A Goal Without a Plan

I spoke to someone last night and it reminded me of one of my greatest frustrations with Seattle Public Schools.

I have been a school district activist for about 11 years. For all of that time the District's stated number one goal and priority has been to close the Academic Achievement Gap. Ask anyone in the district leadership what their primary goal or highest priority is and that will be named.

So where is the plan to achieve that goal? There is none. They have never made one.

What kind of organization - business, sports, government, non-profit, cultural, whatever - sets a goal, swears commitment to that goal, but never makes any kind of plan to achieve it? That's simply not credible.

If the District were ever to write a plan to close the Academic Achievement Gap, they would do it by bringing every student up to Standards. And the only reasonable way to do that would be to identify every student who was working below Standards and give them the support they need to reach Standards. Yet, astonishingly, Seattle Public Schools doesn't do that. Why not?

Why doesn't the community get in front of these people every day and demand that they develop and implement a plan to close the Academic Achievement Gap? If this is the District's highest priority, then why is it the first thing the District cuts from the budget? Summer school - cut. Elementary school counselors - cut. Interventions - never funded in the first place. Required interventions for struggling students - cut from the promotion/retention policy.

We don't have a district-wide assurance of early and effective interventions for students working below grade level. How can that be? What could possibly be a higher priority than that?

Calls for a specific plan to close the gap and calls for interventions needs a permanent spot at the top of the list of all of our demands.


anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
I think it is unfair to say that the district does not set goals or have a plan to close the achievement gap. They do, and they spend millions of dollars enacting them. It's just that most of their plans don't work. They are are flawed because the effort is placed on improving schools, instead of individual students.

Here are just a handful of the districts "plans" toward the goal of closing the gap.

SE Initiative where millions of dollars were poured into SE schools.

RBHS, a high school of 400 students had two principals.

The SE will have an extra Ex Director this year.

Compensatory funding, where low income schools are funded much higher by the district than the lower middle class and more affluent schools are funded.

Closing of Cleveland and opening of STEM. The addition of Beacon Hill international school, adding IB to RBHS.

All of the above represent plans and goals for closing the gap. Unfortunately, they are all aimed at improving schools. Not one of them includes doing a single thing for individual students.

It's time for Dr. Enfield to look at other districts that are doing things that are working, and replicate them here.
Greg said…
But, Peon, Charlie has a point that none of those plans had the primary goal of and were primarily measured by their effectiveness at improving academic achievement.

Going beyond what Charlie said a bit, seems like the district should be trying many things in many schools, all with the goal of cutting the achievement gap. Try alternative programs, try empowering principals, try a heavy focus on standardized testing, try a heavy focus on reading, try a heavy focus on math, try social services, try free food for all students for three meals, try opt-out extended days, try opt-out summer school. Get a grant to try implementing something similar to Harlem Children's Zone in one school. Try a lot of things, measure them against your primary goal, and see what works for us here in Seattle.

But don't put all your eggs in one basket. Don't do big, expensive, huge projects, then not measure them, then try to market them as a success when everyone can see they failed. Try a lot of smaller, cheaper things, learn what works, and then do more of it.
Anonymous said…
Adding to Peon's list:

Ignoring the fact the Ingraham achievement gap for African American students was comparable go other high schools with a majority or RFL students, and announcing they were dismissing Principal Floe.

--Beacon Hill Mom
Anonymous said…
Your title made me laugh. I assumed you were speaking of the Special Education Department - lots of laudable goals. But a Plan?

Eh, trial and error.

When good things happen, and they do - it's usually due to those that touch children - the teachers, families and sometimes a principal. Unsung heros.

I second Greg's last paragraph

Rose M said…
You are right Charlie, no one has laid out a plan or proposed measurment. But there have been efforts to close the achievement gap including the cultural competency training that all the teachers had a few years ago.

