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Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Someone Appears to be Listening

I attended the Denny/Sealth press conference and ribbon-cutting for Denny today.  The Superintendent had a press conference and I was glad I attended.  (Can I just say that boy I miss Linda Shaw and Phyllis Fletcher when they aren't there?  Most of these reporters are clueless.)

The Superintendent had a lot of pep rally points that we've heard from her focus for this school year.   But there was some more up-to-date info on certain subjects.

Highlights:
  • She was asked about capacity management in West Seattle.  She said that they had a team of staff and community working to help work on this issue (she didn't say but I assumed she meant the Demographics Taskforce).  She said that the district wanted to be "prepared in advance and not just reacting to enrollment changes." She also said capacity management also includes related programs needs and I was grateful that she acknowledged that issue.
  • Again on capacity managment, she said that they had heard "loud and clear" that parents want to give feedback but also to be consulted on what options are available before decisions are made.
  • I asked her about who is funding TFA (again).  She said it was a "group of private citizens."  This is troubling because (1) I suspect there was one person/foundation and they dropped out when the TFA hire numbers were not there and (2) this business of wealthy private citizens jumping in to manipulate/manage issues.  This came up in Philadelphia where the superintendent was paid $900k to exit (stage left).  About $400k of that was private citizen funded and the district won't say who they are.  It's one thing to give a sum of money to the district anonymously for the benefit of all - it's another to give money in the shadows to manipulate policy.   We will be getting to the bottom of this soon.
  • She was asked about attendance and the Mayor's initiative (which I have yet to write about) to promote better attendance.  She said there would be a taskforce of staff and principals to talk about  what to do about long-term suspension rates.
  • It was interesting that she got asked about how parents can track their student's progress and only mentioned MAP and not the Source.  She also mentioned that it would only be required twice a year (winter and spring) with an option to take it in the fall.
  • I asked her about the hiring freeze which, of course, they deny is a hiring freeze.  But the big news here is (1) they want to take a firm count at day four and the end of two weeks.  They do not want to wait for the Oct. 1 count to fill in any gaps.  The second item here is that she had a "cabinet" meeting with HR and they have identified schools most likely to be overenrolled (she would only name Garfield and Sealth).  She said they would put at-large subs there to handle any issues that arise.  She said the Executive Directors would be checking in with her at the end of every day to update her on staffing issues.  This is VERY good news and evidence that pushing back may be working. 
  • She was asked about one year from now and she said (1) show growth on MAP and other tests, (2)families feel more connected to their child's school, (3) that the district listens to families about what they see and what they need and (4) she does like this work and would be happy to stay.
  • I asked her about Spectrum as she had now said (about 4 times) about involving families in decision-making.  She said well, some people like it one way and some the other.  I said that families were not being asked.  She said that she meant she had heard from some families.  She said the Executive Directors would be meeting with Bob Vaughn of Advanced Learning about parents feeling not engaged in these decisions.  NOW is the time to e-mail Bob Vaughn and the Ex. Directors about your thoughts.  (I'll post the e-mails elsewhere.)
  • She was asked about the high school math curriculum but basically said that they are looking at trend data and it's on the upswing this year.  She said teachers "have worked at it for a few years and gotten better, more confident and more agile" in using it.  She said she was speaking about the math curriculum at all levels.
  • She was asked about the work and what surprised her.  She said there were surprises every day but that "I love this work" and she was amazed at how "people in Seattle are so actively invested" in education.

45 comments:

RosieReader said...

Too bad nobody asked her about the unsportsman-like conduct of Garfield's football coach. http://www.king5.com/sports/high-school/Garfield-HS-forfeits-to-Lake-Washington-after-fumble-call-129305233.html Now there's somebody who shouldn't be working with our students!

Thanks for reporting what you learned/heard/etc.

Anonymous said...

@Susan Enfield

We know you "love this work" but you don't work for a "group of private citizens".

--can people talk like human beings for a change?

Po3 said...

A group of private citizens? That's not very transparent, now is it Dr. Enfield?

