Truthiness from Seattle Times: Big Surprise, the District Got College Readiness Wrong

The Times has what they call "The Truth Needle" and Linda Shaw, their education reporter, filed a report this morning. Let me allow her to tell you:

The claim: Starting in 2008, Seattle Public Schools reported that a meager 17 percent of its high-school graduates met the entrance requirements for four-year colleges. The district quietly quit using that number then recently revised it, without comment, to 46 percent.

"...revised it, without comment..." classic SPS. This is why, when you read a contract or a hard number, you should bookmark that page or print it out. It might just disappear and you'll feel like you got gaslighted (how old am I to use that reference).

Now that 17% is out there in ether and even though many of us were left scratching our heads (how did all those seniors at Roosevelt get into college?), what can you do? This 17% number has been used by LEV, Seattle Foundation and many other "community" groups.

What the Times found:

The 17 percent was one of the numbers district leaders used to justify the district's five-year plan that included a new system of assigning students to schools, more testing for students, and new teacher and principal evaluations.

That statistic was false, but the district used the number in presentations to the School Board and to the public.

Other groups picked it up as well, using it to lobby for their own priorities.

So what happened?

About two weeks ago, without fanfare, the district reported a new, much higher number. In a ream of data released that day on how its schools and the district as a whole are doing, it said 46 percent of the students who graduated this past June met the entrance requirements for Washington's public four-year universities.

The district did not call attention to the change, or explain why the number had changed so dramatically.

The reason: The 17 percent was never really what it seemed.

Brad Bernatek, the district's director of research, assessment and evaluation, said he came up with the 17 percent figure in 2008, but it was supposed to be a measure of how many high-school graduates were prepared to succeed in four-year colleges, not just get admitted.

To arrive at that figure, he counted only students who took four years of math and three years of science — more than what's required by public four-year colleges in this state. He also ruled out any student who didn't have a B average, even though a C average is enough to apply.

To repeat, Brad Bernatek just made his own ideas up about what students need to get into college. The district used this figure at many community meetings.

The district says:

It's unclear whether district staff oversimplified the explanation, misunderstood what Bernatek was trying to do or misused it in their zeal to convince the public and potential funders of the need for the changes outlined in the five-year plan.

What is clear: At least one School Board member raised questions about the figure from the beginning. And the district didn't publicly correct it, even after it pulled the figure from some of its own reports.

Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson says that was a mistake.

"We should have changed the public conversation," Goodloe-Johnson said Friday.

"We should have come forward sooner," she said.

While staff understood what the number was supposed to be, she said, she acknowledges the district didn't make its meaning clear to the public, especially after it decided to quit using it.

You crass, cynical bureaucrat. How dare you talk about public conversation when all you do is talk fast and spew non-related "information" to throw people off. Staff knew what it meant? Staff knew they were putting out false information? And they all sat on their hands and kept their mouths shut

Yoo hoo, School Board?

School Board President Michael DeBell said 17 percent always seemed too low to him. He raised questions about the number from the beginning, was told that staff would look into it, but said he never received a satisfactory answer.

"Every time I heard it, I cringed," he said. "I knew it was way too low. We were doing much better than that. I couldn't understand why we were putting that kind of data out."

Ramona Hattendorf, the former SCPTSA president said she asked Goodloe-Johnson about it and go the famous "I'll get back to you" phrase. She feels bad for spreading incorrect information. Don't Ramona, it's not YOUR fault. But please, SCPTSA know going forward that always staying on the side of the district is not your role and not where you should position yourself.

And Bernetek?

Bernatek said he stopped using the number about a year ago for two reasons. He worried about measuring students against a bar they didn't know existed, he said, and he also learned he'd left out some career- and technical-education classes that should have been counted as math classes.

In retrospect, Bernatek said, he wished he'd done more to make sure the public knew the issues with the number and why the district stopped using it.

"I didn't communicate that well enough," he said. "In fairness to the people who used it, it was still on our website."

He should be fired. I am going to e-mail the Board this morning and demand it. He knowingly (and likely with reason) put out false information

Thank you to Dan D. for this heads up.


Unknown said…
Pretty appalling. Even I can see the conspiracy theory behind this one. Definitely stinks bad.
another mom said…
Let's see we have:

strategic plan...check
glowing eval for the sup...check
contract with teachers...check
supplemental levy...check
charter schools...maybe

audit...worst ever
nsap...lots of problems
manipulation of the data...yup
accountability...not so much

What else are they lying to the public about?

Bernatek is not the only one responsible here. This goes all the way to the top.Does anyone believe that the Superintendent just found out about this? I think not. The Superintendent needs to submit her resignation soon.
ParentofThree said…
This is horrible the chief numbers guy can't add?

What other decisions has the board made based on his fuzzy math.

Anonymous said…
Brad Bernatek has already announced his resignation. He is going to work for a wait for it ... a private education policy organization.

Skeptical in Seattle
Kathy said…
Besides the fact MAP has flaws...Bernatek et. al will be correlating MAP scores to teacher effectiveness, student achievement etc.

Numbers are the driving force behind our Strategic Plan, and they can't be trusted.

No worries. If too many teachers get fired (numbers will prove their incompetence)- we'll have TfA recruits to replace our teaching corp.

As a parent with 2 children in SPS, I've lost a lot of sleep over these numbers.

These folks have GOT to go.
Dorothy Neville said…
Rosie! How about that!

Is it any surprise that this was announced (Brad corrected the 17% figure at the Nov 17 worksession on scorecards) right after the levy vote?

I disagree with letting Ramona off the hook. Really, the president of the SCPTSA ought to have more critical thinking skills and solid independent knowledge of the district. The 17% figure just doesn't make sense to anyone who has had a child graduate from one of four big high schools where the number of kids who actually enroll in four year colleges is about 50%. Certainly there are other high schools that are not doing as well, but there's no way it would average out to 17%.