I think that WSF was one plan for closing the achievement gap. That put many more people in buildings with high FRE giving them budget options for reduced class size, reading & math specialists, counselors, tutors, et cetera.

I think that a current plan to close the achievement gap is to institute curriculum alignment. It appears that district leadership believes that if every same age child across the district has the same lesson each day, then their academic outcomes will be the same. No one ahead or behind. Evidently these district leaders do not have more than one child at home.
Anonymous said…
Many of the District's actions noted by Peon were IMHO not so much to close the achievement gap but to try and entice more warm bodies into some very under-enrolled schools. But I do agree that it's because they care more about the performance of the school overall than each individual student.

If RBHS's student body actually represented the neighborhood, the school's overall test scores would look better. The gap would still be there—but event hat would be better as many high performing kid of color also go elsewhere right now.

Greg's idea: Get a grant to try implementing something similar to Harlem Children's Zone in one school. isn't going to do the job as long as the District has a firm stand on neighborhood schools. Contrary to the belief of some Seattleites, the Southend is not the ghetto. There are tons of solid, low- and middle-income families of all colors whose children do not need the extreme interventions employed by successful inner-city programs like Harlem Children's Zone or KIPP.

The District has GOT to start focusing on the individual student and back away from the one-size-fits-all approach they are currently pursuing.

WV irreverently says: fluck

And blogger is being difficult again...
But Charlie, TFA recruits are coming to take care of that pesky little achievement gap. Right?
StopTFA said…
What some call plans, I call lead balloons. If she succeeded at anything, MGJ was a pro at creating pilots that went nowhere (with the exception of MAP - because its selection was a foregone conclusion). All that's left is $$$ bills, chaos, and exhausted school personnel. What will be inflicted on them next? 25 TFA "corp members" who will drain more time and energy out of their mentor teachers. What'll the kids get? A teacher for a while.
anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
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someone said…
"It appears that district leadership believes that if every same age child across the district has the same lesson each day, then their academic outcomes will be the same. No one ahead or behind. Evidently these district leaders do not have more than one child at home.

This such wrongheaded thinking, though I suspect you are totally right. There appear to be so many decisions made in a vacuum without some kind of overreaching goal/plan/expected outcome. I refer to this kind of thinking as the "shiny object" school of thought - getting distracted by someone dangling a shiny object over here (grant) and then another disparate one over there (lookie here - free money -strings attached).
If there was a true "plan" where actually caring about the achievement of the student was at it's heart, it would be sooooo much easier to ignore the enticing distractions of all those "shiny objects"

So other than gentle relentless pressure - how do we get there?
anonymous said…
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anonymous said…
Even closer to home, if Dr. Enfield wanted to create a plan to close the achievement gap she could look at schools right here within our district that are doing a good job at closing the gap.

While there is still a clear achievement gap between Caucasian and African American student performance at Nathan Hale HS, African American students at the school are performing far above African American students district wide.

29% of Hale African American students passed the reading HSPE. District average is 12%. 29% may not seem so great, but consider that it is over 50% higher than the district average.

Pass rate of African American students on the math HSPE at Hale is 71%. District average is 57%. Nathan Hale students are passing the math HSPE 14% more than the district average.

And they've achieved this without any extra assistance from the district. They didn't get millions of dollars from the SE initiative, or compensatory funding via the WSS. They didn't get two principals, and the NE did not get an extra ex director. Hale doesn't have small class sizes, they don't have remedial classes, and they don't have stand alone honors classes. And 25% of their students are FRL.

So what is it? What is Hale doing? If I were Dr. Enfield I'd be asking.

And I don't mean to single Hale out, it's just the school I'm most familiar with. I'm sure there are other schools that are having success on this front too.
Charlie Mas said…
Peon, I disagree.

The stated goal of the Southeast Education Initiative was to make Aki Kurose, Cleveland, and Rainier Beach schools of choice - not to close the Gap.

When asked why RBHS had two principals, the District couldn't offer a cogent answer. Principals don't teach any students, so their ability to close the Gap is an illusion.