Bird said...

So how does the new MAP scheduling work in conjunction with testing for APP?

Wasn't the fall test being used to gate access to cognitive testing? Is that out now?

I have to say I find chosing winter and spring as the two tests strikes me as exceedingly odd. I thought the whole point of the MAP was to measure the value add for the instruction a kid was receiving in school. I would think you'd want fall and spring for this.

Bird said...

A group of private citizens? That's not very transparent, now is it Dr. Enfield?

Yeah, I have to say secret private funding seems like an opening for corruption.

How do I know you're not taking a little of someone's money for TFA in exchange for some other benefit from the school district to the donor?

This is dangerous and wholly inappropriate for a public entity.

someone said...

Wonder if it's time - or maybe past time, for school related donations to be tracked in the same way as Campaign finance donations ?

Because, as others have stated, what's to stop a quiet "quid pro quo" agreement otherwise.

I'm not a fan of Enfield frankly, but at least she's acknowledging a need for more family input - kinda, sorta, maybe

Po3 said...

Good point about MAPS and APP testing as well as the point that MAPS is a measure of progress. Wouldn't you want to know where your student is at day one so you know where to go on day two.

Also Winter/Spring MAPS means:

Winter MAPS, Spring MAPS and MSP testing. My kids where pretty burned out on testing last spring and I was not happy about all the movies being showed while other kids finished up.

I would like to know how many teachers, staff and parents weighed in on this decision as it seems to me made in a vacuum.

dan dempsey said...

Dr. Enfield was asked about the high school math curriculum but basically said that they are looking at trend data and it's on the upswing this year. She said teachers "have worked at it for a few years and gotten better, more confident and more agile" in using it. She said she was speaking about the math curriculum at all levels.

Check my data from MSP for grades 3, 4, 5 and for the HIGH SCHOOL EoC #1 and EoC #2. Amazing that Enfield can keep a straight face while pushing such BS.

someone said...

Kinda off topic but Wow - quite a thread over on the West Seattle Blog from a Mom upset with her sons enrollment and transportation. Steve Sundquist appears to have gotten involved and the poster mentioned she was interviewed by King TV to air tonight!


Wits end with Seattle Schools placement/transport

Charlie Mas said...

Here's a good question for people to lean to ask:
"What data supports that belief?"

The question is a perfectly reasonable and civil one. It isn't discourteous. It isn't an attack. It doesn't presume that they have the data or that they don't have the data.

This is what critical reasoning looks like. This is what oversight looks like. This is the question that the Board should be asking all the time, but that they never ask.

If people have the data, they are only too pleased to present it. If they don't have the data, it shows that the belief is not supported by data.

someone said...

ack - sorry link didn't work for some reason

Thread is here

http://westseattleblog.com/forum/topic/wits-end-with-seattle-schools-placementtransport

Maureen said...

Re Winter/Spring for MAP testing. My guess is that they decided that scores change little over the summer so they get more info by skipping Fall. I wonder if they did an actual analysis of score changes over the summer for different socioeconomic groups. I'm afraid skipping Fall will create a bias in the data (I would bet that poorer kids lose more ground over the summer, so the school year gain will be understated for those kids.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll have to do a thread on that West Seattle blog issue as I still don't get why it happened.

Also, Dr. Enfield was stressing better customer service and this clearly was an example of a problem either getting ignored or passed around like a hot potato.

Maureen said...

Melissa the West Seattle assignment issue was due to grandfathering under the transition plan. The kid in question is a 5th grader who was assigned to West Seattle Elementary under the old plan. The new plan applied only to entry grades in its first year and has rolled up from there. Fifth graders are still subject to the old plan. The family moved before they were assigned to WSE (not this year or even during the 10-11 year from what I can see)so they don't qualify for a guaranteed spot at the assignment school for their current address.

Spectrum Mystery said...

