I Was Wrong About Cleveland STEM

Six months ago I made a couple of predictions about the enrollment at Cleveland STEM. I predicted that the school wouldn't attract much more than 100 freshman and I predicted a massive turnover in the demographic. Both of those predictions have proven wrong.

First, Cleveland STEM has 233 freshman. That is essentially full enrollment. The school has (contractually) a capacity for 250 students in each class and this is just about 95% full. Congratulations to the school and the community for drawing so many students. This is wonderful news. I'm positively delighted.

Second, the demographic of the freshman class at Cleveland STEM is little changed from the the demographics of previous classes.

Here's the breakdown:
Cleveland 9th grade 2010
Asian: 87 - 37.3%
Black: 90 - 38.6%
Latino: 31 - 13.3%
Indian: 10 - 4.3%
White: 15 - 6.4%
Total: 233 - 100.0%

This is not much different from previous classes at Cleveland. In 2008, the last non-STEM year the school was:
Cleveland total enrollment 2008
Asian: 200 - 28.3%
Black: 376 - 53.3%
Latino: 75 - 10.6%
Indian: 17 - 2.4%
White: 38 - 5.4%
Total: 706 - 100.0%

So I was wrong about that also. Again, I'm happy to be wrong. I based my estimates on the turnout at the STEM Open House. They proved to be less than representative.


ttln said…
got verification that they all chose the program?
Dorothy Neville said…
Why wouldn't they all be there by choice?
dan dempsey said…
This is good News.


Cleveland 9th grade 2010
Asian: 87 - 37.3%
Black: 90 - 38.6%

Cleveland total enrollment 2008
Asian: 200 - 28.3%
Black: 376 - 53.3%

A 9% increase in a higher scoring ethnic group
And a 15% reduction in the lowest scoring ethnic group

Should produce a positive change at OSPI test time.

Hopefully it will be a large increase that reflects the effort of teachers, students, and parents at Cleveland.
Charlie Mas said…
Because STEM is an Option School, I don't believe that anyone can be assigned to it if they did not choose it. It may not have been their first choice, but they had to put it on their choice form.
seattle said…
STEM is an option school, and as such all freshman had to choose to attend the school.

However, it would be interesting to know if families chose STEM as their 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or lower choice.
Dorothy Neville said…
Asian is such a big category, hard to decipher. This particular set has average scores less than the district average for Asians.

But FRL rates have not declined. And the Af AM and Latino reading scores are going up and look good compared to the district. If the program is working for raising math achievement, I suspect that will take time to show on reports.
Anonymous said…
Charlie, I really appreciate the intellectual and moral integrity that this post represents. I also appreciate and expect that you will continue to hold Cleveland accountable for improvement in other areas; but this acknowledgement that we have met two important benchmarks increases my respect for whatever critical feedback you offer in the future.


Catherine Brown
Cleveland High School
dan dempsey said…
I continue to be concerned about math.

The manipulation by MGJ to get NTN's Project Based Learning purchased with $800,000 despite the incredibly poor math performance at NTN schools, is hardly a confidence builder.

The District tells us that one middle school is sending an 8th grade class to high school with 90% of students ready for high school math and yet that same school had only 75% of student able to score above "Far Below Basic" on the MSP.

In the case of AKI KUROSE:

MSP 8th grade Math 2010

Passed 34.8%
Scoring at Far Below Basic 39.2%

Math - Grade 8

9.9% Level 4 (exceeds standard)

24.3% Level 3 (met standard)

0.6% Basic (met standard)

23.8% Level 2 (below standard)

39.2% Level 1 (well below standard)

2.2% No Score


Yet the District claims 73% of Aki 8th graders left ready for high school math.

Is anyone buying these school report card claims of Students ready for High School Math?
ttln said…
With all the "funky gyrations" that went on with regard to assignment this fall, you trust the system in this particular situation?

I don't trust any of it for a second. This is one jaded Dorothy.

How are the non-stem students doing? (I hear they aren't so happy with the new program getting all of the "good stuff" - essentially reaping the benefit their demonstrated need brought to the building.)