Likewise, there is no reason to believe that the addition of a second Executive Director of Schools in the Southeast will do anything to close the Gap since Executive Directors don't teach students either.

Yes, the state and federal governments provide compensatory education funding (LAP and Title I) to schools with under-performing students living in poverty, but there is no reason to believe that this money is spent to close the Gap. We have little accounting of how this money is spent just as we have little accounting for how the additional money for students with IEPs is spent.

There is no reason to believe that the addition of IB at Rainier Beach will do anything to close the Gap and no one ever said that it was. IB classes don't even start until grade 10, the last year for state tests. Likewise, STEM was not promoted as a means for closing the Gap.

Rose M mentions cultural competency as a means for closing the Gap. While I think cultural competency is a wonderful thing, did we ever have a school with more of it than the African-American Academy? How well did cultural competency help close the Gap at the AAA? Not at all.

Curricular Alignment has not been promoted as a means for closing the Gap. It would just assure that the Gap is the same at every school.

Further evidence that none of these things were efforts to close the Gap can be found in the fact that none of them were discontinued when they proved failures.
Anonymous said…
Retire "Achievement Gap." Obsessing over it for a decade has done nothing but produce gerrymandering, quick fixes, and political games instead of focusing on individual kids.

Achievement Gap is a politically loaded term that re-frames the issue from one of struggling, behind-grade-level kids to kids who just aren't "doing as well" as other kids, while inherently soft-peddling the idea that all kids are actually "doing well," but that some just aren't "doing AS well" as others, and we oughtta go ahead and shrink that little gap thingy. (I can hear Sara Palin saying it, honestly.)

We are so dishonest and afraid to call it like it is: Some kids are "failing" right now. Failing. And we need to help them before they commit the ultimate failure and drop out. Get them now and get them early, but quit blowing sunshine up their butts and making it seam like the "achievement gap" is just another one of those politically charged gaps like the "income gap," the "wealth gap" and the like.

Honest hard work and a real, unwavering commitment to long term investment and supports for struggling kids is the only thing that works. We need to be proactive and diligent, while using the knowledge we have, like what Everett, Renton and Tukwila are doing at a cost of less than a half million a year to cut their dropout rates in half, instead of wasting millions on pipe dreams.

The "Achievement Gap" is not a problem for the kids at the top of the gap, so why are they in this loop we call the "gap" in the first place, other than to suggest it isn't fair that they are so far above others?

What is the message? You need to slow down and let the others catch up? Otherwise, why are they in the lens at all?

Is there something evil about focusing solely on kids who need the most help? Is their being identified as "behind grade level" such an awful label that might hurt their self esteem, when they are, in fact, behind grade level?

To fix any problem, we must first admit it exists, and be honest about it. Anything less ill-serves every child, especially those that need the most help.

Let's do better at turning those struggling kids into NOT struggling kids. Then, any labels people are worried about will come off on their own.

Anonymous said…
Seem. Yeah, I know. I really should proofread for typos.
Anonymous said…
One old saying comes to mind with so many of these challenges we face as a community.

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Whenever my daughter gets stressed out over a project or assignment, the best way to get her back on track is to narrow her focus to just what's in front of her, and take one step at a time. Pretty soon, she's cruising, in gear, being very productive.

The sooner we get any struggling kid or kids to refocus themselves away from the daunting, often intimidating future, and onto the problem at hand, in that moment, the better we will help and train them how to tackle problems, build skills, and create their own stockpiles of confidence that will get them through life.

Instead of doing this, SPS has told kids and families "Wait til you see this(!)" over and over again.

To me, SPS's approach was a lot like Wally Walker's obsession with 7 foot centers on the Sonics. He so believed we needed a 7 foot center, that he drafted or brought in about 8 of them during his reign, none of whom ever became a contributing member of the team, while sucking up time, money and resources that could have been spent on power forwards or guards, which we also badly needed at times, and which many teams won with.