She is being disingenuous about taking feedback from parents into account regarding Spectrum delivery. She wants to have cluster grouping at some schools and self-contained at others, but she won't say how she decides. I think everyone, proponents of self-contained and detractors alike, agree that there is big difference between the delivery models. It seems that schools with principals who find self-contained exclusionary and unfair are free to go to cluster grouping, regardless of the Spectrum parents. Wedgwood and Lawton are going that route with their 2nd year principals, Cronas and Helm. They have stirred up plenty of resentment but seem eager to stake their turf as advocates for "fairness". Personally, I think they have burrs in their respective shorts about the rich, white families who like seeing their kids get a good, challenging education on the public nickle. Why Enfield backs them, I suspect, is they are elitists posing as anti-elitists - like her. They all three went to private colleges and come out champions for equality. Same with some of the biggest anti-self-contained voices. It's like they see public school as an equalizer, but they learned that in private school.
Weird.

Charlie Mas said...

Is it me, or were these answers all kinda... less than satisfying.

Capacity in West Seattle: We're working on it - but not in a way that you can see and with no progress to report.

Community engagement: We really want to do that - but we're not doing it yet.

TFA Funding: not telling.

Attendance: We're working on it - but not in a way that you can see and with no progress to report.

Tracking student progress: Can be done once a year using an assessment with indecipherable results.

Hiring: Denied a hiring freeze and promisted that they will only defer action a little while.

Spectrum: Out of her hands.

Math: We're screwing it up less badly.

She is surprised that people are so interested in their children's education.

Not a lot to celebrate here.

cdubs said...

Gates Foundation grant a vote of confidence for Western Governors University


The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's $4.5 million grant to Western Governors University is a vote of confidence in the online institution's growing track record providing high-quality, affordable education.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/editorials/2016126083_edit07wgu.html

Anonymous said...

Ummm..I hate organized team sports, having grown up in an area where team sports suck up all the money..however, I think the designation of the Garfield coach as unsportsmanlike is a great oversimplification. The man was not good at keeping records, but was great at motivating kids. Those two skills don't always go together.

keeping score

utah said...

Great work, Charlie! Thank you for putting the doublespeak into real terms.

Regarding the MAP-- at the 9th grade level, the spring MAP hits the kids in the same few weeks when the high stakes End of Course math exams hit. It is cruel and unusual punishment to march kids in to take a meaningless MAP test, thereby robbing them of valuable class time, then tell the same kids a week later to take the EOC that actually mean something to their graduation.

This winter/spring MAP solution is moving deck chairs on the Titanic, and it is a disingenuous attempt to convince people that she is listening. If she were REALLY listening, she'd be honest and say, "The MAP honestly has no use at grade 9 and our kids need to focus on the high stakes exams that really mean something to them. So we are cancelling all MAP at Grade 9."

Don't hold your breath.

CT said...

WGU is making lots of money for the Leavitt family in Utah (ex-gov, HHS secretary under Bush). Can’t say much for their quality of coursework though - the ones I looked through were pretty shoddy, and the expectations were low. At one point they were offering a completely online teacher certification process - no one ever met the teacher-candidate in person. There were some objections though, so not sure if they changed that or not.
Professors from other universities like U of U and USU were “selling” WGU the online course(s) they’d developed for their own universities, and there have been some nasty fights over who owns the courses.

Po3 said...

Utah, Thank you for pointing out that the EOC test will fall on top of the MAPS for 9th graders. I think this will also impact any 7th or 8th grade APP student as well as 8th grade Spectrum. I urge parents to point this out to your school's staff and ensure that your student is only focused on the EOC test, not MAPS!

dan dempsey said...

Charlie wrote:

Math: We're screwing it up less badly.

She is surprised that people are so interested in their children's education.


Enfield fails to realize a growing percentage of the adults in the Puget Sound area fail to believe BS lacking data support.

TfA is a complete farce from an evidence based view. The data shows this is a moronic idea.

Math being screwed up less badly at all levels is NOT correct.

