Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chief Sealth Principal Leaving SPS

Breaking news from our friends at the West Seattle Blog: long-time Chief Sealth Principal John Boyd is leaving SPS for the Highline School District as a district administrator.  From the blog:

He is announcing his resignation with a letter today (read it at the end of this story). Boyd also spoke with West Seattle Blog, and told us: “I had three main goals when I came to Sealth – improve the image of the school, recruit neighborhood kids – make it a place where people in the community felt like they could send their kids – and to improve academic achievement. I feel good about making progress in all those areas.” 

Sealth’s enrollment is skyrocketing, too, “going from 800 students to more than 1,100, and (next year) close to 1,200, with the second-highest wait list behind Garfield,” Boyd notes.

To help with the transition, he says, he will stay on at Sealth “as long as Susan (Enfield, interim SPS superintendent) needs me. … It’s really important that there’s continuity, I told (both districts). I’ll have my fingers in both worlds for a while.”

Mr. Boyd was a committed principal so those will be big shoes to fill (especially coming on the opening of the new Denny and the co-joined situation). 


dan dempsey said...

It appears that in grades k-5 Highline has dumped the Phony Baloney Math in favor of the real deal.
Highline SD adopted a Singapore Math variant for k-5.

Hopefully Mr. Boyd will not continue his advocacy for "Discovering" math texts as he did at the School Board meeting in Seattle, which led to the Discovering Math adoption.

Black students at Sealth are 28% of student population.

OSPI math pass rates in grade 10 for Black students at Sealth
2008 Spring = 28.8%
2009 Spring = 17.9%
2010 Spring = 10.2% (first year of Discovering)

OSPI math pass rates in grade 10 for Black students in the SPS
2008 Spring = 16.0%
2009 Spring = 16.3%
2010 Spring = 12.5%

OSPI math pass rates in grade 10 for Black students in Washington State
2008 Spring = 22.2%
2009 Spring = 20.9%
2010 Spring = 19.0%

Please notice that the drop from the average of scores for 2008 and 2009 to the 2010 scores are as follows:

Sealth = => 24.45 - 10.2 = 14.25% down
SPS = = = > 16.15 - 12.5 = 3.65% down
WA State => 21.55 - 19.0 = 2.55% down

So was this "Discovering" adoption the result of a careful review by the SPS to close achievement gaps in Math by spending $1.2 million on materials and professional development........????

I think it was an arbitrary and capricious decision made to buy something that was pushed by special interests .... there was no intelligent application of relevant data by Directors Carr, Sundquist, Maier, or Chow.

So here comes TfA to save the "achievement gap" day ... another load of complete crap brought to you by the Seattle School Directors.

Jan said...

Dan, you know these numbers way better than I do. Given the numbers that you site, how is it that Mr. Boyd could claim in his "goodbye letter," the following: "Student achievement on standardized assessments has increased by 40% in math,. . ." Is OSPI looking at a different set of assessments? (I thought there was only one -- the old WASL, new HSPE). Or did the numbers for whites and other ethnicities go up by so much that it could swallow that kind of a drop for black kids?

Any clue where his numbers came from?

Jan said...

Oops. It should have been "cite," not "site." Apologies.

Anon said...

Going from 10% passing to 15% passing is a 50% increase in the number of students passing. Lies, damn lies and statistics - isn't all in how you say it?

dan dempsey said...


Part of the SPS numbers game is to change the student population at the school. The IB program was to draw students that would likely not have come to Sealth in the past. Thus Sealth should score higher.

It is important in Math to not just look at OSPI pass rates but also the percentage of students at the various OSPI scoring levels .. Levels 4, 3, 2, and 1 along with percentage not tested. Do this for various groups ... especially look at "Low Income" students

Ed Stats in Seattle via SPS propaganda have become a largely rigged game. Using Stats anyone can run a program into the ground while the unskilled observer applauds the "Big Improvements".

You can examine the Sealth numbers HERE.

Use the drop-down "all" menu to select other groups.

Also try changing from Trend to Detail.

For something really depressing try selecting "Low Income" instead of all.

In between taking bows ... Have John Boyd, and Anna-Maria ... explain this:

In 2010 on the HSPE Math test over 50% of Sealth's low income students were unable to score above "Far Below Basic" in math.

Here are the Pass rates for low income students beginning with Spring 2004

Sealth - District - State

Sealth.. District State ............( Sealth - State)
19.70% : 17.80% : 24.60% -- 2004 => (-4.90%)
16.30% : 20.60% : 28.10% -- 2005 => (-11.80%)
26.00% : 31.50% : 30.40% -- 2006 => (-4.40%)
19.80% : 26.70% : 30.50% -- 2007 => (-10.70%)
29.40% : 27.60% : 29.70% -- 2008 => (- 0.30%)
20.90% : 25.80% : 27.30% -- 2009 => (- 6.40%)
22.40% : 22.80% : 24.50% -- 2010 => (-2.10%)

Notice the above progression of numbers might be seen as an improvement by some .... until one comes to the realization that in 2010 at Sealth
low income students placed as follows...