Sometimes you can't emulate success. There was only one Shaq. But you can, using creativity and innovation, achieve it anyways. You just have to play better.

I'd like to see SPS play better with what it already has, and stop fantasizing about the latest, greatest, flash-in-the-pan idea to miraculously solve problems.

Still waiting for that "culture change" Enfield was talking about.

Anonymous said…
But the Achievement Gap is Gates' fig leaf. Wonder why he wants to make it smaller....? Ugh!

Mr. Ed
Anonymous said…
I've been at this achievement gap and the lack of planning for closing it for over 4 years.

I began by noticing incoherent inconsistent and ineffective math materials and practices. Changing that has been my focus so that all students have the opportunity to learn mathematics though the use of greatly improved materials and practices.

Since the supposed big SPS goal was to narrow the achievement gap, I chose that as my focus to get a change in math materials. In a large number of instances where the board had decisions to make I compiled data from research and sent it to the board showing how a board decision would likely impact the achievement gaps.

There has been no SPS plan or decision made that focused on "Closing the Gap" in any rational way.

(1) Everyday Math -- I presented data showing it would be a gap widening move. As Brita Butler-Wall said: "We choose to trust our hired Professionals." The gap widened with the use of EDM.

(2) Discovering Math -- ditto as EDM above.

(3) The STEM choice of New Tech Network was really poor. NTN had a record of serious substandard performance in math. $800,000 for "ZERO" benefit if closing the achievement gap ... or even learning math was the goal.

(4) Cost savings from Transportation will be applied to make every school a quality school..... yet the District had already demonstrated that increased funding through the Southeast Education Initiative made no positive measurable difference.

Note: Santorno claimed EDM would eliminate Math Achievement gaps within four to five years.... So I guess EDM classified as a plan to eliminate the gaps.... There was "Zero" data to support her plan. EDM did exactly what the data suggested it made gaps larger for "educationally disadvantaged" subgroups of students.
To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

The change in the Promotion / Non-promotion policies by discarding them and substituting one policy, which makes no mention of providing interventions shows: either (1) how little regard the Board has for students or (2) the enormous confidence the Board has in its hired professions to do the right thing.
There is no plan to educate students more efficiently and effectively.... as there is little attention paid to students and how academic content is actually learned. The major research documents of the last 40 years are ignored. The UW College of Education Math Education Project is a complete joke. ... Ditto what Dr. James King provided through the spending of $200,000 NSF dollars per year.

Reelect No One ....out with ...
Carr, Maier, Martin-Morris, and Sundquist.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Isn't the single biggest factor driving student achievement the parents? I've read that the education level of the mother is most significant, all other things being equal.

That's the biggest factor driving success or lack thereof (that is, "the gap"), so arguably that's where all the leverage is. Is anything being done to try to work with parents to get their kids ready for school in the first place and to support learning once they are in school?

Trying to offset the difference in the "education-friendlieness" of the home environment in a classroom of 28 kids seems like pushing on a string.

So how do you address a gap that much of the time has its origins at home, not school? Is this some sort of thing that can't be talked about and therefore not addressed?

Anonymous said…
I've read all of the posts on this subject and all I have to add is a description of a teacher who is desperately trying to get her multicultural class of students to learn. Many of them don't speak English at all or they speak it poorly. The students were struggling with math more than anything else.

This teacher decided to use a technique called anchored instruction that has been around for a long time.

She is a runner and shared with her class that she has run several mini-marathons and is signed up to run a marathon in San Francisco later this summer. Of course one of the first questions asked was, "How fast do you run? From that one question she had the ammunition to teach her students addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, averaging, estimating, etc. And they became experts in "word problems" because the problems were always about real world situations regarding their teacher, her training for the marathon, what part her dog played in her training, and all sorts of other things involving the marathon -- including looking up statistics on that particular marathon on the internet.