Looking at MSP results for grades 3, 4, 5 SPS low-income students compared with state low-income scores.

grade 3 worse by 3.2% in 2011 than in 2010

3rd Grade Math
Year ...... District ... State ... diff
MSP 2010 : 48.10% : 48.40% :: -0.30%
MSP 2011 : 44.30% : 47.80% :: -3.50%

grade 4 worse by 5.3% in 2011 than in 2010

4th Grade Math
Year ...... District ... State ....diff
MSP 2010 : 39.90% : 38.80% :: +1.10%
MSP 2011 : 40.70% : 44.90% :: -4.20%

grade 5 worse by 2.2% in 2011 than in 2010

5th Grade Math
Year ...... District .... State .... diff
MSP 2010 : 38.90% : 39.10% : -0.20%
MSP 2011 : 44.80% : 47.20% : -2.40%

and for Black students SPS vs. the State Black students

3rd Grade Math worse by 4.0%
Year ...... District .... State .... diff
MSP 2010 : 41.70% : 44.50% : -2.80%
MSP 2011 : 35.50% : 42.30% : -6.80%

4th Grade Math worse by 1.1%
Year ...... District .... State .... diff
MSP 2010 : 28.20% : 32.50% : -4.30%
MSP 2011 : 31.80% : 37.20% : -5.40%

5th grade Math worse by 0.3%
5th Grade Math
Year ...... District ... State ....diff
MSP 2010 : 28.90% : 34.10% : -5.20%
MSP 2011 : 33.80% : 39.30% : -5.50%

NO ... Dr. Enfield in grades 3, 4, 5 the SPS is screwing up math even worse than before

BUT since neither you nor the SPS Board president use data to make decisions ... the SPS will continue to do nothing to fix this problem ....

Vote for Beutow, McLaren, Martin, Peaselee .... to get the district in touch with reality.

Enfield needs to go and ASAP which is June 2012.

suep. said...

Po3 said...

Utah, Thank you for pointing out that the EOC test will fall on top of the MAPS for 9th graders. I think this will also impact any 7th or 8th grade APP student as well as 8th grade Spectrum. I urge parents to point this out to your school's staff and ensure that your student is only focused on the EOC test, not MAPS!


Yet another reason to opt our kids out of MAP.

More reasons & info here:

15 Reasons Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® Test—ASAP

“This is a major decision for SPS. There are substantial up-front and on-going costs [associated with the MAP® test].” – Jessica DeBarros, Broad Resident, Brad Bernatek, Director, Research Evaluation & Assessment for Seattle Public Schools (SPS) & former Broad Resident, memo, April 20, 2009

How to opt out of the MAP® test

Jan said...

It seems that schools with principals who find self-contained exclusionary and unfair are free to go to cluster grouping, regardless of the Spectrum parents.

Spectrum Mystery said, -- I think you have NAILED it. It USED to be the case that the policies (for APP, self-contained Spectrum, etc.) protected programs based on best practices from baseless tinkering by people who thought it was too much trouble, or who resented allowing kids to get extra challenge in a "self contained" cluster if District testing showed they were capable of faster, deeper work. Now that the Superintendent (and Bob Vaughn) have signalled that the policies can be disregarded at will -- it is open season. There is no research backing the new "blended" systems -- particularly as even the "weakly documented" system that they claim to base it on is predicated on their NOT being enough kids for a self contained class -- AND they are not implementing that system with any fidelity. But I think your take on it is absolutely the right one.

Nick Esparza said...

