.8 to 39.0.

Math: gap widened by 2.8 points from 48.6 to 51.4.

Writing: gap widened by 6.7 points from 20.0 to 26.7.

10th grade
Reading: gap widened by 2.9 points from 21.7 to 24.6.

Math: gap widened by 1.2 points from 52.3 to 53.5.

Writing: gap widened by 1.4 points from 15.4 to 16.8.

The pass rates for White students increased by more than one percentage point in eight of the nine grade level tests. The pass rates for Black students dropped in five of the nine tests.

The four areas that saw growth for Black students saw only a little growth: 1.4 percentage points in 4th grade writing, 1.3 percentage points in 4th grade math, 0.3 percentage points in 10th grade math and 0.1 percentage points in 10th grade reading.

The losses were more dire: -1.2 percentage points in 7th grade math, -3.2 percentage points in 4th grade reading, -4.8 percentage points in 7th grade writing, and -6.5 percentage points in 7th grade reading.

The gap is growing worse. What is the District's plan to reverse this trend?
seattle citizen said…
This is why some in the education field call it not the "achievement gap," which puts it on the student for failing to achieve, but instead calls it the "opportunity gap," which recognizes that educators, parents and community members are failing (and, evidently, failing evewn worse over time) to provide opportunity to some students to achieve.

The POSITIVE way to address this is to make sure that students have opporunity. NOt just in WASL math, WASL Reading, WASL writing and WASL science, but in all the areas where others might find opportunity to excell: art, creative writing, welding, statistics, drama, ecology, cooking...community interaction, support of adults and other mentors, directed resources that provide the enrichment some take for granted...
reader said…
I don't think a huge change in writing scores is indicative of anything. I wouldn't get too excited about that increase at Aki. Sorry no kudos. I'd stick to looking at reading and math, which were horrible, and still are horrible. Writing scores change huge amounts at every school. Ever read any of the student samples provided by OSPI? The scoring is capricious and extremely subjective. No wonder the scores move all over the place. The other tests are less subjectively scored and are more stable. Look at McGilvra... it got 59% pass rate on writing last year, this year it's up to 90%, a 30% increase. Is the school so much better this year? I doubt it.

Here's the list of schools making AYP, and the current NCLB status. Salmon Bay is the only middle school meeting AYP. The Center School is the only high school. Looks like the alts are doing well by comparison.
dan dempsey said…
State Math WASL pass rate at grade 10 was 45.2% down over 4%.

In his press release Superintendent Dorn did not mention math pass rates for either graduating seniors or 10th graders. This is becoming indicative of the non-existant math leadership seen through out our state.


Dorn failed to replace anyone in the Bergeson Hold-over OSPI math section. Things just get worse. I guess we are not supposed to notice.

I need to go back and check but I believe that Cleveland was the only Seattle comprehensive high school to score higher in math this year than last year. Even Nova, Center, and Summit were lower. The Superintendent believes this to be an improvement(????) ... No wonder we are in such pathetic shape.
Don't forget to check West Seattle WASL scores to see how well the top-down mandated move to 6 periods went..... the big reason for the move was for better math .... (right) WSHS down about 5% in math in 2009.

Nationally Board certified Science Super teacher, Laura Sugden, went to Bend, Oregon rather than submit to the district office baloney mandate that would screw up her great program. She taught the MESA class as an elective. Bend HS has a four period day.
Unknown said…
RBHS was following the College Board "Spring Board" curriculum that was mandated by SPS. So the scores in Reading and Writing are certainly a reflection of the influence of the mandated curriculum.
Anonymous said…
When you don't care about truthfulness or accuracy, just create a few more columns of numbers to choose from, and choose only the numbers that support your rationale and conclusions. That can make every report worthy of a celebration!

I didn't run through the #s in question above to try to guess how they might have been generated, but I did see one row of interest that I must have missed in previous years, titled "Meeting Standard excluding No Score". Notice that it's in bold to look just as important as the "Meeting Standard" row.