If Ramona wants to be effective in her new job as lobbyist, I suggest she start by becoming credibly informed. She and SCPTSA have been hoodwinked by the ed-reform astroturf movement into supporting their agenda without having a real buy in from parents. She should be embarrassed by this and she should learn from it. Do not trust the district's data. Do not look like an ignorant fool. (a lesson a lot more folks could learn as well. Remember Steve Sundquist telling TV reporter that there was no letter sent by the district firing all the teachers? He knew that factually for sure because staff told him.)
ParentofThree said…
"We should have come forward sooner."

Question: what was the driving force behind "coming forward now" Did somebody outside of the district find out about it?
ParentofThree said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dorothy Neville said…
I think they finally came clean because they had to when the school report cards came out. I suspect that the delay of the school report cards until after the school year started and the coming clean of the 17% figure was delayed so as to not interfere with the levy on the ballot.
Dorothy, I think that's absolutely true. They always try to hide things until after the levy vote.
ParentofThree said…
Was the 17% figure used in pro-levy materials? And if so, the district knew it was incorrect and let it go?

Sounds like our new Ethics guy may be getting his first complaint.
ParentofThree said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
ParentofThree said…
Here's an Alliance for Ed video with this stat in it:

spun to say that 83% of students are not prepared to apply for college.

This is pretty unbelievable!
Dorothy Neville said…
Was it used in pro-levy materials? The only place I heard it specifically mentioned with respect to the levy was Heidi Bennett at an interview with the 36th LD Dems. (Interestingly enough, the 36th Dems tape all their interviews, which are done for the exec board, so that the general membership can watch. However, the tape for that one night never got online. I was told they had some "problems with formatting." That was the interview where Sharon Rodgers dismissed the audit and said that perhaps we are trying to hold the district to too high a standard and if only the state fully funded education, we wouldn't have to have these levies and then we wouldn't have to scrutinize the district so much! But since that video alas got lost, you have only my word about that.)

That's why we discussed the 17% here in September. I heard it that night and was completely flummoxed as to where it was from. Maureen asked Sharon who pointed us to the 2008 strategic plan document that listed it. Most commenters agreed it was bogus. I do not recall it mentioned in the literature from the district. I would have noticed. It may have been in other pro-levy pieces, but not directly from the district.

Oh, and that same June 2008 document claimed that they hired a competent payroll manager and fixed their long time payroll problems. (Overpaying people had been in audits since at least 2005.) Funny how the following year the audit showed further payroll problems. A new payroll manager was hired in Feb 2010. The old one was not let go, just reassigned.
Maureen said…
Here's the link to Melissa's Questionable Statistics post of Sept 8th where we discussed this at length.
wseadawg said…
Now, everyone who hasn't done so, go buy/checkout and read "The Shock Doctrine" by Naiomi Klein. It explains everything going on right now in SPS and the Country.

The First Ingredient needed for massive change is a crisis! In a time of crisis, people will panic and support all kinds of counter-intuitive things against their interests.

If people have time to think, they'll slow things down and say "wait a minute!"

Proponents of massive change know that, so they gin up the crisis to the point where people feel they have no choice but to act, and act now! Faster!

It's exactly what we've seen, what we are seeing, and what we will see a lot more of from this district, unless heads roll over this.
Charlie Mas said…
This scandal is a direct result of a weak Board.

The Board is weak in one specific area: oversight.

The Board refuses to read the material provided to them.

* The Board didn't bother to read the NTN contract - otherwise they would have noticed the discrepancies between the actual contract language and the staff's descriptions of it.

* The Board didn't bother to check the CSIP page - otherwise they would have noticed the absence of some schools and the misnaming of others.

The Board refuses to do their job and confirm the data that is presented to them by staff.

* The 17% of graduates who meet college entrance requirements is an obviously false number.

* The claim that all of the CSIPs were on the web page was an obviously false statement. Even after it was shown to be false, Director Martin-Morris indignantly refused to question the veracity of staff's statements. It was an odd time for him to swear that he believes everything Dr. Enfield tells him, right after she admitted that her statement was false.

The Board refuses to do their job and follow up on staff commitments.

* The Board routinely fails to follow up on staff answers of "I'll get back to you with that answer."

* Director Martin-Morris quickly collected over a hundred un-fulfilled staff commitments on his blog. He took no action.

This is not a staff problem. This is a Board problem. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson, Dr. Enfield, and Mr. Bernatek all felt secure in making false statements to the Board because they were secure in their belief that the Board wouldn't check. They were right.
another mom said…
Did Bernatek resign or was that just a wishful snark?
gavroche said…
Does anyone think that Bernatek was acting alone, without any direction from above?

This "Broad Resident" whose boss is a Broad-trained and affiliated superintendent? (The Broad Foundation heavily supports the privatizing of public education via charters and running school districts like corporations.)

I agree with Wseadawg that this 17 percent data manipulation amounts to a fabricated "crisis" that was used to justify the imposition of a drastic ed reform agenda (school closures, increased testing (MAP x3/year) used to evaluate teachers, the de-professionalizing of teaching via the proposed hire of Teach for America recruits, and LEV & Gates sponsored forums that invite the heads of charters to town to speak about "innovation" etc etc.)

Which leads me back to my:

Chaos Theory --
(an explanation of what's really going on in Seattle Public Schools under Supt. Maria Goodloe-Johnson)

(adapted from a post from last year)

Another troubling factor in all this is the Broad Foundation's stated objective (or M.O.) of "honing in on" troubled school districts that either are in bankruptcy or have been taken over by the city/mayor.