In an effort to keep the students interested, the teacher put pictures in the classroom of her beginning races, ending races, training, running with her boxer, her running shoes, things like that.

Now I don't know how these students will measure on the assessment testing they have to undergo. What I do know is that this teacher took an idea, modified it to fit her classroom environment, and now has a fourth grade class that is just nuts about math. Oh, they also learned how to read road maps by following the marathon course and measuring the distance between each comfort station. And they learned that the body has to maintain a level of hydration or the person will collapse and possibly die. So they got some science thrown in there as well.

One more benefit is that the students learned about the importance of diet for a marathon runner, and the importance of taking care of your body in general as well as taking care of it in relation to a specific sport.

As I mentioned earlier, Anchored Instruction is a method of teaching that has been around for a long time. Is it something that works for everyone? No. You have to have imagination and creativity to use anchored instruction in such a way that it captures and holds the attention of your students.

What I am saying is that you've got to have teachers who know what they are doing and are expert enough to be able to improvise on their feet when teaching. I am saying you have to have parents who are willing to work hand-in-hand with the teacher, trying to give the student as much support at home as possible. I am saying you have to have a principal who knows what the rules are but is not so rigid that he/she shuts down a teacher who has found a way to reach her students even if that way is not the "approved" way. You have to have a superintendent, or director, or whoever is in charge of the school system who dares to stand up and say, "We are not playing politics with the education of our children. And finally, you have to have a responsive bureaucracy.

I don't know about your principals, teachers,and parents, but the bureaucracy and the Big Cheese appear to dismal as best and corrupt at worst.

The Favorite One
Anonymous said…
Dear Wondering,

About the GAP and what can be done...
Look at the Graphs on the following page.

The SPS does the exact opposite of what has been shown to be very effective.

-- Dan Dempsey
peonypower said…
In a conversation with my principal I brought up the issue of no longer having an IA who speaks Somali in our school. I pointed out that by not having help for our Somali students as a community we are effectively saying that these students do not matter. The response was "well the numbers just aren't there to support an IA." To which I said- if there is even 1 student who is not being supported that is one too many. It is morally wrong to not help these students. The reply I got to this was to the effect of "well what can we do?"

This is why the district can't close the gap. We waste money on MAP testing and fancy directors and focus on "the learning goal has to be written on the board" minutia and we disregard the needs of students. Things will not change until the powers that be recognize that closing the gap will occur one student at a time. Students who are struggling need acceleration to catch up to their peers and this takes more one on one or small group instruction. I know this from my own special ed. child who was behind in early elementary and through intensive tutoring out of school, at home, and a great special ed. teacher he is now at or above grade level, but he had intervention early, and I also made him work his butt off. It was brutal and it worked. We need the same for all struggling students and it needs to happen before they have failed so dramatically that they then fall into the behavior trap of failing students (distract, disengage, and don't come). It can work because I have seen it, but it means focusing on the student and their needs.
dan dempsey said…

Ask your principal to explain the Wa State Constitution article IX preamble to you.... Seems someone is missing something and it is not you that is missing it.

Article IX:

Text of Section 1:
It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

Then we can move on to the Gov. explaining the appeal of the McCleary v. State Supreme court appeal on June 28th.

There sure is a lot of 'splaining to do.
Anonymous said…
Looks like most of us have lost our thinking caps in this diary!

There are a lot of reasons the reformistas have made progress. 1 significant reason is that the current system's approach to problem solving is to blame the teachers for everything - that is without Michelle Rhee!

Let's look at everything logically. Suppose you're 1 of the hordes of decently compensated not in a classroom not in a school educrats in this rotting and decaying system. Do you look at the people in charge and what they're doing and what they're not doing and notice that most of the could be fired with little to no adverse impact in the classrooms? Of course not - you all keep each other employed!

How are you all going to STAY employed?? BLAME the teachers!