This line gives the resulting percentage of those kids meeting standard without including the zeros that some kids get when they refuse to take the test. Not to pick on any particular school, but AS-1 has a relatively high percentage of kids that opt out, and a summary of their grade 8 reading data looks like this:

Meeting Standard: 9 students; 37.5%
Not Meeting Std: 15 students; 62.5%

But - within the 15 Not Meeting Standard group:
No Score; 9 students; 37.5%

Giving OSPI's special result:
Meeting Standard excluding No Score: 60% !

Yes this might be useful data, but that's a HUGE different, and it begs the question: which totals are reported upstream for NCLB purposes?? And does the district always compare apples with apples when reporting out to NCLB, the media, and the Board?

And Charlie, it seems this would be a simple route for the district to take to counteract any widespread WASL (or other similar test) boycott. The district would just start reporting out the percentages using the "excluding No Score" numbers. End of impact.
dj said…
Charlie, I cannot seem to find it myself, but is there a link where the achievement gaps are broken down by race, by school? What I would be interest in finding out is if there are some schools that are doing a better job of closing achievement gaps than others so we can figure out what it is that they are doing.
reader said…
None111, most kids at most schools take the WASL. AS1 has about the largest not participating, and still most kids do take it. The number of kids "taking the WASL" is a factor in making AYP. You can't make AYP, if any subgroup, including the ALL subgroup, opts out. You'll see that if you look at any school's detail report on AYP.
Dorothy Neville said…
How much of the tenth grade scores could be skewed by the fact that last year, 9th graders who felt ready were encouraged to take the tests early? Where were their scores included?
Dorothy Neville said…
Oh, I answered my own question. Previously passed kids are included.
Charlie Mas said…
The pass rate that is reported "upstream" is the total which counts those who did not take the test with a zero score.

The pass rate that counts for AYP is the total which counts those who did not take the test with a zero score.

While the other pass rate is there and is calculated, I don't think that it would much dull the impact of a WASL boycott. I think that a WASL boycott continues to be the community's most effective tool to hold the District accountable.

Of course, there won't be any such thing as a "WASL" anymore, but there will be an analog to it. The period on the school calendar is still reserved for the "WASL" and the test - whatever it is called - will still fulfill the same function as the WASL.
Charlie Mas said…
To see scores disaggregated by ethnicity, use the pull down menus to change the results shown on the OSPI web site.
dj said…
Charlie, I'm sure I'm being dense, but I can see how to look at the results by school, and that the school results tell you what percentage of the school's students hail from each racial category and what % is FRE. I also see how you can look at the results by race for the whole district. What I can't figure out is how to look at the results by race by school -- e.g., at Stevens, what % of black v. white v. Asian students passed the WASL.
Charlie Mas said…
From the school report card page search for the school.

From the school page select the WASL section from the menu on the top that has: Summary / WASL / AYP / WAAS / NAEP

From the WASL page, using the pull down menus, select a grade, select Ethnic Trend, and select either line chart or bar chart. Click on GO.

Refer to the table that appears to the left of the chart. It will provide historical pass rates disaggregated by race. A race category will not appear if there were fewer than 10 students in that category.
Anonymous said…
dj, here's a link, let's see if I can get it to work in one big piece


The problem is that in many cases, you will not get any information because when there are less than N (I think 10) students of a particular category, data will not be displayed. That is to protect privacy of individual students that might be determined by people attempting to disaggregate the data.
Anonymous said…
Sorry, the link isn't clickable, but you can copy/paste it into your browser, and it works.
Anonymous said…
Charlie said: "The pass rate that is reported "upstream" is the total which counts those who did not take the test with a zero score."

So that data path has some verifiable and enforceable rules (presumably). Good.

But the question had 3 parts, and still stands for the media and the Board. Where the heck does the district come up with the bogus numbers they're publicizing? i.e. your example: "The press release actually claims that the 7th grade reading pass rate increased by 2.3 percentage points when the OSPI reports an increase of only 0.3 percentage points. "

I trust that if you are elected, that you will lend a critical eye to all the data that is reported out to the public as factual, but has little basis in reality. But that doesn't mean the media and the Board are paying close attention. Some, maybe, but not a majority.
Charlie Mas said…
Here's another interesting question regarding accountability:

How come only 51 students from Rainier Beach High School took the WASL in the spring when the District reported that the school had 93 10th graders?