Neither of these conditions is currently true in Seattle.

In fact, despite a poorly run overstaffed central administrative office (full of Broad Residents, apparently -- which may explain its bloatedness!), Seattle's public schools, by and large, are quite strong, with some nationally recognized schools and programs. Yes, there are weak areas and inequities that should be addressed.

So how does Broad (rhymes with "toad") plan to make its case for a privatized takeover of Seattle Public Schools via charters if our district isn't asking for this?

It would, in theory, need to create an environment that is "ripe" (to use one of Broad's own terms) for charters to move in.

It would need to create a crisis (or chaos).

How does it do that?

Looking at all the mind-boggling, reckless, rushed and illogical decisions and changes made by this School District these past 3 years under the leadership of Broad board member and graduate, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, with no clear benefits in sight, one might question this Superintendent's objectives for our District.

Are she and her admin staff (larded with Broadies) genuinely trying to improve Seattle Public Schools, make them strong and desirable for all the kids in the city and lure back the high percentage of private school attendees into the public system?

Will school closures that ignore demographic trends and community needs, teacher layoffs, mindlessly standardizing curricula, implementing a failed math curriculum, weakening alternative and highly capable schools, developing a New Student Assignment Plan that overcrowds schools across the District including the top ranked Garfield High School -- add up to a stronger, more desirable School District?

Or do these "reforms" create chaos and mistrust and weaken schools and parents' faith in the system, damn schools as failures, and potentially open the door to a public cry for the city to take over the School District, or create an environment that allows those with a corporate ed reform agenda to push their "solutions" on our schools?

If so, Mission Accomplished, from the Broad perspective, and the next step would be to present the idea of privately run charters as a "solution." (Hence the recent LEV forum with the head of KIPP charters and others.)

This, of course, is just a theory -- a "Chaos Theory" if you will.

But it really has been difficult to see how Goodloe-Johnson's erratic, poorly executed "Plan for Excellence," which has disenfranchised parents, has little to no community buy-in, and has elements that seem shrouded in secrecy, is putting our kids and their schools on a positive, stronger path.

(continued on next post)
gavroche said…
Chaos Theory
(continued from previous post)

This is not a new story. There are always those who come from the corporate world who believe that the corporate way to run things is applicable everywhere.

Well, there's ample evidence that that's just not true.

Our country just finished 8 years under the "leadership" of the first U.S. president with an MBA, and look where that landed us -- in two quagmires overseas and an economy in a tailspin such as we've not seen since the Great Depression.

We now have ample evidence of the for-profit, oversight-free "business models" of the Ken Lays and Bernie Madoffs, Phil Gramms, Kerry Killingers, etc. etc, of the world, and it has left our nation in ruins.

The Broad/Gates-types are the same kind of people who wanted to privatize Social Security. Thank God that didn't happen, for look where everyone's retirement savings would be now.

Above all -- and this is the heart of the matter for me and for many others on this blog I would venture to guess -- our children are not commodities. Their schools are not "enterprises." Their principals are not "CEOs."
Their learning is not a "profit" opportunity. (These are all terms quoted from Broad literature.)

Successful schools are collaborative, creative communities in which parents have a say and teachers are respected, principals are members of the team, and children are the primary focus.
Chris S. said…
Fire the Broad.
Maureen, I saw the word "Statistics" in the title and said, "That's not me, that's Charlie." Indeed it was.

I've already written the Board, here's some of what I said:

"Shame on them" isn't good enough. This is wrong. This is NOT an error. This is lying for a reason. This is abuse of office. This is a major embarrassment to Seattle Public Schools because once you've gone down this road, you lose credibility. Who is going to believe their figures now? Parents? Community? the media? the Legislature? the Board?"

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson will do anything to push her agenda and improve her resume. Now we can add lying to the list.

I'm thinking the Board is having a rather serious discussion right now with Steve and Peter and Harium trying to figure out how to save her. Brad better be gone by the end of the week. There is no excuse.

More of the best and the brightest I guess.

I ended my e-mail to the Board:

If not now, when?
Sahila said…
You want to know what is really going on and who is pulling the strings and why?

Save The dated - Sun Valley Idaho
SolvayGirl said…
I keep hoping that SPS will somehow, magically, get it's act together. Keeping our child in private school is a major drain on our finances, but every thing—every thing—this District does makes me feel like we have to stay private.
Meg said…
This "misinformation" wasn't just in "some" community presentations. It's in the Strategic Plan. Oh, and on the Strategic Plan FAQ, "graduates meeting 4 year college entrance reqs" is listed at 17% for 2006-07, with a 2011-13 goal of 40%. In the Strategic Plan itself it's on page 11 (going by bottom of page. Up top it's 14 / 55), under “goals.”

It's pretty ugly. I'd say we have three options to choose from to summarize this bluntly:

a. District management knowingly and intentionally lied, because it helped the agenda du jour.

b. District management is incompetent – they did not understand information that was essential to performing their jobs. Their own lack of competence led to an unintentional miscommunication to the public.

c. All of the above.

Mr. Bernatek could have gone and come up with the “graduates meeting high school credit requirement for four-year college” metric all by himself and not explained it to anyone. Does anyone think he really did? Yes, I understand he came out of Broad, and for some people that makes him instantly suspect, but does that really lead anyone to the conclusion that he decided for himself, without telling anyone, that "meeting entrance requirements" should have a personal definition that was only defined in the appendices of the Strategic Plan? That sounds a little crazy to me. More reasonable might be that he was asked to find a way to "tell the story" in the data more "compellingly." That's not explicitly telling him to lie, but if I was his boss and needed more compelling numbers, I'd probably phrase it that way.