It is a lot more efficient than figuring out robust systems to handle hundreds and thousands and hundreds of thousands of kids every year - and it isn't a system when it is dependent on people with martyr complexes saving the world.

Hire your buddies to give training in complex instruction and differentiated instruction and and and ... everything which blames the teacher! It keeps all the club members employed and it keeps the serfs where they belong - on the ropes!

With some noblesse cronyism and lots and lots of degrees, you and your cliques keep your paychecks!

Whew! What is the alternative?

Seriously look at the problems and seriously implement solutions on the ground - and all your headquarters buddies will have to do what? Go make cars people want to buy before your company goes bankrupt ...

oops! I mean your buddies will have to make health care work before the economy collapses from your industrial theft?

OOPS! Your buddies will have to go work with kids !

Rationally Logically Obviously
dan dempsey said…

Clearly your principal can explain how you can differentiate your instruction to serve Somali students. Perhaps you need more coaching rather than an IA.

Hummm... anyone still wondering why in Math last year the state scores went up for limited English speakers and Seattle's went down. Was it all the Fault of those math teachers?... consider the data.

The data really sucks .. but do the directors care?
Do the Principals care?

Remember all the revisions to programs under MGJ ... I do not remember CAO Enfield raising any objections. CAO Enfield seemed to be all for the Math agenda.

For LImited English Speaking students here are the OSPI pass rates ... complete with Seattle difference from State on an annual basis.

10th Grade Reading
Year .. District . State . difference
07 WASL 36.50% 38.30% -1.80%
08 WASL 44.70% 41.60% 3.10%
09 WASL 38.30% 36.80% 1.50%
10 HSPE 15.50% 23.30% -7.80%

10th Grade Math
Year .. District . State . difference
07 WASL 13.60% 10.70% 2.90%
08 WASL 19.50% 12.70% 6.80%
09 WASL 11.20% 8.10% 3.10%
10 HSPE 7.00% 9.30% -2.30%

10th Grade Writing
YYear .. District . State . difference
07 WASL 38.00% 37.70% 0.30%
08 WASL 57.60% 51.10% 6.50%
09 WASL 43.60% 45.00% -1.40%
10 HSPE 39.00% 44.50% -5.50%

10th Grade Science
Year .. District . State . difference
07 WASL 1.70% 2.90% -1.20%
08 WASL 3.40% 4.00% -0.60%
09 WASL 3.00% 2.70% 0.30%
10 HSPE 2.50% 2.50% 0.00%

Perhaps someone on the Board or in Administration could explain these increasingly crappy results. It seems that the argument for the D43.00 revision to the Promotion/ Non-promotion policy was that it better aligned with district practices ... so why would anyone think continuing current practices is a good idea? Yet the Board approved this Enfield recommendation 7-0 ...

Reelect No School Directors.
dan dempsey said…
Rationally Logically Obviously wrote:

what they're not doing and notice that most of them could be fired with little to no adverse impact in the classrooms? Of course not - you all keep each other employed!

W. Edwards Deming wrote: "To improve a system eliminate all positions that will have no effect on positive outcomes."
wsnorth said…
I think it is totally misguided to try to "close (some perceived) achievement gap". They should try to help every student achieve their own, individual potential. After all, the easiest way to close the "achievement gap" is by decreasing the achievement of the top achievers, or drive them out of the district into private school. Is that a laudable goal?
dan dempsey said…
Right on WS North....

"They should try to help every student achieve their own, individual potential."

Check the D43.00 policy. Unfortunately there is NO interest in doing what you suggest.

For each individual to have the opportunity to achieve their potential .... The students could not be in the program the district promotes ... everyone marching uniformly through what is presented to everyone.
JvA said…
Peon: "Pass rate of African American students on the math HSPE at Hale is 71%. District average is 57%. Nathan Hale students are passing the math HSPE 14% more than the district average. ... So what is it? What is Hale doing?"