Good for STEM. The injustice, however, still remains.
dan dempsey said…
Here is a comparison of Asian/Pacific students' Math Scores at Cleveland on MSP Math grade 10 in Spring 2010 with Cleveland Black students' scores.

Cleveland HS

Math 10th : Asian/Pacif : Black

Standard : 33.30% .:. 5.70%
Level 4 .:. 13.00% .:. 0.00%
Level 3 .:.20.30% .:. 5.70%

Not Meeting
Standard : 66.70% .:. 94.30%
Level 2 .:. 26.10% .:. 22.70%
Level 1 .:. 39.10% .:. 61.40%
No Score .:. 1.40% .:. 10.20%

Increasing the number of Asian/Pacific students by 10% and reducing the number of Black students by 15% would make a difference if these students are from a similar pool as students who attended Cleveland in 2010.

Here are the Math scores of those two ethnic groups for the entire District.

District 10th graders

Math 10th : Asian/Pacif : Black

Standard : 50.10% .:. 12.10%
Level 4 .:. 24.30% .:. 03.60%
Level 3 .:.25.90% .:. 8.30%

Not Meeting
Standard : 49.90% .:. 87.90%
Level 2 .:. 18.80% .:. 19.10%
Level 1 .:. 26.80% .:. 59.00%
No Score .:. 4.30% .:. 9.80%

This pool also indicates an extremely high likelihood of Math scoring performance improvement when a school increases Asian/Pacific student enrollment and reduces Black student enrollment using this pool.
Charlie Mas said…
It is important to note that although the percentage of Black students is down, there was no drop in the actual NUMBER of Black students.

So STEM is drawing just as many Black students as Cleveland did, but it is also drawing more students from other demographic groups.
dan dempsey said…
How to get an $800,000 expenditure for crap past the Public.


Excerpts in order from the above posting:

The Superintendent claimed to have written the Action Report of 3-12-2010 using the Authentic Memo but this was untrue. She used the Draft Memo and thus deceived the Public and perhaps the Board as well.

The reason for the substitution of Draft Memo in place of Authentic Memo is likely because an $800,000 bid was being sought without competitive bidding and if the authentic original memo had been used to construct the Action Report, the public and the Board would have been fully aware that the product and/or service for which a "sole-source" purchase was sought was clearly a substandard product and/or service.

It appears that the Superintendent and perhaps her Chief Academic Officer
under RCW 9A.60.020 on Forgery
(1) Are likely guilty of forgery as, with intent to defraud,

(a) one or both of them perhaps falsely made, a written instrument: the School Board Action Report of March 12, 2010, by using a memo other than the memo sent to the School Board.

This forged report likely facilitated the purchase of an $800,000 contract for services, which had been portrayed incorrectly by that School Board Action Report.

Additionally, the Superintendent, in failing to properly quote what are the most damning parts of the Anderson Memo forwarded to the Board, seems to be guilty of violating RCW 9A.76.175.

RCW 9A.76.175 Making a false or misleading statement to a public servant.

A person who knowingly makes a false or misleading material statement to a public servant is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. "Material statement" means a written or oral statement reasonably likely to be relied upon by a public servant in the discharge of his or her official powers or duties.

Clear enough?

Likely, one Gross Misdemeanor and one Class C Felony.
-- Dan

MGJ's answer to closing the achievement gaps is now TfA. Insanity reigns.

We shall soon see what SAO Seattle Assistant Audit Manager, Tony Martinez, thinks of the methods likely used to flim-flam the Public by the Superintendent and CAO.
Anonymous said…
Thank you, Charlie, for posting this. I had a suspicion that what you were seeing at the Open House did not represent the reality from all the conversations I was having with people with kids at the local schools.

To quote one parent of a rising AA 9th grader, "Good! We've been WANTING a program like this! (Son) will be so excited!"

That was pretty much the norm.