I think it's reasonable to expect that district management has read the Strategic Plan, and I think it would probably be reasonable to expect they've at least perused the FAQ. The Superintendent spent her first year on the job coming up with the plan - you would that there isn't a word in there without her explicit approval, particularly in the area of "goals." District administration has had several years to clear this up, and didn't.
peonypower said…
I think every community member should email the board and let them know how very wrong this is. They fabricated statistics and used them to create the new school system we have now. I can assure you that I will never look at a school statistic and trust it again.

The counselors at our school have been analyzing our data- transcript by transcript and the numbers have never matched the districts.

Time to pull the plug on this fiasco
IvyLeagueMom said…
Private citizens have tried to recall this Board twice so far, but apparently, breaking the law without INTENT is not misfeasance nor malfeasance. If one can claim ignorance of the law, then what is the point of the law? What is the point when ignorance of the law brings absolution?

Can it be proven in this case that there was any INTENT to break the law? Any lawyers out there care to comment?

Do we really want a District that is allowed behave in such a way that we would NEVER allow our children to behave?

Here we go again...
By the way, I put out alerts to my media contacts. One, a tv person who shall remain nameless, said yeah we saw that but we're very busy here with the snow.

I get that it's an important story (saw a jackknifed truck on the freeway) but that's the only story?

It's this kind of media coverage that the district just prays for. Keep your head down and it'll all go away and look! there's Thanksgiving and look! there's Christmas! Move along, nothing to see here.
wseadawg said…
Yup. Exactly MW. Snow in Seattle is always a bigger story than if a foreign army landed on Alki! This is where, as a native, I feel most ashamed of my city, when silliness & twee abounds in a bizarre, childlike, "Oh, it's snowing! Isn't that cute & funny!" Puke! Blech! Watch the local news people smile & throw snowballs like little kids...BARF! Can't wait for the snow to go away, so I don't have to endure this provincial silliness any longer.
wseadawg said…
MW: BTW - I'm sure the Board is being bombarded with e-mail, and public statements will be forthcoming. This story has legs. It isn't going away.
gavroche said…
Is it possible that the false low number served a double purpose -- It allowed the Supt to sell her Strategic Plan to the Board and/or public, and also set up the possibility for her to suddenly declare major gains on her watch in that category when the District released the actual figures?

Was there perhaps a plan to never reveal that the 17 percent was false?

But instead post the "new" (accurate) numbers two years later (this year) and declare some kind of victory of her leadership?

Or is that too sinister?

What made Bernatek fess up?
leslie said…
Did anyone read the Times piece completely? Here's the full quote from the Times article:

Brad Bernatek, the district's director of research, assessment and evaluation, said he came up with the 17 percent figure in 2008, but it was supposed to be a measure of how many high-school graduates were prepared to succeed in four-year colleges, not just get admitted. To arrive at that figure, he counted only students who took four years of math and three years of science — more than what's required by public four-year colleges in this state. He also ruled out any student who didn't have a B average, even though a C average is enough to apply. Deep in an appendix to the district's strategic plan, that's how the 17 percent figure is described.

I totally agree that the communications on this were awful, but it is apparently true that what the 17% number was meant to represent is quite different than what the 46% figure is supposed to represent.

17% was apparently a calculation of those students who would graduate HS *AND be predicted to complete* a 4 year degree.

46% appears to be a calculation of students who will graduate HS with the right credits *to apply* to a 4 year college.

These are two very different things.

It would be great to know if the 17% estimate is even close to right...some state education agency must track this, you'd think. Someone must have those numbers.

To the calls for Mr. Bernatek's head... people misinterpret numbers all the time; he should have been clearer and corrected misuses where he could. But it's not clear at all yet that his 17% number is actually wrong.
Dorothy Neville said…
Look at (HT the True Seattle Parent, I think). If one looks at both 2 and four year colleges or 4 year individually, then Seattle high school graduates have been increasing their rates of enrolling in college right after high school. And the persistence rate is pretty good, at almost 90% attending for second year.

As for graduated from a four year college, looks like we are at about 25% (I assume the more recent data simply means kids haven't graduated yet. 25% would mean graduating in five years of high school graduation.)

Looks like we are doing better for kids prepared for a four year college, but kids who end up in a 2 year college don't graduate in high percentages.

This is not great news, but it is not 17% and the solutions that would make sense should probably be targeted differently.

(Brad should have been fired over the PSAT data analysis he botched so poorly, ruining the Boeing grant by not bothering to provide any data or analysis for over a year after the district got the data. That was a highly touted plan to help college readiness and they blew it. Brad blew it.)
Gavroche, Meg points out that they used the 17% figure and their "goal" by 2012201-3 was 40%. Well, if you know the real figure is something near that, then voila! you met your goal. That's way I called her crass.

Yes, Leslie, I get that. Did you read the part where he made up what he thought should be requirements? Left out the C students (even though many high schools students with a C go to college) and he made the requirements higher than what all colleges and universities expect.

There was NO misinterpretation. HE knew what the figure was about and he and Dr. G-J sat there meeting after meeting and let other people believe something else.

That's called lying. I recall a president who left office for lying.
It's called a credibility gap and her's is now the Grand Canyon.
another mom said…
Sahila thanks for the link to the new Times editorial. It made me wretch. Where is the outrage about accountability? Nowhere, except the Superintendent is still doing a good job and oh well this is a bit of a blip? Giving all involved the benefit of the doubt.My take on it anyway.

Geeze for a district that is "data driven" the hypocrisy is breath taking.

WV=scish Like the data which is a bit of scish that requires hip waders
Dorothy Neville said…
Please have fun with I just found out that Bellevue sends well more than half of their Af Am students to four year college, but their graduation rate after five years is 17%.