I think the question is what Franklin is doing. For all other general high schools, there's an inverse correlation between the percentage of FRL students and the percentage of African-American students passing the math HSPE -- in other words, high-poverty schools have low African-American student math pass rates. Franklin is the only school that has a higher than district-average FRL rate and a higher-than-average African-American math HSPE pass rate.

AA%: % African-American Students: 21% (2007)
W%: % White Students: 43% (2007)
FRL: % Students Qualified for Free or Reduced Lunch (2007)
AAR: % African-American Students Passing State Reading Test (2009-2010)
AAM: % African-American Students Passing State Math Test (2009-2010)
WR: % White Students Passing State Reading Test (2009-2010)
WM: % White Students Passing State Math Test (2009-2010)

%AA: 21%
%W: 43%
FRL: 41%
AAR: 57%
AAM: 12%
WR: 90%
WM: 68%

West Seattle
AA%: 20% (+1 compared to district)
W%: 39% (-4)
FRL: 46% (+5)
AAR: 57% (0)
AAM: 6% (-6)
WR: 76% (-14)
WM: 38% (-30)

Rainier Beach
AA%: 57% (+36)
W%: 9% (-34)
FRL: 65% (+24)
AAR: 48% (-9)
AAM: 4% (-8)
WR: --%
WM: --%

AA%: 10% (-11)
W%: 62% (+19)
FRL: 21% (-20)
AAR: 59% (+2)
AAM: 28% (+16)
WR: 95% (+5)
WM: 76% (+8)

AA%: 46% (+25)
W%: 6% (-37)
FRL: 67% (+26)
AAR: 63% (+6)
AAM: 6% (-6)
WR: --%
WM: --%

AA%: 28% (+7)
W%: 30% (-13)
FRL: 55% (+14)
AAR: 67% (+10)
AAM: 10% (-2)
WR: 88% (+2)
WM: 68% (0)

AA%: 8% (-13)
W%: 67% (+24)
FRL: 24% (-15)
AAR: 70% (+13)
AAM: 27% (+15)
WR: 92% (+2)
WM: 69% (+1)

AA%: 13% (-8)
W%: 60% (+17)
FRL: 25% (-16)
AAR: 71% (+14)
AAM: 29% (+17)
WR: 90% (0)
WM: 72% (+4)

AA%: 31% (+10)
W%: 5% (-38)
FRL: 60% (+19)
AAR: 53% (-4)
AAM: 17% (+5)
WR: 92% (+2)
WM: 57% (-11)

AA%: 28% (+7)
W%: 40% (-3)
FRL: 34% (-7)
AAR: 74% (+17)
AAM: 17% (+5)
WR: 100% (+10)
WM: 91% (+23)

AA%: 24% (+3)
W%: 31% (+12)
FRL: 53% (+12)
AAR: 47% (-10)
AAM: 5% (-7)
WR: 79% (-11)
WM: 61% (-7)
dan dempsey said…

Nice work. Great point.

I think this needs correction:
West Seattle
AA%: 20% (+1 compared to district)

Should that be
(-1 compared to district)

I have a few ideas about Franklin success in Math but am not really familiar. So what do others know about the general picture at Franklin?
JvA said…
Thanks, Dan. You are right--I got that one wrong. (I was doing the math in my head and using MS Notepad on a laptop keyboard before my second cup of coffee this morning.) I also left a couple of district-wide stats in the legend. Sometime I'd like to carefully plug all the numbers from all the stupid PDFs on the SPS website and put them into a spreadsheet.