73.8% do not meet standard
24.5% are at level 2
48.1% are at level 1 (far below basic)
5.7% had no score

Really is Mr. Boyd talking about improvement at Sealth in math .... why?

dan dempsey said...

I still need to point out that this is OSPI's lousy math testing ... the End of Course assessment in Algebra will likely be a lot better.

The Geometry EoC will likely need fixing as the Geometry standards tested are fairly pathetic as OSPI did not wish to impact students in integrated programs with much Geometry content. Integrated students may have more geometry in year three of high school.

dan dempsey said...

Jan asked:

how is it that Mr. Boyd could claim in his "goodbye letter," the following: "Student achievement on standardized assessments has increased by 40% in math,.

Administrators (like politicians and SPS school Board members) blow smoke all the time ... that is my guess about Mr. Boyd's claim.

Smoke and Mirrors.

Lies, damn lies and SPS statistics ... real or imaginary ... it all depends on who is doing the picking.

The School Board members currently up for reelection have never ever questioned my Stats ... they are too busy ignoring them.

Charlie Mas said...

Jan asked: "how is it that Mr. Boyd could claim in his 'goodbye letter' the following: 'Student achievement on standardized assessments has increased by 40% in math'?"

Because, Jan, he is under no obligation to tell the truth.

Jan said...

Ah, yes, Charlie -- there is always that. (For various reasons, I had occasion to reread last night the Linda Shaw article from last November on the 17% college readiness debacle that Brad Bernatek engineered -- and was reminded of all the lying, deception, and general disregard for truth that the current Board is willing, and the public is thus forced, to put up with).

What I had been confused about, and what Dan's statistics reminded me of, is that if your passage rates go from 10% to 14%, you have, in fact, achieved a 40% increase in passage rates. Now, those are not the precise numbers, they are just the easiest to illustrate the point, but that is the general idea. The "bad" stuff is hidden in the actual numbers, and the achievement gaps, for low income and black students -- (the very thing, as I recall, that Floe was being fired for).

dan dempsey said...

So given that:

The "bad" stuff is hidden in the actual numbers, and the achievement gaps, for low income and black students -- (the very thing, as I recall, that Floe was being fired for).

Why did Susan Enfield back down on firing Martin Floe?.... Shouldn't she have fired about every secondary school principal in the SPS?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Sealth should be a School in Improvement w/heavy interventions- same as RBHS, West Seattle, Elementary, etc. What did putting IB in the school do for those who weren't graduating? Isn't that what they were put on the list for? Shouldn't a solution target the problem area identified by the state? How is Sealth addressing the needs of those who aren't on track to graduate. (Check out those stats at OSPI.)
-ms. fixit.
WV: fix it, by GOSHKT.

Jan said...

ms. fixit: To me, your point highlights exactly one of the biggest problems with NCLB, and the ides that we have "failing schools" -- rather than struggling or failing kids. If all we are REALLY trying to do is fix "school" scores -- then the easiest way to attain success is to just start a program that will attract high performing kids (like IB). Voila! You succeed! And yet, the needle has not moved one millimeter with respect to improving the educational achievement of one single child (I am assuming here that all the high performing kids would have highly performed somewhere else)!

NCLB "purports" to break these kids out -- but since it results in virtually EVERY school "failing" to make AYP, after a while, it is useless. It is just so much "noise." Teachers and parents (and kids) hear that the best schools in their Districts -- ones where large numbers of kids go to good colleges -- are "failing" and they just leave the conversation entirely, because it is all so ridiculous.

We need systems that identify where kids are -- and target instruction to those kids to meet their needs. That is hard, time-consuming work. And there are no shortcuts (though if you set up a bunch of flawed, high stakes tests -- and then threaten to fire teachers and principals if the kids don't pass them, they will find any number of shortcuts -- just ask Atlanta! But even if they don't blatantly cheat, it leads to teaching to tests, narrowing and dumbing down of curriculum.

And we need to figure out how to build a school environment that gets the best possible performance out of teachers (hint here -- it is not by demoralizing them, threatening to fire them if they deviate from pacing guides or fail to get their kids to pass the flawed assessments, etc.) It doesn't mean they can perform at whatever level they "feel like" -- or that they should stay if they are burned out or have become bored or unenthusiastic. It means that we have to build a professional structure that promotes and renews -- on a continual basis -- passion, collaboration, excellence in teaching, and commitment to kids. This is incredibly hard work. You do NOT find it in the business world, as it is a completely different model (much more like medicine, but really, in some ways -- not like anything else I can think of right off the top of my head). It is VERY difficult to keep any honest "incentive" system from becoming a "punishment" system (just ask any parent with a behaviorally challenged child who has tried to use a "positive reinforcement" behavior mod system). But that is what we need to build, if we want the teachers, and the teaching, we want.