Why didn't the other 42 take the test?
dj said…
Charlie and None1111, thank you. And None1111, your warning was a nice understatement. I checked all of the schools in the central cluster, and only one of them (Stevens) had enough of both black and white students to give numbers for comparison.
reader said…
In previous years, there was another box on each grade which noted the % of kids passing 0,1,2,or 3 tests. I don't see that anywhere this year. It is very useful to know. EG. Is it the same kids failing all 3 tests? Or are different kids passing and failing different pieces. That's good to know too, because that indicates whether some kids are failing by a lot... or whether a lot of kids are failing by a little. I'm not sure which problem would be easier to address, but you do need to know it.

Has anybody seen that information?

(It could be the source of "improvement" the district is claiming. Perhaps, a few students are failing all the tests, making the numbers for individual tests worse... and so, more are passing all 3 than before. Doubtful but possible.)
taylor said…
Does anyone know HOW and WHEN the district will notify parents from the under-performing "sanctioned" schools that the district will be providing transportation to a higher scoring school.
(This year's hit list of Seattle's sanctioned schools include: Hawthorne Elementary, Madrona K-8,Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center, Aki KuroseMiddle and AS#1

What "higher scoring" schools will be on the district's list of options for parents and how does school of choice play out at this late date? Will parents from bilingual school and non-English speaking get information in their native language with a more detailed explanation of what their options are and why? Will the district do outreach to these parents?

It's very interesting to note that there are ONLY 3 of the 10 district high schools who are not in some step 3+ action for improvement... that's 7 out of 10, 70%, of our high schools are not making consistent AYP targets for the last 4-6 years years.

Another interesting fact, despite housing the district's advanced learning programs designed to offer more community advanced opportunities and bolster WASL scores, 1/2 of the Spectrum middle school programs and 2/3 of the APP school programs (middle and high school only) are in schools in step 4+, not making consistent AYP progress for the last 5-6 years.

From the look of how many closed schools were on the sanction or missed AYP list, it may a good thing that Seattle closed them, so they can wipe the slate clean and start from 0 years at new locations! Now that's a new way to look at cost savings!
Stu said…
Another interesting fact, despite housing the district's advanced learning programs designed to offer more community advanced opportunities and bolster WASL scores, 1/2 of the Spectrum middle school programs and 2/3 of the APP school programs (middle and high school only) are in schools in step 4+, not making consistent AYP progress for the last 5-6 years.

Imagine if the advanced kids weren't there . . . what do you think the scores would be then? Is there a chart that shows the different programs separated out? And isn't that one of the fears about the recent APP split? That is was done so that the traditional high scores from the advanced program can be averaged into failing programs?

Sahila said…
as to those letters offering you a place in a better-performing school... last year we (AS#1 incoming kindergarteners) received such a letter - the options offered my son were two other failing north end schools ... as I want an alternative education for him and they were 'traditional' schools, I had two reasons to reject the offer...

wonder what we will be offered this year...

it wont of course be Bagley's Montessori programme, or Thornton Creek, which would be my preferences for him...

the prospect of going to Shoreline (Room 9 Community (alternative) School) is looking more attractive every day...
taylor said…
I would logically think that the district's choices of school options would not be "failing schools" or any other school beyond Step #3. But I am speaking logically.

I'm pretty sure that parents could legally challenge this if the district moved them from a failing school to another failing school, but not failing as bad! A request for an out of district placement with transportation provided, at district cost, would be a solution... especially if there was no room at nearby non-failing schools.

On highly capable...There is disaggregated WASL information for APP and Spectrum students. The state reports on highly capable WASL scores. This can be drilled down to a district level and obtained through public information request.

Now for another thought on special groups who have been stuck into programs at failing schools... Wonder where the special ed. students for the 41 inclusion schools will be placed? Yes the district is dissolving most special ed. elementary programs next year and moving students into inclusion teaching models in general education settings ??? (I'm not sure where they have the $$$'s stashed.. inclusion is mega more bucks.) Has anyone heard if the district has sent out placement letters? As of late July, I don't think parents knew where their special ed. children would be attending or how their services would be delivered?