If I ever do that, I'd also like to add PTSA funding for each school. I bet you'd find that schools with high African American math pass rates also have high PTSA funding. Which all comes back to the obvious point that affluent schools have higher levels of academic success. I'm not sure what the solution is, but I'm pretty sure that answers that completely neglect this fact (e.g., Ingraham has low African American math scores so let's fire Principal Floe) are not going to help.
JvA said…
You know what else is interesting? (Please forgive me if I'm getting terminology wrong--I'm not a stats expert.) For all the relatively wealthy high schools (those with FRL populations smaller than district average), there is a very tight relationship between their FRL gap and their African American math pass rate gap. The number of basis points away from district average is <= 4 in every case. If I'm interpreting this correctly, it seems that the less poverty there is at a school, the better their African-American students perform on the math test. Check it out:

FRL: % Students Qualified for Free or Reduced Lunch (2007)
AAR: % African-American Students Passing State Reading Test (2009-2010)

FRL: 21% (-20 compared to district average)
AAM: 28% (+16)

FRL: 24% (-15)
AAM: 27% (+15)

FRL: 25% (-16)
AAM: 29% (+17)

FRL: 34% (-7)
AAM: 17% (+5)
dan dempsey said…
About AAM the Math deal
here is a table with D as district ranked by AA% low to high.

...... AA% :AAM 2010 pass rate
Ba.. 8 : 27
Ro 10 : 28
Ha 13 : 29
WS 20 : 6
D 21 : 12.5
In 24 :. 5
Se 28 : 10
Ga 28 : 17
Fr 31 : 17
Cl 46 :. 6
RB 57 : 4

Garfield and Franklin are the similar schools in performance but Garfield is an AP magnet so the Franklin similar performance might be unexpected.

RB CL WS and Ingraham have similar AAM pass rates.
RB and Cleveland received Professional Development from UW CoE Math Ed Project ... did Ingraham or WS receive ProD from UW CoE MEP?

So what effect if any might Discovering in 2010 produce?

Here is change from Average of 2008 and 2009 scores to the 2010 score.

.... avg: AAM 2010: change
Ba 19.5 : 27 .:. 7.5
Ro 31.7 : 28 .: -3.7
Ha 33.4 : 29 .: -4.4
WS 16.3 : 6 .: -10.3
D : 16.2 12.5 : -3.7
In 13.4 :. 5 :. -8.4
Se 23.5 : 10 :. -13.5
Ga 26.2 : 17 :. -9.2
Fr 15.2 : 17 .:. 1.9
Cl.. 9.5 :. 6 :. -3.5
RB 18.6 : 4 :. -14.6

Only two schools improved Ballard and Franklin... "Discovering" was just as bad as the Da'Zanne Porter's math lawsuit contended.

In the we fell off a cliff club would be:
RBHS , Sealth, West Seattle, Garfield. and Ingraham
note Cleveland was already so low it had no cliff to fall from ... shows what years of UW math help can do at Cleveland... such UW help was only recently provided to RBHS (last two or three years)

In other finds ... in Fall 2007 ... MGJ and Santorno announced they would forced WS to a six period day.
2007-2008 was the transition year and 2008-2009 was year one. This prompted MESA teacher and Chem teacher Laura Sugden to move to Bend, Oregon a wise move for her.... but Laura's West Seatlle MESA teams were awesome easily the best in the District.

According to Santorno .... The big justification for the move to 6 period day conformity was that WS math scores needed improvement..... So how did that play out?

Well here is the data for Black students ... by coincidence I taught pathways math to under achieving 11th graders (had scored at OSPI level 1 a year earlier) in the 2006-2007 school year. I taught a very few students who took the WASL in Spring 2007 as 10th graders.

10th Grade Math
.... Year School District State
07 WASL 30.80% 19.60% 22.50%
08 WASL 17.30% 16.00% 22.20%
09 WASL 15.20% 16.30% 20.90%
10 HSPE.. 6.30% 12.50% 19.00%

Those last two scores came with the 6 period day.
Note the first 10th graders that had both 9th and 10th at WS in the 6 period day were tested in Spring 2010.

How finances the UW CoE MEP in the Seattle schools? Even if it is free it should be rejected. Check the results at RBHS and Cleveland.

Apparently the Board and Enfield have no plans to change anything in a significant way. At least not for the better .. can't break with tradition.

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