Reply to Meissa westbrook. I find it surprising that you are critical to everyone whom writes to the school district. We will be in agreement that the seattle times is in the tank for the incombants. And they are cool aid for the ed reform movements. The majority of what you write is just as bad. You offer no solution to your issues and problems. As case and point is the Teach for America. You waited for TFA to make the move before doind anything. Testifying infront of school board is just a waste of time. Nothing is solved there. Just more ranting. Possibly why nobody takes you seriously is because your blog is just a laundry list of cmplaints and 4 year old temper tantrums. I compare your reporting to the fox news reporting. Now you are finally getting the fact after the matter that we have to elect someone new. Even though you spent all your time trying to throw Nick and Joy under the bus as if we hated Marty. It is the opposite. We are committed to defeating Uncle Steve. Just because we did not win the primary does not mean Marty is angry or against us or us against her. I am 100% committed to getting rid of all the incumbants. I understad that the election is not just about me. it is about helping the kids and staff get better educations and a better work invironment. This is my challenge to you and your followers. Instead of attacking me Nick and Joy, donate to marty, help her to overcome Steve. Help the school to change. Become someone whom cares and does something to change the bad situation. You can rant all day but that does not change a single thing. The other part I want to say,this blog is getting a little heavy on the math. There are many other problems than just math. We have a high drop out rate and no summer school. Math is nothing if you have no students to learn the math. If math is the center of the election than they will lose.

Jan said...

Thanks for the heads up, RosieReader. What is it with Garfield football coaches? Last year, it was ineligible kids playing. This year -- it is ALL the kids leaving part way through the game. Hope Ted Howard has lots of Advil around, as this MUST be giving him a headache. (And the 2011 Overcrowding at Garfield Sweepstakes doesn't even start until tomorrow.

dan dempsey said...

Enfield would prefer not to mention the EoCs for Math ... because the SPS did poorly.

MATH High School results SPS vs. state for all students
SPS all - State all on WASL and HSPE in grade 10

Note as time passed state did continually worse and by comparison SPS did slightly better than state 10th graders.

10th Grade Math -- ALL students
Year ....... District ... State ... diff
WASL 2007 : 50.20% : 50.40% : -0.20%
WASL 2008 : 50.40% : 49.60% : +0.80%
WASL 2009 : 48.90% : 45.40% : +3.50%
HSPE 2010 : 45.30% : 41.70% : +3.60%

LOW - INCOME students
10th Grade Math
Year ....... District ... State ... diff
WASL 2007 : 26.70% : 30.50% : -3.80%
WASL 2008 : 27.60% : 29.70% : -2.10%
WASL 2009 : 25.80% : 27.30% : -1.50%
HSPE 2010 : 22.80% : 24.50% : -1.70%

BLACK Students
10th Grade Math
Year ....... District ... State ... diff
WASL 2007 : 19.60% : 22.50% : -2.90%
WASL 2008 : 16.00% : 22.20% : -6.20%
WASL 2009 : 16.30% : 20.90% : -4.60%
HSPE 2010 : 12.50% : 19.00% : -6.50%

Yes SPS Black students did worse over the four years... "Discovering was in use in 2010" also the WASL and HSPE were not really of much worth in assessing actual high school math skills.

HERE COMES the EoCs ... (check this out)

Scores for those who just completed an Algebra Class (EoC #1) and scores for those who just completed a Geometry class (EoC #2)
{{I am not including those who took an integrated math course}}

SPS ALL students - (State All students) = diff

EoC #1 (Algebra) 59.4% -( 60.7% ) = -1.3%
EoC #2 (Geometry) 70.6% -( 74.2% ) = -3.6%

SPS Low Income Students
EoC #1 : 28.0% -( 46.9% ) = -18.9%
EoC #2 : 53.4% -( 60.8% ) = -7.4%

SPS Black Students
EoC #1 : 14.0% -( 37.1% ) = -23.1%
EoC #2 : 39.4% -( 47.0% ) = -7.6%

=============
and so since an anonymous donor wants TfA the directors elected in 2007 all voted for TfA to close the achievement gaps. ... not to be missed is the fact that the 2007 school board elections had record campaign spending of over $600,000 and these four winners spent 81% of that total.

YUP .. in 2007 Seattle got the best school board that money could buy. No data required to make any decision ... WOW just like WA DC.

{{{ Point of clarification students who just took Geometry or Integrated math II were the only students who took the Geometry EoC.

All 10th graders needed to take a math EoC ... if a student had not yet taken any high school math classes they still took the EoC #1 and are included with those who had completed and Algebra Class and were tested.