In Seattle, we only send about 30% of Af Am students to college, including both 2 and four year schools. About a third of them graduate within five years. So proportionally, our college ready Af Am graduates are doing better than the Af Am college ready graduates in Bellevue.

Time to check somewhere else, Federal Way?
I hate to truly bad mouth anyone BUT in the case of Mr. Bernatek this is not his first case of oververt data manipulation. This is just the most visible.

Mr. Bernatek was the person responsible for developing the now famous and incredibly slippery "functional capacity" numbers for the district. Prior to these numbers, the capacity numbers for building was determined by the 2010 facility plan. The numbers in the 2010 facility plan more close mimicked the reality that most of us parents felt about a building and looked more like the capacity numbers for historically full buildings.

However in the drive to close buildings, all of a sudden all of the buildings in the north end of town suddenly had lots of excess space and other parts of town had their functional capacity decreased.

This showed that the entire drive to close buildings because of excess capacity was a sham because with the introduction of a spreadsheet the problem went away. Those folks in the NE aren't crowed, they are right sized! I think Meg Diaz did a beautiful spreadsheet on this at one point.

Had a person of integrity (like Meg Diaz) created those functional capacity numbers, then we would not have had closed schools the year before the NSAP.
I think this also has to be Mr. Benatek's handiwork (but I can't prove it)

This enrollment report is very interesting.

Obviously, the enrollment numbers (projected and actual) are accurate. HOWEVER, the 2015 functional capacity numbers are brand new. They are not the numbers that we used last year during the NSAP negotiations at all. But you have to be a hard core geek to notice this.

When you read the report, you automatically compare the 2010 enrollment with the capacity so that you can determine if a building is over or under capacity. BUT what you really really need is another column that shows the change in capacity from last year.

Whitman MS has 954 students and is really full. Last year, their capacity was listed as 967 so you would look at the report and think this is a full building BUT NO!. The "new" 2015 functional capacity number is 1095 so now you read the report and think they have lots of room to grow.

It is an interesting question to try to determine if it is the lack of integrity, intelligence or talent that drives the consistency in manipulated data.

I completely understand why the board is unable to make a true data driven decision when they are presented with crap like this.
dan dempsey said…
Let us go back to Mr. Bernetek in 2007 and the Everyday Math adoption. In a presentation to show the Board some other district's EDM results, he chose a district (either South Whidbey or South Kitsap, I don't remember the exact one used) among the top 4 for all students in WASL score improvement and a different District (Central Valley Spokane) for Special Ed score improvement.

This was presented to the Board (I believe by Rosalind Wise) in such a way that the either naive members or those choosing to trust their hired professionals did not question how these schools were selected or the meaning of the Stats Presented. {Naturally detailed analysis of IOWA test math scores, sent to directors, individually referencing results from all Washington Districts using EDM were ignored by Directors --- I sent these results from over 30 EDM district's, which showed poor results overall ... and ... and as usual got "We Choose to Trust our Hired Professionals" the vote was unanimous for EDM adoption.}

Looks like the wise member of the public or the School Board would now being expecting to be mislead or perhaps lied to by the SPS hired professionals.
... or are some School Board members accomplices by supporting ongoing cover-ups?

Had the South School been selected for Special Ed and Central Valley for regular ed the EDM results would have been pathetic.

Mr. Bernetek was under Carla Santorno's direction and he Cherry-Picked the schools. .... So now he apparently fabricates under MGJ's Direction.

It is very clear that this time with the 17% number both Mr. Bernetek and the Superintendent are likely guilty of a gross misdemeanor of misleading a public official.

MGJ can tack that onto her apparent Class C felony Forgery for her actions with the NTN Action Report production. It seems that CAO Enfield helped her as lead person for the Action Report production.

LINKED HERE are some Lessons in Chaos from Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

Friday November 5, 2010 on The Math Underground:

"Dr. Goodloe-Johnson is the classic example of a person who is committed to making things work the way she philosophically believes they should work. She is completely detached from reality. Her plans do not work, but she refuses to make any adjustments because of reality. Reality is not going to get in the way of her ideology ... ever. Valid Data reports are rarely used."

Now MGJ apparently manufactures some of what she wishes to present as evidence.
dan dempsey said…
Thanks for the help.

Strategic Plan at bottom of page 11 in the Table (this is .pdf page 14/55)

SPS Goals 2008 - 2013

Graduates meeting High School credit requirement for four-years colleges = 17%

This was done on June 4, 2008 .... so 2.5 years of Fraud.....

Brought to you by the Strategic Plan.
Anonymous said…
Who on the Board has the courage to put on Don Cherry's jacket and "call it like it is?"
ken berry
dan dempsey said…
My letter to Michael DeBell and cc: to the Board and SAO Assistant Audit manager Tony Martinez is HERE.
dan dempsey said…
Hey Ken,

Maybe Tony Martinez can inspire a Board Member to put on Don Cherry's jacket and tell it like it is.

-- Dan
Don Cherry's Jacket said…
Singapore Math Question:

Don Cherry claims to have given 17% of his jackets to Mr. DeBell, 46% of his jackets to MGJ, and 7% of his jackets to Brad Bernatek. He has 33 Jackets left. How many did he have before he started unloading jackets?

How did we get on Don Cherry anyways? We could do an entire word problem math book about that man's jackets!
Anonymous said…
Hmm....looks like Bernatek is a graduate of Discovery Math!
Worried.... said…
Does anyone else think that someone must be benefitting financially (in addition to overpaid MGJ) for so much to be overlooked over and over again?
Anonymous said…

The Seattle Times, et al, might be too busy with 1/4" of snow on the ground but I know that Fox News has been available for this kind of news nationally. I would suggest contacting them.