Too bad you are suspicious, ttln. The people I know there very much willingly chose the program.
wsnorth said…
ttln, I'm with you and on your side, but the district had to do something for the SE, the money is committed, let's hope it works! If it is half as good as Aviation High School, it will be worth it.

I'd also be interested in the Male/Female student %'s (not to stereotype anyone).
dan dempsey said…
WSNorth said:

"the district had to do something for the SE,"

The something they have yet to try is to use evidence in the selection of proposals needed for improvement.

Once again the District has failed to use evidence to drive improvement proposals.

Your statement that "They had to do something." Shows the desperation in those the district is supposed to serve.

Doing more unproven ill researched programs will likely produce the same results or worse than doing nothing at all.


Welcome to the Shakedown.
wsnorth said…
Well, the way they implemented it might not be the best, nor most efficient - even wasteful - but STEM is attracting students in the SE and hopefully will provide a decent education.

We know half a dozen friends and friends of friends whose kids are at Aviation High and really happy with the education their students are receiving. Why shouldn't SPS students (and some of them are) have the same or similar opportunity? I hope it is not worse than "nothing at all" - seems to me it would be pretty hard to be worse than recent Cleveland results.
wsnorth said…
And, according to the "School Reports" (which may be totally bogus) the cost per student at Cleveland is $7175 per student vs $7743 at Rainier Beach. I wonder if that includes the $800k contract?
Charlie Mas said…
I am curious about the success of some other STEM efforts, such as the partnerships with local institutions and the private fundraising, and I'll be watching for the student outcomes.

Of course I hope everything will go splendidly, but I'll report the truth either way.
dan dempsey said…
WS North,

Similarities between Aviation and Cleveland are very few.

I would like to know where you got your dollar figures for Budgets at RBHS and at Cleveland and what year.

Note the first STEM year will be 2010-2011 and lots of dollars are being diverted from other schools to Cleveland.
dan dempsey said…
WS North said:

"the way they implemented it might not be the best, nor most efficient - even wasteful -"

The selection and approval of NTN was in fact in violation of several state laws. This is one of the points of the three points in recall sufficiency hearing on Thursday.

SPS had an opportunity to be part of Aviation from square one and declined.

The fact that some students are pleased with aviation says little about what the Cleveland STEM experience will be.

Hopefully the efforts of teachers, families, and students can make Cleveland a success.

The fact that this STEM program takes carry over funds from Low-Income schools like Broadview-Thompson is completely unfair.
Jan said…
Dan: although I thought the NTN contract was a poor deal for the District, I would really really really very much like for Cleveland STEM to succeed. And by succeed, I mean deliver a good STEM education (whatever that is) to lots of students -- who choose the school and are delighted to be there. Better still if many of them are low income, or south end (not necessarily the same) kids -- because that would help two issues (not enough schools perceived as good south of the ship canal, and not enough south end options for low income/minority kids. Leaving aside the fact that I find the tests highly flawed, I would love to see test results (whatever they mean) out of STEM that match or exceed RHS, NOVA, GHS, etc. Even more, I want to see those kids snapped up by MIT, Cal Tech, Renssalaer (sp?), the UW engineering department, Harvey Mudd -- and a host of other colleges and universities who value their STEM educations. While the District might have done it for less, I will bury every argument I ever had against the content and process of the NTN contract -- if only it will succeed. I am worried that it won't, but boy do I hope my worries are wrong.

Can you explain what you mean when you say Aviation and Cleveland have very little in common? I have absolutely no clue what is going on inside Cleveland these days. Do you? Does anyone who posts here?
dan dempsey said…
Dear Jan,

#1 The NTN contract requires Project Based Learning to be the primary instructional method in all classes.

NTN PBL math has been an incredible failure.

#2 Aviation looked long and hard for instructors. The Aviation model could not likely be replicated given how long they had to look to find the right instructors. The school has about 400 students. The hiring took place from ground zero and they had to reduce their original expectations for teachers. It seems there is a shortage of PhD. Moon walking Aviators in the teaching pool.

Aviation has some very impressive teachers. I do not know anything about the STEM qualifications of Cleveland teachers.