The above stats do not include students who were taking a class above geometry and took the EoC #1.

Tracy @ WSB said...

FWIW if anyone is interested in seeing video of the entire 35-minute Q/A session, my co-publisher attended on our behalf (and asked the WS capacity-management question - we personally were glad Melissa was there, as the district-wide issues are not our specialty) - and I've just put up an item with the unedited video (will crosslink to this in a minute):
westseattleblog.com/?p=85124

StopTFA said...

Nick Esparza,

You have not seen half of the struggle. It's a few of us, spending coin, filing lawsuits, researching state and federal law. Don't be so quick to blow this off. I suppose I could ask the same about your activities re: TFA.

Let those who do not whine throw the first stone, and I will chuck it back yer way with topspin.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Nick, do you always refer to yourself in the third person?

Very amusing.

Anonymous said...

Still no action on the superintendent's part to get a teacher senate in place. She talked about this right after she got hired in the FAQ she sent out. Nothing ever came of it. Feels like nobody is asking teachers what is going on or what is needed.

- Teacher who wants to participate

Anonymous said...

re: she was amazed at how "people in Seattle are so actively invested" in education.

Translation: I am amazed that the non-corporate citizenry is intelligent enough to see through my Palin-Charm School B.S.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

http://www.salon.com/life/education/index.html?story=/politics/feature/2011/09/06/shockreform

another good salon aticle

aggrivated

incredulous said...

Nick, I would take you far more seriously if you could form a coherent sentence and spell it correctly.

Juana said...

Nick, thank you for running in the primary. If you and Joy could persuade your constituents to vote for Marty, it would greatly help the common goal.

mirmac1 said...

Hey Melissa, you got a shout out from the West Seattle Blog! They have video of the Q&A with Enfield. I want to see how she doesn't A the Q's.


WS Blog puts in a plug for SSS

none1111 said...

Nick (Esparza), it's nice to see you here posting on the blog, but some of your comments feel a bit extreme.

Testifying infront of school board is just a waste of time. Nothing is solved there. Just more ranting

While I agree that little is actually solved through public testimony, the benefit of testifying is getting things in an official public record so no one can say "oh, we didn't know that!". I'm quite happy that Melissa and a few other "regulars" continue to do this year after year.

Even though you spent all your time trying to throw Nick and Joy under the bus as if we hated Marty.

As a reader of this blog I never felt that was the case. Yes, support here was highest for Marty, but it was that way throughout district VI. What I read here, and what I feel when I talk with people around the city is that there is more frustration with the status quo, and that's pushing people to support non-incumbents. Among non-imcumbents there will always a pecking order and a favorite. The hope is that with the primary behind us the challengers will work together, or at least endorse the other challengers.

We are committed to defeating Uncle Steve. Just because we did not win the primary does not mean Marty is angry or against us or us against her. I am 100% committed to getting rid of all the incumbants.

This is great news, thank you. Please continue to reach out to your supporters around the entire city. Many of us are doing this in small ways, but you (and Joy) have a large number of supporters with whom you hold some sway.

I understad that the election is not just about me. it is about helping the kids and staff get better educations and a better work environment. This is my challenge to you and your followers. Instead of attacking me Nick and Joy, donate to marty, help her to overcome Steve. Help the school to change. Become someone whom cares and does something to change the bad situation.

Absolutely true. Many of us here do work to help our own kids and those around the city. Hopefully this fall we can get a Board that will work WITH parents, rather than fight AGAINST us.

this blog is getting a little heavy on the math. There are many other problems than just math. We have a high drop out rate and no summer school. Math is nothing if you have no students to learn the math. If math is the center of the election than they will lose.

Of course there are many problems other than math, I don't think anyone would deny that. But math is a very specific problem that's easy for many people to wrap their heads around, with clear steps to fix that don't break the bank. For better or worse, most of the media (and the electorate) want simple topics with simple soundbites. Sure, it's possible that a challenger or two might get labeled as a one-issue candidate, but it's also possible that this one topic is able to get more attention than the bigger, more complex issues.