In the meantime, Sue and I will get this out nationally through the blogs.

This is exactly what I feared would happen. A Broadie in charge of tests and assessments. That's like the fox watching over the hen house.

I remember revealing my surprise to Harium about Bernatek being in charge of such crucial data and he, as always, poo-pooed the idea. What do parents know anyway? I always feel that we are considered just voices that have to be "heard" while they check their laptops for more interesting information as we speak at the podium in front of them. We might as well be spitting into the wind.

Broad has taught the board directors over the years in their retreats and visits to the Broad Foundation that they would receive hundreds of ideas from parents but the only people that they should listen to are "experts", read non-educators, and Broad representatives. Details of that will be coming up soon in an article that I am writing.

Bernatek and his apprentice Jessica DeBarros, another Broad resident, and G-J have got to go.

Their/Broad agenda has hurt our kids, our families and our communities.

Enough is enough.

These folks need to be tarred and feathered and run out of town.

Don't worry. Broad will find another place for them with other unsuspecting parents and students.

And DeBell was gushing all over himself in the last board meeting about how thankful he was with DeBarros and Bernatek coming up with the schools' report card.

At this point, I would suggest looking very carefully at everything that these two have published.

Bernatek told four of us in person, eye to eye, that the MAP test was not designed to evaluate teachers and yet we see that the supe has decided that is the tool that will be used to judge a teacher's performance.

And yet where is Brad? Silent as always as the supe continues down the road of selling her agenda.

They're both worthless.
dan dempsey said…
Oh this is really rich ...

"In retrospect, Bernatek said, he wished he'd done more to make sure the public knew the issues with the number and why the district stopped using it."

That is just perfect.... Brad, this is a total con and cop out.

The bigger question is why this 17% number appeared on page 11 of the Strategic Plan.

Sure looks like misleading a public official.

Also for TEAM MGJ:
(1) A person is guilty of forgery if, with intent to injure or defraud:

(a) He falsely makes, completes, or alters a written instrument or;

(b) He possesses, utters, offers, disposes of, or puts off as true a written instrument which he knows to be forged.

June 4, 2008 Strategic Plan
page 11:

SPS Goals 2008 - 2013

Graduates meeting High School credit requirement for four-years colleges = 17%

That 17% number has been used for 2.5 years and as the Strategic Plan is still the absurd guiding document of the district .... and I see no warning on Page 11.

I would say the 17% number is still in use.

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson has been using a number that she knows to be untrue.

Someone should serve some jail or prison time in addition to being fired as Superintendent.

MGJ has allowed and likely participated in the forging of the 3-12-10 Action Report and now this comes out about the Strategic Plan ...... but the Board trusts their hired Professions.
dan dempsey said…

In the Firing of Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson a contract buyout will not be needed.

She can be fired with cause.
SP said…
Maureen- Thanks for the link & reminder about Melissa's "Questionable Statistics" strand. Besides the 17% showing up in the Srategic Plan documents, it was also in the presentation PowerPoint 5/21/08 for Introduction to the Board.

What is important is the wording used. In the Strategic Plan Appendix B, District Goals it reads: "Graduates meeting high school credit requirements for 4 year college(%)." In the 5/21/08 PowerPoint the wording was this, "Graduates meeting 4-year COLLEGE ENTRANCE reqs." (caps used in powerpoint)

Meeting credit requirements and/or college entrance requirements is a whole lot different than what Bernatek said in the article, that it "was supposed to be a measure of how many high-school graduates were prepared to succeed in four-year colleges, not just get admitted". These just are not the same at all- the big problem in justification of the change- it doesn't make sense.

Also, the way I understand it, Bernatek was originally using the 2012 HECB credit requirements for a future goal in 2012-13 for SPS which I think makes sense, but he added his own goofy 3.0 GPA which is neither credit requirement nor college entrance requirement.

This new change to use the current HECB requirements for a district goal in 2012-13 doesn't make sense when we know the credits are increasing (1 more credit in math & science). In 2 years, how many graduates really will be "college ready" if we are using the lower credits? Is this a bait & switch or just smoke & mirrors system to measure progress?

Dorothy- thanks for pointing out that Brad did cover this change in the 11/17/10 PowerPoint which compares the two which I had missed, but it doesn't point out that the district's 2013 goal has been changed from 40% to 80%.
And, yes, I had posted the link before- it is very eyeopening for anyone checking out our high schools.
dan dempsey said…
SP, Maureen, and Dorothy ... great work.

SP stated:
"it is very eyeopening for anyone checking out our high schools."

This entire situation is just as eyeopening if not more eyeopening for anyone checking out the leadership or lack thereof in this District.
dan dempsey said…
Anyone care to make a prediction as to whether the Board will ever come out of the bunker on this issue or just hunker down forever.
leslie said…
Dorothy: Thanks for the link to the great site!

I will point out additionally that it's 25% of those student who actually GRADUATE who are getting a 4 year degree in 5 years. So with the SPS 65% graduation rate, it's clear that very few SPS 9th graders go on to get a 4 year degree. Probably less than 17% in the end!

I don't mean to argue with people who are angry about the misrepresentation of the 17% stat by the district itself. That is egregious. However, let's not, during this process, fool ourselves into thinking that 46% of SPS graduates (again, those are graduates, not 9th graders, which we lose 35% of) will complete a 4 year degree. They will not.

I'm really more angry about that statistic on student performance than the bad communications. Although the combo of the two is admittedly extremely galling.
dan dempsey said…
Hey Melissa,

You wrote:
"I didn't communicate that well enough," he said. "In fairness to the people who used it, it was still on our website."

He should be fired. I am going to e-mail the Board this morning and demand it. He knowingly (and likely with reason) put out false information"

Are you going to write to the Board and demand the Superintendent be fired with cause?

