Friday, October 14, 2011

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead to the next couple months, there are few items of interest that will come due.

District Scorecard
The annual District Scorecard is due soon. It should come out in November. Here is last year's. We should look for some corrections to a few of the statistics. The one for "Graduates prepared for a 4-year college" should be squeaky clean.

School Reports
The annual School Reports are supposed to be released in November. When they are produced we should give a couple of points a good, sharp look. The District promised the prompt correction of some the data, but they never did correct it. It should be corrected on this year's reports. We should also see more of the student, family, and staff survey data complete on them this year.

Continuous School Improvement Plans (CSIPs)
Each year the Board must pass a motion called the Annual Approval of Schools. They have to do it within 90 days of the release of the AYP data. In this motion the Board says that they believe the Chief Academic Officer when she tells them that she has - really, honestly - made sure that every school has a CSIP that meets the requirements set by state law. There was some trouble over this last year - the CSIPs weren't on the web where the staff claimed they were - and the Board directed the staff to bring the motion earlier this year so there will be time for corrections ahead of the deadline. It's already too late for that if it's going to go to the C & I Committee first. This year you'll notice that there is no CSIP for Rainier View or Viewlands on the district web page.

There are a number of things that are supposed to be in the CSIP but are not. The Board never asks about them. I doubt they will ask about them this year. For example, almost none of the schools with advanced learning programs mention them in the CSIP.

Program Placement Proposals
Each year the District invites members of the public to submit proposals for program placements. For the past three years the District staff have taken all of the ideas submitted by the public and put them directly into the recycling bin without giving them any consideration at all. While this invitation has been a sham from the time it started three years ago, the superintendent actually acknowledged it to have been a sham last year. Last year, she reports, no program placement process was followed at all. The deadline for these proposals has been around Halloween in previous years. Nothing yet from the District.

Annual Capacity Management Report
This report is due in November, according to this document from April 5. The report, as you can see, is supposed to include, among other things

recommended solutions for following school year (2012-13) such as:
  • Repurpose building(s)
  • Boundary adjustments and/or program placement changes to align with repurposing buildings
  • Program placement changes
  • Changes to GeoZones
I'm not sure how they are going to announce program placement changes for 2012-2013 before they solicit ideas for program placement changes for 2012-2013, but I'm sure that Dr. Enfield know just how to do it. They will probably do it the same way they have always done it - by ignoring the proposals. You'll also note that the community engagement comes after the plan, not before it. The community can only remark on the solution, not participate in developing the solution.

Transition Plan
The same document referenced above also says that we should see the Transition Plan and Board Action before the spring. Again, you'll note that the community engagement comes after the plan, not before it. The community can only remark on the solution, not participate in developing the solution.


dan dempsey said...

Looking Ahead to the Oct 19 Board meeting....

On the Agenda at Action Item number 4.... is the evaluation tool for the Superintendent.

This is a one meeting (introduction and Action) Huh???

Is Public Engagement a Strong Point under the Superintendents leadership? ... well not on this Evaluation .... Why was there not the usual one meeting introduction and then action at the following meeting?

Well the last time they switched Superintendents and bought out the old one the Board did it on 22 hours notice.... at least the public has 5 days notice of this evaluation tool.

Lead Staff on this School Board ACTION REPORT is Dr. Susan Enfield.

Background Info section VII:

Policy Nos. 1630 and 1640 govern the evaluation of the Superintendent and the Responsibilities & Authority of the Superintendent, respectively. In order to evaluate the Superintendent using a fair process, the evaluation instrument is approved at the beginning of the year so that the Superintendent knows the expectations of the Board.

So it is October 19 ... thus since we are over a month into the school year ... I guess a one meeting emergency approval is needed. I wonder if timely actions from the Superintendent are mentioned in the evaluation tool?

Dr. Susan Enfield’s current contract as the Interim Superintendent ends in June 2012. In order to help the Board decide whether to appoint Dr. Enfield as the permanent Superintendent or conduct a national search, the Board plans to conduct a mid-year evaluation in January of 2012.

Because the January evaluation is only 2.5 months away, the mid-year evaluation covers the items that the Superintendent and Board believe are achievable in that short timeframe. Those items are indicated by a * within the attachment. The June 2012 evaluation covers a broader list of topics.