Anyone hear anything on special ed.?
BullDogger said…
A couple years ago I saw a chart that compared (dramatically different) high school WASL pass rates in SPS to free and reduced lunch % at each school. Of course schools with poverty have much lower pass rates and more affluent schools do better. Socioeconomics is a key predictor of WASL success. Erroneously much is attributed to WASL gains and losses that could be explained more effectively by variation in socioeconomics of the measured population.

As an example, Dan D. makes reference to WSHS's lower math WASL pass rates after the move to the 6 period day. In that same time many more families from the primary feeder school, Madison MS (a more affluent neighborhood) were choosing Sealth HS because of the new IB program and strong Sealth leadership. Free and reduced lunch % at WSHS in 2008-2009 was 39.6%. In 2007-2008 it was only 34.2%.... over a 5% difference in one year.

It's easy to assume causation when looking at this data and associated programs. If we don't also look at the associated level of poverty I don't believe the data offers much insight.
seattle citizen said…
The socio-economic factor (and other external factors) impact student success as much or more as any teaching, perhaps.

So then, are these factors factored into the decisions to place a school into some level of AYP trouble?

What I'm asking is if the various external forces at play on a student are factored in to a school's "grade". If not, why not?

This also speaks to the ongoing need to remind ourselves that there are huge problems outside the schools - poverty, malnutrition, lack of parent involvement and enrichment...

When these things are addressed more wholeheartedly, when society makes as much attempt to evaluate its own energy, creativity, and success at THOSE jobs, then the evaluation of schools and teachers might seem more logical.

Yes, some students don't learn. No, it's not just bad teaching: it's also bad parenting, citizenship, social expenditure and policy...Let's look at ALL the factors involved in making a student succeed in school.
BullDogger said…
Seattle Citizen...

Measuring schools and teachers is important. We pay a lot of money for this important service and need to determine effectiveness. Doing it with raw WASL scores though is foolish. If AYP trouble factored in changing socioeconomics I bet we'd be suprised at what schools are successful (value added) and what are not.
Maureen said…
taylor, you say: "...inclusion is mega more bucks." I can see how it would be, if done the right way, but I haven't seen any evidence that any more resources will go to classrooms that include kids who were formerly in programs. It seems to me that some special ed teachers who used to have their own classrooms will just move to resource rooms and spend a little bit of time in all of the individual classrooms their kids have been sent to. Voila, no cost increase. I would love to hear differently.
seattle citizen said…
Yes, Bulldogger, education is importnat. Not just because of the money spent on it, but because its our children. Measuring success of education is important, no doubt, but one would hope that ALL the factors would be taken into account. THAT would be in the best interest of the child and her/his education.
If socio-econ and other factors were paid closer attention, students would be better understood as individuals, rather than as mere raw scores. If all the external factors were understood, students needs could be better met by teachers: Teachers would be better because they'd know their students needs better. Teachers could be better evaluated because ALL the factors that go into a student's learning could be factored.
Of course, figuring out ALL the factors that effect a child's learning is impossible. But to ignore what's outside the schoolhouse doors does a diservice to educators, because under some proposals, they're held accountable for results that might not be theirs. And by not looking more closely at external factors, society gets to take a pass at having to deal with the ramifications for its children of its policies, spending, values, and role-modeling (or lack thereof)

Lastly, if the larger cariety of factors WERE figured in, and the numbers adjusted to show learning given those factors, I'd bet we WOULD be surprised: A student who only "learns" a half-years worth of material, even though they are dealing with three or four major issues outside school, might actually be learning better (or being taught better) than a student who progresses two years with the support of massive enrichment, active parents, and other benefits.
Charlie Mas said…
There can be little doubt that the easiest way for a school to improve their WASL pass rate is to improve the WASL pass rate of the students they recruit.

Regardless of the quality or effectiveness of the education a school provides, if the kids who are likely to pass the WASL don't choose your school, your scores will be poor.

Contrawise, regardless of the quality or effectiveness of the education a school provides, if the kids who are likely to pass the WASL choose your school, your scores will be good.