#3 Check the school profiles for Aviation and for Cleveland.

I've spent about 40 years of my life on this mission. I've taught on two reservations and in South Central LA etc.. The SPS leadership is incredibly abysmal. There are many great teachers in the SPS and most of them are horrified by the direction Central Administration produces.

The SPS continually ignores proven practices. MGJ now talks about innovation. She is up on Buzz-Words. The innovation for her would be proposing something that has a track record of positive results given the conditions.

TfA is her latest smoke and mirrors pointless proposal.

CHECK the RESULTS of MGJ's Programs and the lack of success and lack of planned meaningful interventions.

Students who are lacking fundamental skills will rarely acquire needed skills through Project Based Learning. Check Data from NTN schools for confirmation.
Some "Explicit Instruction" and practice will be needed.
dan dempsey said…
Here are the 10th grade test results from OSPI.

Aviation and Cleveland STEM comparison

10th Grade Reading
Year .:..:..:. Aviation Cleveland GAP
2005-06 WASL 97.80% 67.40% 30.40%
2006-07 WASL 98.90% 62.70% 36.20%
2007-08 WASL 97.90% 62.80% 35.10%
2008-09 WASL 99.00% 64.40% 34.60%
2009-10 HSPE 93.40% 63.10% 30.30%

10th Grade Math
Year .:..:..:. Aviation Cleveland GAP
2005-06 WASL 88.50% 21.10% 67.40%
2006-07 WASL 84.90% 17.90% 67.00%
2007-08 WASL 80.40% 12.20% 68.20%
2008-09 WASL 87.40% 21.20% 66.20%
2009-10 HSPE 80.40% 17.10% 63.30%

I certainly think that the scores of 10th graders at Cleveland will improve given the amount of resources the SPS is going to dedicate to about 700 students.

I am a person who cares to analyze undertakings rather than go for hope and feelings.

The fact that PBL is required and yet the students have lots of deficiencies does not bode well. If only the students were better prepared in math and if only the students had excellent instructional materials.

In math kids will be taking essentially around 80 minutes a day every day for 4 years. The Cleveland staff are to be commended for at least allotting additional time to a very difficult task.

The original statement of Calculus required of all at Cleveland STEM - revealed remarkable ignorance on the part of the planning team ... or was that from Central Admin?

The pathetic k-8 math program will hamper Cleveland's STEM efforts.

Note District k-4 math OSPI scores for SPS are not getting better but worse. The middle school math scores were a bright spot last year for the first time in likely a decade.

STEM is another distraction from the core failure of the district to provide a sound program of instruction with excellent materials and practices that are complete with effective interventions.

The Superintendent should be fired with cause.

wsnorth said…
The funding #'s per student are from the recent school report cards.
seattle said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
seattle said…
Part 1

Dan, Aviation high school is fantastic, but I'd hardly compare it to STEM. STEM takes all comers, Aviation does not. Have you ever seen the Aviation High admissions process? It rivals that of an Ivy League private school.

They get three applicants for every seat, and their selection process is very competitive. It weeds many kids out, and it's no wonder they get the most motivated students and very high test scores.

To apply to Aviation high a student has to:

Complete an application (on their own, no help from parents) and word process it. The application asks among other things, about GPA, high school classes taken in middle schools, highest level math class taken, if you need sped services, have an IEP, or have ever been disciplined, suspended or expelled.

Applicants have to write 3 different essays.One about themselves, one about what motivates them, and one about Obama.

Applicants have to have a letter of recommendation from their current science or math teacher, and their English/LA teacher.

Applicants must attend a school interview wearing business casual attire. Business casual attire is also the dress code for the school.

Applicants must sign a commitment statement.