I agree that a broad base of knowledge and advocacy will help the challengers, but I don't agree that "they will lose" if math becomes a focus in the general election.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what's up with the hiring freeze? I just learned our school (Sand Point) got word in August that there would be enough kids to warrant a k/1 teacher in addition to the already hired (2 K and 2 1st) and a 4th grade teacher, but these kiddos had to start the year with a substitute. Why couldn't principals hire in August if numbers were already in then?

Sand Point parent

StopTFA said...

I have my suspicions...

juicygoofy said...

"NOW is the time to e-mail Bob Vaughn and the Ex. Directors about your thoughts. (I'll post the e-mails elsewhere.) "

Melissa, where are the emails? I am a Whittier spectrum parent, and I'd like to write as you suggested.

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider is that principals and teachers are under pressure to show increases in the growth index on test scores. They need to show upward movement from year to year in classroom test score numbers, not just overall high score results, even this this movement is statistically meaningless, or within the margin of error.

Someone figured out you can usually get a short term improvement by equally distributing high scorers among all the classrooms (but of course this is just a Titanic deck chair exercise, since it doesn't indicate actual improvements; it just redistributes the scoring to look better temporarily).

In other words, break up Spectrum programs to realize short term classroom numerical gains for a year or two. Gains that are tied to performance reviews and raises, of course. After that, well, once the raise is in the bag and the bragging rights to test score improvements are documentable (even though they are meaningless), it's off to a new school for the principal of course.....

- it's all about the numbers

Anonymous said...

Another thing to consider is that principals and teachers are under pressure to show increases in the growth index on test scores. They need to show upward movement from year to year in classroom test score numbers, not just overall high score results, even this this movement is statistically meaningless, or within the margin of error.

Someone figured out you can usually get a short term improvement by equally distributing high scorers among all the classrooms (but of course this is just a Titanic deck chair exercise, since it doesn't indicate actual improvements; it just redistributes the scoring to look better temporarily).

In other words, break up Spectrum programs to realize short term classroom numerical gains for a year or two. Gains that are tied to performance reviews and raises, of course. After that, well, once the raise is in the bag and the bragging rights to test score improvements are documentable (even though they are meaningless), it's off to a new school for the principal of course.....

-- It's All About The Numbers

It's All About The Numbers said...

Another thing to consider is that principals and teachers are under pressure to show increases in the growth index on test scores. They need to show upward movement from year to year in classroom test score numbers, not just overall high score results, even this this movement is statistically meaningless, or within the margin of error.

Someone figured out you can usually get a short term improvement by equally distributing high scorers among all the classrooms (but of course this is just a Titanic deck chair exercise, since it doesn't indicate actual improvements; it just redistributes the scoring to look better temporarily).

In other words, break up Spectrum programs to realize short term classroom numerical gains for a year or two. Gains that are tied to performance reviews and raises, of course. After that, well, once the raise is in the bag and the bragging rights to test score improvements are documentable (even though they are meaningless), it's off to a new school for the principal of course.....

-- It's All About The Numbers

Melissa Westbrook said...

Juicy, the e-mails are at the district website under School Board.

It's All About The Numbers said...

Reposting, because this was lost yesterday:

Another thing to consider is that principals and teachers are under pressure to show increases in the growth index on test scores. They need to show upward movement from year to year in classroom test score numbers, not just overall high score results, even this this movement is statistically meaningless, or within the margin of error.

Someone figured out you can usually get a short term improvement by equally distributing high scorers among all the classrooms (but of course this is just a Titanic deck chair exercise, since it doesn't indicate actual improvements; it just redistributes the scoring to look better temporarily).

In other words, break up Spectrum programs to realize short term classroom numerical gains for a year or two. Gains that are tied to performance reviews and raises, of course. After that, well, once the raise is in the bag and the bragging rights to test score improvements are documentable (even though they are meaningless), it's off to a new school for the principal of course.....

-- It's All About The Numbers