It should follow, therefore, that Cleveland can improve WASL pass rates by offering AP classes - not because the AP classes will better prepare students for the WASL, but because the presence of AP classes will help Cleveland recruit the kind of students who are more likely to pass the WASL.
SP said…
Good point, Charlie (re: impact of new AP/IB students on a school's overall WASL scores)-

Look at Sealth's scores.
In 2007-2008 there was a big improvement in scores, but no one in the administration pointed out that this also coincided with the large and new influx of IB program students. This year their scores flattened off or even dipped (now that their student population has more or less remained the same), but definately no more large gains to be seen this year.

By the way, Dan-
Sealth had the same -5% drop in Math scores as WSHS did this year (and similar for the whole state) yet you clearly want to tie the drop at WSHS to this year's change to the 6-period schedule?

WSHS's math scores have been at 44% in three out the the past four years (including this year) so I really don't see the connection in the actual data.
Sahila said…
I dont see the point Charlie is making - surely its just switching/moving the numbers around?

provide an AP programme = attract more capable students (from other places) = better WASL stats cos its based on numbers passing...

but that doesnt solve the problem of a declining overall performance across the district/state and doesnt address at all the problem of 'under achievement' in poor schools, which have to deal with the socio-economic factors which incontrovertibly affect learning/performance, which rich schools dont have to face...
reader said…
No, providing AP classes at Cleveland will not make anybody choose it. Where's the evidence for that? People don't want to go to gang infested schools, and aren't likely to be tricked into it by a few AP classes. AP classes should be provided at Cleveland, and at all high schools.. to better make a college option possible.
seattle citizen said…
Reader, I think the idea is that in order to not only attract "AP-type" students, but to offer a variety (including higher level) of courses at ALL schools.

This is good. Lots of talk about adding IB, AP etc, and ALOs and differentiation...

Maybe there's a hope to attracts AP students, but my feeling is that the goal is more to build a better school to attract all sorts of students, and to make the school generally more academic.

My personal hope is that whny they build higher-level course offerings, they also do a better job of identifying and serving students who are behind. To do this, I'd like to see a stop to social promotion, a variety of developmental ("remedial") classes, and less stigma on those who are behind and more recognition that each student, at different times, has areas where ghe/she excells and areas where there's need for improvement.

To take a school that has a higher proportion of students needing legs up, and fill it with classes geared towards those who are beyond grade level, seems to be putting the cart before the horse.
Megan Mc said…
I'm pretty sure you only get a letter offering you different placement if the school is Title 1. They can offer you a seat at a non-Title 1 school that didn't make AYP. I think they send the letters out at the end of August when they have calculated the FRL applications.
reader said…
That doesn't make any sense. So, if you're in a poor school (it's title 1) and that school is failing, they can meet the requirements of NCLB by reassigning you to a non-poor, but still failing school? EG non-poor but crappy is ok. And that's some remedy. I don't think so. That seems like an obvious attempt to thwart the law.... perhaps not the letter but clearly the intent. I doubt it would hold up in any court.
Megan Mc said…
From the OSPI website:
Public Notices for OSPI Title I Waiver Requests to U.S. Department of Education

Notice to the Public of OSPI’s Intent To Apply to the United States Department of Education for a Waiver of the 14-Day Public School Choice Notification Requirement

OSPI is required to notify Washington State citizens of the state’s intent to request a waiver for 14-Day Public School Choice notification.

Washington State through the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is requesting a one-year waiver of the Title I, Part A requirement for a local educational agency (LEA) to provide parents of eligible students with notice of their public school choice options at least 14 days before the start of the school year [(34 C.F.R. § 200.37(b)(4)(iv)]. OSPI is required to inform the state’s citizens of this waiver request.

This waiver applies only with respect to students in schools that are newly identified for improvement for the 2009-2010 school year that could possibly have exited improvement, corrective action, or restructuring for the 2009¬2010 school year but did not. Washington State requests this waiver of this provision because the state is not able to modify the state’s assessment schedule due to the state’s contract with Data Recognition Corporation (DRC). The state does not receive Washington’s student assessment data in time for the state’s 295 districts to verify, review, and return those corrections to OSPI for final review to determine the AYP status of districts and their schools.