Applicants have to collect and submit many documents to the school, including their transcripts and standardized test scores.

from their website

"Each part of the application will be assessed for completeness and quality of response. Incomplete applications will not be considered."
seattle said…
part 2

from the Aviation HS website:

"What to expect at the interview:
A team of students and a school staff member will conduct your interview. You should plan to arrive at the interview in AHS school-appropriate attire or better. Our dress code is ‘business casual’. You will be asked to respond to questions and provide information that may not have been part of your application. You will also be required to respond, in writing, to a question. "

"As with the application, we will evaluate the quality and completeness of your responses during the interview process.
We are looking for your authenticity, passion for aviation and aerospace, commitment to working hard to succeed in a rigorous course of study, intent to attend and graduate from college or other post-secondary education program, and commitment to being with us for four full years of high school."

"When you and your parents sign the commitment statements on your application, convince us that you take it seriously. "


I'd HATE to see any SPS school have an application "process" like this. And for those who do think an application process like this is acceptable for a public school - don't whine about charters not taking all comers ever again.
seattle said…
Here is one more bit of data for you to compare when you tally up those test scores Dan.

Highline district 29% white/aviation high 60% white

Highline district 31% hispanic/Aviation high 11%

Highline district 12% black/Aviation high 3% black

Highline district 63% FRL/ Aviation High 20% FRL
dan dempsey said…
Dear Rainin,

Thanks for taking the time to clearly demonstrate to everyone that Cleveland STEM and Aviation are not in anyway meaningfully way similar.

I greatly appreciate you taking the time to do this.

If the NTN STEM design for Cleveland was so good then why did the following occur?

The production of 2 misleading action reports by MGJ and her CAO.
The Action Reports used on 2-3-2010 and the 3-12-2010 Action Report used on 4-7-2010 each had serious flaws that would mislead any member of the public that read them. The 3-12-2010 Action report was fraudulently produced by referencing a memo as sent to the Board, when in fact the memo sent to the board was NOT referenced in construction of the memo.

The 2-3-10 action report had numerous incorrect statements, which contained data mistakes that all favored NTN. In addition the contract failed to match this 2-3-10 Action Report.
Jan said…
Wow, rainin. I confess. I had no clue. None. Thanks so much for responding. Now, a quick follow up question.

Is Aviation High School the same thing as the TAF Academy that Trish Dziko was involved in trying to start up? If not, do we know where it got its genesis (who was behind it, etc. -- I confess, it sounds to me a lot like a bunch of Boeing space and aviation engineers got toghether and dreamed up their version of the perfect high school program for someone wanting their career path.

As for whether I would ever want to see a SPS with a similar admissions policy/process -- I am of two minds. I think we owe it to ALL our kids, including the engineering/math whizzes, to do our best to hit out of the park home runs for them in terms of educational opportunity. And this kind of program may well be it.

On the other hand, one of the things my APP/Spectrum/Special ed (yes, I have had them all) kids enjoyed most about Garfield is that it is also their neighborhood school. There is lots of diversity (economic, academic, cultural), and they value that very highly. When you go to admissions-based schools with extremely high standards, you lose some of that. The "trick" to me has always seemed to be the "balance" -- it is great to get all kids together, but you have to have enough kids who are doing the work, not causing behavior problems, caring about their grades and their education -- that the "dynamic" does not become one that is toxic to learning. Our most successful high and middle schools have that. I don't know if the less successful ones do.
seattle said…
"Is Aviation High School the same thing as the TAF Academy that Trish Dziko was involved in trying to start up?"

No, they are two completely separate schools in different districts. Trish has nothing to do with Aviation. Trish's vision for TAF was to have a rigorous, college prep, technology focused school, that deliberately serves minority and low income students in their neighborhoods. It is open to all comers, by lottery.

TAF is in Federal Way.

Federal Way schools are 12% black /TAF is 22% black

Federal Way schools are 19% Hispanic/TAF is 21% Hispanic

Federal Way schools are 41% white/TAF is 35% white

Federal Way schools are 47% FRL/ TAF is 51% FRL

The walk their talk.

Test scores at TAF are nowhere near as high as Aviation, probably due to the demographic they serve. If I were to compare two schools, I might consider comparing TAF to Cleveland STEM.

And Aviation to Lakeside or Bush.

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