She has on more occasions than Mr. Bernetek misled the Board.

Seems unfair to let "Big Boss" skate for more serious violations of state laws than Brad.

They both need to go.
It is her Strategic Plan that used this number. Brad B. gave her a number that she really wanted.
Dorothy Neville said…
Leslie, I agree with you. The problem is that this alarmist shallow figure does nothing to examine the real issues.

Here's what I wrote on the ST opinion piece.:

Of the 40% who enroll right after high school into 4 year college, 62% graduate in five years or less. The state average: 30% enroll and 22% graduate, 73% completion. Are we doing better or worse? Our persistence rate is almost 90% enrolling for a second year. I would suspect that those who are really and truly unprepared would be most likely to drop out of college earlier rather than later. How many of the ones who persisted for two years left or slowed down graduation due to other factors, money, family, or something unrelated to HS preparation?

Not everyone should enroll in a four year college right after high school. For a variety of reasons, some are much better off attending two year college or some sort of trade program. If you look at our successes for those who enroll in a two year college, we are not doing as well. What can we do to improve this? This is GREATLY different from the issue of folks starting a 4 year college and not finishing in five years. And, it is completely different from the other huge issue of kids not graduating high school. Studies show that increasing HS graduation requirements pushing all toward four year colleges can increase dropout rate.

So what maddens me about this is what has maddened me about a LOT of data and statistics I have seen from Brad Bernatek and his boss. They are shallow, too shallow to understand the real issues and look for solutions to improve them. And they are either intentionally overly alarmist or intentionally dampered depending on the political agenda of the superintendent and her Broad-Gates ed-reform bring in the charter schools package.
another mom said…
Leslie, the problem is that the information was NOT used. The ends donot justify the means. It is about credibility/trust. The propaganda coming out of the current administration is all about data and all decisions being made based on what the data tells them. In this case to make the data fit the narrative, it was manipulated in a highly deceptive way. Then it was repeated and picked-up by others. Trust is something to be guarded and this administration has blown it. How can we trust that the "data" for any of the current initiatives is trustworthy?
Bird said…
I'm really more angry about that statistic on student performance than the bad communications. Although the combo of the two is admittedly extremely galling.

Are you surprised by this statistic?

I don't think you should be.

The percentage of the population with a college education is at an all time high. Even so, it's only at 27%, and that's for everyone, not just folks who have graduated high school in the last four or five years.

I'm not sure who you are angry at about this. The schools?

My experience with whether kids can finish a four year degree or not has shown me that it is largely a matter of money, rather than preparation. Lots of people simply can't afford to pay for school, or even more often, can't afford to not be in the workforce.
ParentofThree said…
From the Times:
"We should have changed the public conversation," Goodloe-Johnson said Friday.

So what is that conversation that we need to have now inlight of the false statistic?

"We should have come forward sooner," she said.

Question is: Exactly when did she know the stat was false? Depending on that will determine the ethics violation.
ParentofThree said…
Another aspect to consider:

How many grants were written using the false stat?

How much money was awarded partly due to this false state?
Kathy said…
Seattle Parent,

What is HECB?
Dorothy Neville said…
So, if one considers drop out rates, then 65% of 25% is about 17%, so yes, the figure is perhaps accurate for all students including drop outs. But it was never about all students, it was about high school graduates. Drop outs were supposed to be already filtered out of the figure.

So that figure being accurate including drop outs is completely a coincidence here. Brad claimed he was looking at HS transcripts of graduates. In comparing those transcripts, he looked for those with "adequate" math and science and 3.0 or above GPA. He made at least two mistakes. First, not all people need 4 years of math. What about those who take AP calculus as an 11th grader and no math as a senior? Second, he did not consider that some CTE courses count as math. But I still am dubious about the 17% here. I suspected that whoever programed the query into the system got it wrong. If I had asked for that statistic and gotten 17% as a result, I would have dug a lot deeper to convince myself that it was accurate, since it so poorly matches the rate of actual college acceptances.
suep. said…
What I'd like to know is why ostensibly informed people like SCPTSA leadership (R. Hattendorf for one), the Alliance, and LEV were so willing to unquestionably believe that our kids and our schools were performing so poorly.

It leaves me to conclude that either these people are completely out of touch with what is actually going on with our kids and in their schools, and have never talked to principals about how many kids actually get accepted to college, etc., or they have bought into the fabricated ed reform claim that all public education is failing, when in fact it isn't.

Meanwhile, over at Schools Matter, national education blogger Jim Horn says that both Bernatek and Goodloe-Johnson should be fired.

suep. said…
By the way, Bernatek is also in charge of the MAP test data.

(wv tells me we should "woryo" about this.)
de bell was on ken schram' s show on komo yesterday afternoon at 2:00. he was commenting about this apparent misrepresentation. he stated that the board should have been more clear about what the 17% actually represented. the board knew it was students who were prepared enough to graduate from college instead of the more common understanding of the stat- kids who were prepared enough to apply. "we were holding ourselves to a higher standard," he said.
They are either covering for bernetek and glj, or they were in it with them. either way, ...
Dorothy Neville said…
" the board knew it was students who were prepared enough to graduate from college instead of the more common understanding of the stat- kids who were prepared enough to apply."

That's bullshit. Using 17% as that conclusion implies that one is aware of the 35% dropout rate. But THAT needs to be addressed and will NOT be addressed if we continue on this 4 year college for all mentality.

We know that at LEAST 25% of kids who graduate finish four year college in five years or less after high school graduation. This statistic was ALWAYS written and described as representing the percent of GRADUATES that have the high school transcript that would likely lead to success.