Washington State must provide assurances to U.S. Department of Education that, if it is granted the requested waiver, the State and its LEAs will meet the following conditions:

* LEAs within the State will provide notice of public school choice less than 14 days before the school year only with respect to students in schools that are newly identified for improvement for the 2009–2010 school year (based on results of assessments administered in the 2008–2009 school year) or that could possibly have exited improvement, corrective action, or restructuring for the 2009–2010 school year (based on results of assessments administered in the 2008–2009 school year) but did not;
* All LEAs within the State will comply with the 14-day notice requirement with respect to students in schools that are already identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring and cannot exit that status for the 2009–2010 school year;
* All LEAs within the State will comply with the statutory requirement in section 1116(b) to provide notice of public school choice before the start of the school year;
* The State will encourage all LEAs to provide notice of public school choice as early as possible and, ideally, at least 30 days before the start of the school year;
Megan Mc said…
Continued from above:
* LEAs that offer public school choice earlier to students in some schools than to students in other schools will reserve a portion of the available transportation slots for students in the schools who receive the later notice, in accordance with the Department’s Public School Choice Non-Regulatory Guidance; and
* The State will take all steps necessary to ensure that its assessment schedule and test vendor contract for the 2009–2010 school year (and beyond) will permit LEAs within the State to provide notice of public school choice sufficiently in advance of, but no later than 14 days before, the start of the 2010–2011 school year (and all subsequent school years).

Washington State must also delineate a process for ensuring compliance with these conditions by providing appropriate guidance regarding these conditions to its LEAs. In particular, Washington State intends to distribute a 14¬Day Waiver Bulletin to all Districts that requires them to identify all schools that have taken advantage of the waiver, sign an assurance that they will meet the required parent notification requirements and that they will implement the 14-day requirement in 2010¬2011 as required in the US Department of Education Guidance of October 2008. The bulletin will also require all districts to provide a dated copy of the public school choice notification letter to OSPI to retain in each district’s Title I application file. OSPI’s Title I office will verify that all districts have met the timeline with the receipt of each district’s dated Public School Choice letter. The requirement to send OSPI a dated notification letter will also be made for 2010–2011 to ensure that districts meet the 14-day notification requirement.

If you have any questions about OSPI’s request for this waiver, please contact Gayle Pauley, Director Title I/LAP/CPR by phone at (360) 725-6100 or by email at gayle.pauley@k12.wa.us.
reader said…
Having "advanced kids" or APP kids in a school doesn't help even one tiny little bit towards meeting AYP. You've got to meet AYP across ALL subgroups. That is, all minority groups, English language learners, special education students, poverty, immigrant, migrant worker. Even if every APP kid passes, AYP has to be met for everyone... so, having APP at Washington, or at any other school, does NOT make it easier (or harder) to meet AYP. A non-poor percentage at a school may let the district off the hook as far a sanctions go. EG. Thurgood Marshall may no longer be sanctionable since it will no longer be "title 1". But, it will still be a failing school... presumably.
Charlie Mas said…
Actually, Sahila, and anyone else who thought the same, that WAS my point.

"I dont see the point Charlie is making - surely its just switching/moving the numbers around?"

It doesn't help any students for a school to improve its numbers by improving the WASL testing of its recruits.

Whether or not it was successful at Cleveland, I couldn't say. Whether or not a more extreme version will be successful - making Cleveland into a S.T.E.M. school - will be successful, I cannot say.

The important point - the one that Sahila noted - is that it may help the school's numbers, but it doesn't help any students. No more students pass the test, it just re-distributes the ones who do.

And, no, it won't help the school make AYP since it won't help all the sub-groups. It's strictly a publicity move. We have seen how they love to crow about incremental increases in the WASL pass rates and call them significant (often while brushing off as inconsequential declines of the same size). Cleveland, because it is not a Title I school (SPS doesn't spend Title I money in high schools), is not subject to sanctions. Without sanctions why should the District care if the high schools don't make AYP?
ARB said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
ARB said…
Can someone tell me the district's policy on transferring students from NCLB "failing" schools if a parent requests? Seems to me that all(?) the nonfailing schools would be full this late in the game? Can the district get around this requirement simply because "popular" schools have no room? Also, what happens next year when people automatically have assignment/neighborhood schools that are failing?
Also, please forgive me if I misunderstand the process and feel free to explain...(I see some discussion of this has occurred, but how does the new SAP factor in?)
Charlie Mas said…
Aurora asks:
"Can someone tell me the district's policy on transferring students from NCLB "failing" schools if a parent requests?"

