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Friday, September 16, 2011

News Round Up

Loyal Heights Elementary named Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education for high pass rates on the state tests and a narrow achievement gap.

Tacoma teachers ordered back to work by judge, but the defiant teachers stay out.

The superintendent of Lake Washington schools leaves for a job in Singapore. I wonder if his replacement's name will be familiar to us.

Lots of National Merit Scholarship finalists from all the places that always have a lot of them.

14 comments:

Not One of the Best and Brightest but still pretty darn good said...

And Loyal Heights managed to accomplish this feat without any TFA teachers!

Anonymous said...

I think the 6.6% FRL at Loyal Heights says a lot.

SG

dan dempsey said...

Loyal Heights will not be getting any TfA teachers or any Singapore Math. Thats Dr. Enfield now where is her explanation.

Charlie Mas said...

Loyal Heights is 90% White. There are few students in the other ethnic categories that they are non-reporting.

Here is their school report.

I'm not sure if an academic achievement gap is even mathematically possible if the school is only reporting for one group.

I will say this for Loyal Heights, 100% of their Free/Reduced Price lunch students passed the reading MSP and 71% passed the math portion. In addition, 70% of their students with IEPs passed each of the tests. All of these pass rates are SIGNIFICANTLY better than the district averages.

Anonymous said...

I will say this for Loyal Heights, 100% of their Free/Reduced Price lunch students passed the reading MSP and 71% passed the math portion. In addition, 70% of their students with IEPs passed each of the tests. All of these pass rates are SIGNIFICANTLY better than the district averages.

So can someone figure out why they are having such success? is it because the FRL population is manageable and spread out throughout the classrooms, so no teacher is overwhelmed? Are the FRL students from families that have always been eligible for FRL, recently eligible for FRL (i.e. were middle-income but lost a job, etc.)?

If I worked for the District, I'd be trying to figure out what Loyal Heights is doing right. It might be a special way they are teaching...it could just be the result of very specific demographics or a variety of factors that we don't know about. Has anyone done research on FRL to see if there is a tipping point where it impacts the results (I think I've seen some numbers on this site from either Seattle Citizen or WSEADWG)? Though the results of this research might smack the NSAP in its face.

Are there other schools with similar FRL population percentages that aren't serving them as well? Better?

SG

Po3 said...

Loyal Heights has 26 FR/L students in the building; approx 4/grade. If the school moved even one FR/L student from not passing to passing they would show "gains" on paper. So honestly I don't understand what qualified the school for this award.

Kathy said...

Loyal Heights has an exceptionally involved parent community.

The philosophy (and actions) of parents and PTA is to help every child achieve.

I'd also like to give a shout out to the amazing teachers and suport staff.

I don't think this result is reflective of district management- at all.

Mom said...

According to the press release, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors schools based on one of two criteria:

1. Schools whose students are high performing, regardless of their backgrounds, based on performance on state or nationally-normed tests; or

2. Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance on state or nationally-normed tests.

Loyal Heights was honored for its high performing students.

They were not awarded for narrowing their acievement gap, simply for their pass rates (item # 1). And, of course their demographics are a huge reason for this!

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to note that some of the really high priced private high schools have no Merit Scholars while schools like Nathan Hale and Ballard have at least one.

Susan

Anonymous said...

Susan

I noticed that as well, but then realized that many of the private schools have 50-100 students per grade level compared to 300-400 in Ballard and/or Hale.

SG

Anonymous said...

From OSPI's reporting for 2010, Loyal Heights has 6.6% FRL, a tiny fraction of that of the district. Perhaps there are no poor people in the service area. Additionally, it has 7.8% special education. The district average is about twice that. That means this school is dramatically underserving its neighborhood in terms of special education. Are they booting kids out, eg forcing them into other placements? That is he usual district mode of operation.

Looking at the numbers of math pass rates reported by OSPI, there's no way the district's report is correct. OH. It's from last year! This year, the third graders pass at 94%, but the fourth and fifth graders pass at only an 83% and 85% rates. Sorry, that doesn't average out to the 91% pass rate in math that they had wished for.

-sped observer

Linh-Co said...

If you want to look at a highly successful elementary school, you should be looking at some Auburn School District.

Check out Gildo Rey with 80.4% free and reduced lunch, 13.9% SpED, 35.3% Limited English, and they have a reading passing rate of 84.8%, 82%, 86.7% respectively in 3rd, 4th, and 5th. The math passing rate is 80.5%, 91.8%, and 90.7%. Now that is something Seattle school district should try to emulate.

Gildo Rey uses Math in Focus - the Singapore Approach. Too bad we don't have that much common sense.

dan dempsey said...

Hey I am with Charie,

Achievement Gaps ????

Nothing gets reported on OSPI MSP tests because:

Student Demographics
Enrollment
October 2010 Student Count 395
May 2011 Student Count 395
Gender (October 2010)
Male 195 49.4%
Female 200 50.6%
Race/Ethnicity (October 2010)
Asian 11 2.8%
Asian/Pacific Islander 11 2.8%
Black 2 0.5%
Hispanic 19 4.8%
White 341 86.3%
Two or More Races 22 5.6%
Special Programs
Free or Reduced-Price Meals (May 2011) 26 6.6%
Special Education (May 2011) 31 7.8%
Transitional Bilingual (May 2011) 0 0.0%

To get a report from a class at least 10 members of a subgroup must be tested. With 19 Hispanics in the school you will not find at least 10 in any grade. Two Blacks and 26 low income kids in the school.

"for high pass rates on the state tests and a narrow achievement gap."

BS ... so how were these achievement gaps measured? OSPI had no report on gaps as there were not enough students in any educationally disadvantaged subgroup tested.

dan dempsey said...

hey Charlotte-Mec in North Carolina won the Broad Prize and not a single school district in NC made AYP.... so Arne Duncan can use his waiver bribes around failure to make AYP on every district in NC.

What a system.

The data.