Since 40% or more of all high school graduates get accepted to at least one four year college or university, if only a fraction of them are prepared to be successful, why did the college accept them?
another mom said…
@ kid not like the others
I did not hear DeBell with Schram, so I don't the context. But is he saying that the Board knew what Bernatek and MGJ meant with the 17% figure? If so why then did he indicate to ST Linda Shaw,
"School Board President Michael DeBell said 17 percent always seemed too low to him. He raised questions about the number from the beginning, was told that staff would look into it, but said he never received a satisfactory answer."

So the board knew this was too low but did not demand it be changed. Yet it is reflected in the strategic plan as 17% that they adopted. The language is not ambiguous. It is a part of the record. He is digging an enormous hole,if he is trying to do damage control. Hello ethics officer!
dan dempsey said…
As reported above on KOMO radio:
"we were holding ourselves to a higher standard," DeBell said.

Oh I see ... it is all so clear,

Deceiving the Public is a Higher Standard. Thanks for the clarification.

Big Brother Board acts in the best interests of their ignorant constituents, who would mis-apply the truth, so deceiving them is a "Best Practice".
ParentofThree said…
BS Debell! Total utter complete BS!
another mom said…
A higher standard that is fabricated? Ok. I get it. I think. Ah yes, they don't trust that college admissions folks actually know by looking at a transcript, SATS, AP scores,GPA, etc which students are ready for higher ed.

So why quietly change from 17% to the more accurate 46% college ready? That's kind of twisted.

I wonder if the Ed Reform handlers are now in charge of messaging?
dan dempsey said…
OK, so what can be done about the incredibly Sorry Situation that is ongoing in Seattle Schools?

Hey I've been trying as have a large number of others and we have made a little progress.

Here are a few suggestions in regard to the sorry situation most everywhere
from Laurie H. Rogers
SP said…
There is a critical mistake in the # of required credits referenced in Strategic Plan's Appendice for the goal listed as "Graduates meeting high school credit requirement for 4 year college (%)".
The details include:
"Students that graduate with a Core GPA of at least 3.0 and
meeting the minimum college admissions standards for 2012 as
defined by the Washington Higher Education Coordination Board.
Includes 4 credits of English, 4 credits of Math (includes senior year math requirement), 3 Credits of Science (including 2 credits of
laboratory science), 2 Credits of World Languages, 3 Credits of
Social Science, and 1 Credit of Arts."

So, the credits in the appendice are listed as 4 in math and 3 in science. This was what Bernatek & the district supposedly used to figure the 17%, as well as a 3.0 GPA (even though the HECB has always listed a 2.0 GPA).

But actually, the HECB currently (and in 2012 additions) list only 3 credits for math and 2 for science. These two mistakes, intentional or not, plus the incorrectly inflated 3.0 GPA all contributed to the low 17% rate. All 3 criteria were above the minimum college admission requirements! Was that really all, or was there anything else the district used that would have explained the huge 17% to 46% difference?

Here is the link to the actual HECB documnets. Keep in mind that these requirements are not high school graduation requirements, but for college admission, so even the 2012 HECB changes affect current high schoolers. We should be using these 2012 HECB requirements in any SPS goals (including 1 credit in a "math-based quantitative course" (not the same as a 4th credit of math), must be taken in Sr. year, which is not listed in the new SPS criteria). We have a long way to go to meet the new 80% goal set for 2012-13.
(see Min. College Admission Standards- Guidelines for Educators & Overview for Students & Parents)
Anonymous said…
The 17% number was used (for reasons unfathomable to me) to support CORE24. "See, nobody's ready for college so we need to make it a law." What a completely stupid initiative... and now it's the law. It's all fine a great to have 4-year college readiness available to students, but it shouldn't be a requirement. If we have tons of kids "not college ready", why would we want to raise the bar? Why not focus on the kids already not passing. Why should everyone be "4 year college ready"? 4 year colleges aren't even available to everyone.

With CORE 24, we're likely to see the 17% become a reality, even if it was a fabrication before.

Another Seattle Parent
Anonymous said…
Anyone got the number for the state auditor's office?

I think that an FYI is in order to them.

Maybe in their next report they'll say that ALL of them need to be fired, starting with the supe and all her Broadies and the gang of five.


Speechless in Seattle.
wseadawg said…
Lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Hey Board: Fraudulent concealment is still fraud.
wseadawg said…
State Auditor, Dora? How about the State Patrol? JSCEE may warrant a CSI.
So is DeBell saying the Board and
district lied to us for our own good?
Bernatek made up a number, the
Superintendent used it to push her
own agenda and the Board knew it was
a lie but went along with it since it
was good for us??. I have nothing but
contempt for all of them.
dan dempsey said…
SAO information for Seattle Office:

Assistant Audit manager
Tony Martinez is the main man
on Seattle's tail and has been for over 6 years.

Tony Martinez

Assistant Audit Manager

Phone: 206-296-1750

Fax: 206-296-0518

State Auditor's Office Seattle

700 5th Ave., STE 4144

Seattle, WA 98104-5045

Phone-Office 206-615-0555

Fax 206-464-7292
dan dempsey said…
email for SAO assistant audit manager
Tony Martinez

"Tony Martinez"
dan dempsey said…
"Tony Martinez"
Anonymous said…
This is NOT going away.

This is starting to echo around the country. Now the board will not have only our eyes on them, but the rest of the country that is tuned into education.
IvyLeagueMom said…

Your is the exact summation the appellants made at the Sufficiency hearing for recall on November 18. This Board was not voted into office to be the entity of "BIG BROTHER." Wish the appellants had had this information earlier. Complete INTENT.

There will definitely be an appeal.
IvyLeagueMom said…
Actually, there should be an additional recall petition filed on this subject alone. Any takers?

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