The evaluation is currently in a list format for easier readability. Upon approval of this motion, the content will be inserted into the SPS evaluation template and metrics for evaluation will be added as needed.

This instrument will be used to evaluate the Superintendent in January and June of 2012.

About number XI .... as usual all time line and ZERO community engagement.


dan dempsey said...


BIG BIG question .... Where is the emphasis on the Superintendent's duty to carry out Board Policy? ... isn't that the #1 responsibility.

Why is this evaluation document a bit of a favorable press release?

a. Continue to demonstrate growth over time in all schools as measured by MAP,
MSP, HSPE, and EOC assessments.

.... really the Algebra EoC demonstrated growth ... I missed that.

b. Continue to monitor the professional development for mathematics improvement and adjust as needed.
... but wait ... the District uses mathematics texts at every level that are NOT recommended by OSPI ... the Superintendent just refused a Singapore Waiver for Loyal Heights... Is anyone actually believing that more Professional Development is the answer?

Try stats at
Auburn compared Reading & Math grade 3,4,5

Clover Park compared Math 3,4,5 MSP etc.

and EoC compared for Low-Income students taking an Algebra Class in the SPS followed by the EoC in Algebra ... sorted by low income pass rate.

Pass rate % first then well below standard %:
8.5 Rainer B. 63.9
17.9 Ingraham 45.7
23.2 C. Sealth 49.3
28.2 West Sea 45
29.9 Garfield 47.7
31.7 N. Hale 43.1
42 Ballard 35.2
43.7 Cleveland 38.2
56.6 Franklin 21.4
59.4 Roosevelt 20.6

NO Textbooks below "Discovering Algebra" in High School ... Low-Income Algebra EoC pass rate for 9th graders that took the EoC is 38% and 36.5% score at level 1 = algebra clueless ..... this is not going to be improved by monitoring Professional Development .... I guess the Good News is that Enfield is NO Longer the CAO.

dan dempsey said...

"Continue to monitor the professional development for mathematics improvement and adjust as needed."

Goodness, if they can't see from the poor math scores on their various assessments that they are failing then there is no hope.

SP said...

The district is still royally messing with the College Ready data.

1. Why drop the % SAT/ACT test takers originally used as one of the requirements? Taking one of those tests is an HECB requirement to get into a WA college! The most likely reason that came up in the Nov. 2010 Board Workshop is this: "For students who were close to meeting all 10 criteria, not taking the ACT or SAT has the lowest percentage of students meeting that criteria (43%).

2. By not including the SAT/ACT test taking as a college ready requirement, you get some very strange results on the 2009-10School Reports: Nathan Hale has only 68% students taking the SAT/ACT tests,but 78% are "graduates prepared for a 4-year college"!!
Franklin & RBHS have similar disconnect (26% took the tests, but 33% are "college ready"?)

3. Why use the lower HECB's overall 2.0 GPA for the "college ready" standard, when to graduate from SPS you also have to have a 2.0 GPA for all the core subjects as well? Is SPS going to tell us that 63% of our students are "college ready" but, gee, not all 63% qualify to graduate from a Seattle high school?

Anonymous said...


Honestly, I don't think taking out the SAT/ACT requirement from the "prepared for a 4-year college" variable is such a bad idea. Many students who have taken a college-prep course of study choose to first attend community colleges instead, sometimes because of family finances. If students do not plan on attending a 4-yr college, taking the SAT/ACT is not practical.

Using Hale as an example, my understanding is that although the free/reduced lunch population is only slightly higher there than at Roosevelt, median family incomes in the neighborhoods feeding into Hale tend to be lower than those feeding into Roosevelt.

If you look at college attendance rates for 2009 (www.collegetracking.com), Roosevelt and Hale have very similar overall rates (74 and 75%, respectively). However, Hale has a lower proportion going to 4-yr schools (49%, vs. Roos's 55%) and a higher proportion at 2-yr schools (27% vs Roos's 21%). It's hard to know what is causing this lower rate of 4-yr college attendance for Hale grads, but family income could certainly be a contributor.

I like seeing college-prep courses reported independently from the SAT/ACT measures. Perhaps they should change the "prepared" variable's name, though, to something like "completed 4-yr college prep courses."


SP said...