If you get the letter, you can request the transfer to one of the schools offerred in the letter with transportation provided. Under any other circumstances the regular rules apply: it is on a space-available basis and the transportion policy applies.

"Seems to me that all(?) the nonfailing schools would be full this late in the game? Can the district get around this requirement simply because "popular" schools have no room?"

Yes. The law only requires the District to transfer students to other schools while space is available. The District can claim that all other nearby schools are full and be exempted from offering transfers.

"Also, what happens next year when people automatically have assignment/neighborhood schools that are failing?"

The same federal rules will apply. The District will send out the letters offering transfers to other schools on a space-available basis. If the space is available, the District must make the transfer and provide transportation. They need not do anything if there is no space available at nearby schools.

So the stated capacity of the schools becomes really critical. If the District says that a school has a functional capacity of 390, and they refuse a transfer when the school has less than 390 students, the family requesting the transfer can make a more forceful appeal. Of course, just because a school has space doesn't mean that they have that space in your child's grade, but at least you will have some numbers for making a case and you will be able to force them to show the data that makes their case.

That is, if a Board member will advocate for you.
And as I have mentioned previously, there is the case of McGilvra. They have small class sizes (not to contractual standards of 24 K-3, 32 4-5 - I think that's right). So, at one WASL results time (I think two years ago), they had to take kids from failing schools. (And McGilvra had raised, literally, hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for extra teachers to keep those class sizes low.) So imagine their surprise when they HAD to take on additional students (but it was probably something like 3-5 students).

So, I would check, beyond whatever schools are on the list in the letter, and see if other schools in the area are really "full". Is every classroom at its contractual limit? Advocate to your Board member and the district on this point and don't just take their word for it that all the other nearby schools are "full".

This is an old case that I use as an example and I have no idea if McGilvra is full at this date.
reader said…
Aurora, according to Wrightslaw, a special education website, it isn't sufficient to just say... "oh, sorry there aren't any schools making AYP with room". In that case the district may need to arrange for an out of district transfer or compensatory education.

Look here and here for more information.
Josh Hayes said…
FWIW, last year we got the letter (because we go to AS1) and my son was offered a spot in - wait for it -


Ho ho ho! As if there would be room! Haven't gotten the letter yet this year, but since AS1 continues to be on the list, I'm sure we will.
rugles said…
Only 15% of Madrona's 8th graders passing in math?

Either a typo or a tragedy.
reader said…
You see, everyone who wants to go to Eckstein should instead sign up for AS1.
Charlie Mas said…
Here is the whole strand of Madrona math numbers:

3rd: 52.9%
4th: 32.3%
5th: 52.0%
6th: 45.3%
7th: 26.5%
8th: 15.2%

Now here's an interesting thing to check. How did these classes do LAST year?

3rd: 57.6%
4th: 53.1%
5th: 63.6%
6th: 14.3%
7th: 29.2%

So, not accounting for transfers in and out, the Madrona class of 2009 saw their pass rate fall from 29.2% to 15.2%. The Madrona class of 2010, however, saw their pass rate increase from 14.3% to 26.5%

If we were to re-arrange the data by class - again, this would not account for transfers in and out of the school - we would see this pass rate history for the Madrona class of 2009:

3rd: No test in 2004
4th: 26.8% in 2005 - 41 students
5th: 14.6% in 2006 - 48 students
6th: 22.8% in 2007 - 57 students
7th: 29.2% in 2008 - 48 students
8th: 15.2% in 2009 - 46 students

Of course, whether the pass rate is the low, 14.6%, or the high, 29.2%, all of these pass rates are dreadful.

I have read the Madrona CSIP, but it really isn't clear to me what they are doing to improve student learning.

Of course, Madrona is by no means alone in this situation. There are a lot of schools with dreadful numbers. And it is hard, if not impossible, to determine what these schools are doing about it.

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