DS- no matter what SPS calls it, the fact still remains on the School Reports they have chosen to measure how many students are ready for a 4-year WA college, and taking a SAT/ACT test is a requirement for admission to all 4- year state colleges in Washington. To remove it from the requirements misrepresents the bottom line.

My understanding is that if you graduate from a WA high school you are guaranteed a place in a 2 year college, so college ready would be the same as graduation rates, but you have more hoops to go through to be able to be admitted to a 4-year college. SAT/ACT is one requirement, taking 2 years of a world language is another, etc.

Also, how do you reconcile the 78%"graduates ready for a 4-year college" vs only 68% students taking SAT/ACT admissions test factor at Hale?

I understand your point about the economy driving the number of kids going to community colleges first, but the district needs to be clear in what they are measuring and how they represent that.

Finally, not including a core 2.0 GPA requirement in any "college ready" (4 or 2 year) data is just absurd as it is a basic graduation requirement for all SPS students to graduate from any high school!

Anonymous said...

I think it would be fine to include the old measure (with SAT/ACT as part of the requirement), but only in addition to the one they are using now (or a similar one modified to reflect the minimum 2.0 GPA).

For families who can’t afford to go directly to a 4-year college, the measure that the district is now using does a better job of reflecting the proportion of students who take a (relatively) rigorous course load. Imagine a school in which all kids qualified for FRL; let’s say that 80% of the students completed the college-prep coursework outlined by HECB, but only 20% took the SAT AND completed the coursework. As a parent, I would get a much better sense of the culture and opportunities of my child’s school if I knew the 80% figure (new district measure) than if I knew the 20% figure (old district measure). The district’s new measure helps take out the effect of family economics….not a bad thing, IMO.

You asked how I “reconcile the 78% graduates ready for a 4-year college vs only 68% students taking SAT/ACT admissions test factor at Hale.” I take this to mean that 78% of the students took the required courses, but not all of those students took the SAT/ACT. Again, students who can’t afford to go straight to a 4-year school will have no need for the test, and the district’s new non-SAT measure will be more meaningful for them and their families (again, as a measure of school culture and opportunities).

As I mentioned in my first post, I think the district’s variable needs a new label, thus I completely agree with you that “the district needs to be clear in what they are measuring and how they represent that.” I also agree that the district should use the core 2.0 GPA requirement. -ds

dan dempsey said...

Looking Ahead to January and what the proposed Superintendent's evaluation (instrument?) will be looking for ... you can find 3 items with * ..and only 3.

10. (*) Convene a district/community task force to review discipline practices and reduce rates of long-term, out-of-school suspensions.

11. (*) Develop an instructional materials waiver policy.

12. (*) Develop and implement an intermediate capacity management plan and proposed long-term planning to manage increasing enrollment.

Susan Enfield became interim-Supt. in early March => 7 months ago... those are apparently freebie months that will not be used in an evaluation in January to determine if Dr. Enfield should become the continuing Supt. === 3 items for less than 3 months will be looked at.

The title for the Action Report is:
2011-12 Superintendent Evaluation Instrument

The Document is "Long on GOALS" and hardly an evaluation instrument.

dan dempsey said...

"Long on GOALS" and hardly an evaluation instrument.

Is it really appropriate to have the interim Superintendent listed as lead Staff?

the Executive Committee is listed as... FROM

DATE: October 14, 2011
FROM: Executive Committee
LEAD STAFF: Dr. Susan Enfield, Interim Superintendent

1. ..TITLE 2011-12 Superintendent Evaluation Instrument

The Executive Committee is composed of:
Sundquist, Smith-Blum and DeBell.

Executive Committee:

This committee is made up of the president, vice president, and member-at-large; these committee members are elected by the full board.

Act as liaison to all Board members and provide leadership for Board activities; coordinate legal issues

Coordinate board work plan and develop meeting and retreat agendas

Draft superintendent evaluation materials for board and manage the superintendent evaluation process

Manage government relations on behalf of the board, including federal, state and local jurisdictions; draft an annual legislative agenda; provide representation to all joint City of Seattle committees; coordinate the annual review of board bylaws; and be a sounding board for the Superintendent.

Meets 2nd Wednesday of each month from 8:00 - 10:00 AM

Current Committee Members: Steve Sundquist, Michael DeBell, Kay Smith-Blum