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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

News Roundup

From Dora Taylor over at the Seattle Education blog, word about what happened (or didn't happen) yesterday at the Legislature.  Neither the House charter bill (2428) or the teacher/principal evaluation bill (HB 2334) made it out of committee.   As Dora says:

In the House, Friday marks the day for bills with a fiscal impact to pass out of one of the three appropriations committees, with next Tuesday as the deadline for fiscal bills to pass from the Ways & Means Committee.

The Senate charter bill (6202) is still in the hopper.  However, the final deadline the Senate K-12 education committee has set is tomorrow. 


The Senate deadline for policy bills to pass out of committee is Friday, February 3. Like House Ways & Means, fiscal bills must be out of committee by Tuesday, February 7.


Of course, nothing is ever really “dead” until the legislature goes home, and several of the bills are expected to stay part of the “end game” mix for at least the next month and possibly until the end of session – if the two dates are different!

Also, this letter was sent to Special Education families:

This note is to update you on the hiring process for a new Executive Director of Special Education. At this time, a decision has been made not to offer the position to any of the interviewed candidates. There were strong candidates interviewed, but the Superintendent, recognizing that this is a critically important position, wants to be absolutely sure we have the right person. The position will be re-opened this week and the district will advertise nationally.

Thank you to the seventeen staff, parents, principals and central office staff who spent a full day interviewing candidates. I will keep you apprised as we move into the next round of interviews.
 

Cathy Thompson, Ed.D.
Assistant Superintendent for Teaching & Learning


Thank you to Deficit for this update.

Also from Elementary Mom,

So I'm not sure if this has already discussed in another thread, but I just learned from my son's teacher that the district miscalculated fall MAP scores and so the scores our children were given (and teachers tailored their teaching to/grouping of children/etc) were completely wrong. She said that the level of error varied from student to student some being just a few points off in RIT scores some being way off.

The principal is trying to get some answers to fill parents in on what happened (I guess they just found this out last week, so the principal spent the weekend recalculating scores so that parents had an accurate view of their child's progress this week with winter scores being reported).


Is this the end for charters?  I doubt it even if all the bills fail to make it out of committee.

What does this mean for Special Ed families?   What should the district be doing in the interim that can't wait for a new Executive Director?

I wonder when the district will give a full accounting of the issues with the MAP scores. 

27 comments:

suep. said...

Yet another reason why SPS should cancel the MAP test. It's a costly waste of time and resources.
15 Reasons Why the Seattle School District Should Shelve the MAP® Test—ASAP

Anonymous said...

There are new norms for this year's MAP tests, which should be applied to tests from Fall 2011 onward. Was this the miscalculation? Originally, the problem was that the new norms were applied to older MAP scores.

The RIT score should still be the RIT score, but I'm guessing the percentile conversion is what is in question.

For the upper percentiles, the difference can be significant, where a RIT score under the 2008 norms may be in the 99th percentile, and under the 2011 norms the same RIT score may only be in the 95th percentile.

guesssing

Anonymous said...

Discovery math indeed.

-JC.

MAPsucks said...

Yes, isn't it wonderful to use MAP for high-stakes purposes, like tracking your child.

Remember all new students HAD to take MAP this fall, because admin said so. They did not feel that a teacher is competent in administering a classroom formative assessment to gauge where a child is at on various subjects....

Can we get a refund?

Chris S. said...

This should be the end for the MAP.

Anonymous said...

Why is there still a draft FMP posted for introduction tonight? There is a Wednesday update, with the 1-24 draft plan still posted.

Should we be concerned about what's being proposed?

Anonymous said...

The Stranger picked up the charter story calling it Wealthy Backers and Two Bills in Olympia Go to War with Public Schools

They call out Stand 4 Children, LEV and Democrats for Ed Reform for being on the wrong side of the issue. Good.

A commenter says the bill is alive and well in the state senate and also maybe in the house. Can anyone explain as other sources say it is dead? Confused.

-skeptical-

mirmac1 said...

Just received this in my inbox, related to higher-ed funding. This story appears on a UW professor's blog.

WA State University Presidents Promote Higher Education Funding in Washington

Wednesday, February 1, 2012, 7:00 – 9:00pm
Great Hall; enter on 8th Avenue. $5

North Seattle Mom said...

I just logged into the SOURCE to see what was up and all years of MAP scores have vanished, not just Fall 2010. Currently it states

"MAP

Pre-calibration Scores

MAP assessment scores are temporarily unavailable."

North Seattle Mom said...

Fall 2011 that is, where our Spectrum student dived into 70%ile range in Reading and we weren't sure what to make of it. His recall on the recent Winter score seemed more within his previous range.

It will be interesting to see the end result is - isn't this the second time they have adjusted the Fall scores?

Anonymous said...

My kindergartener's MAP scores were so low that I decided not to have him tested for advanced learning opportunities. Yet the recalculation bumped him up 40-55 percentile points, to scores that were high enough to consider further testing. I don't expect to keep him in SPS next year so it doesn't really matter, but it sure sucks for other families/kids in a similar situation.

-Sandy

Maggie Hooks said...

My kid now has no mention of MAP on The Source, ie -- no entries under Assessments. I wonder if this is the reason for the AL letters not being out yet...

Anonymous said...

MAP scores for both of my children are not on the source.

North Seattle Mom -
"Fall 2011 that is, where our Spectrum student dived into 70%ile range in Reading and we weren't sure what to make of it. His recall on the recent Winter score seemed more within his previous range."

Same happened in Fall of 2011 for our Spectrum reader... hmmm.

I have hard copies of the scores so will be interesting to see how they change.

PAL

suep. said...

Sandy -- Your story highlights one of the many problems with MAP. Btw, SPS MAP administrators (Brad Bernatek and Jessica DeBarros) told a group of us parents who met with them in 2010 that MAP is not considered appropriate for grades K-2, which is why some other districts opt not to use it for those grades.

Anonymous said...

I just got an email from Seattle Schools talking about the "recalibration" of MAP scores, and to check your child's score on the Source. Yet no MAP data is even up there at the moment, oops.
Amy.

Nancyb said...

I'm not sure what the deadlines are for public response now - write/phone the senate committee by Friday? What further action in coming weeks/months could be taken by individuals?

North Seattle Mom said...

PAL, that is very interesting that your Spectrum student had the same experience for Reading. I took screenshots of the previous data too.

After receiving the District email I checked Source again and the MAP category and recalibration message that was there at 12:30 is history now at 3:00. Bizarre.

suep. said...

I got that email too, from Mark Teoh, and every time I post it here, it disappears.

I'll try it again, in segments.



February 1, 2012

Dear Seattle Public Schools families,

As you may know, Seattle Public Schools uses a computer-based test called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to provide schools and families with information about student achievement. Schools administer MAP tests in math and reading two or three times a year to many of our students. (The fall MAP test is optional.) Teachers and principals use information from the MAP tests to monitor students’ academic progress and to design their instruction to help every student succeed. You have likely received your student’s MAP scores and percentile in the mail. These scores are also available online, via The Source, the online resource for families and teachers at http://source.seattleschools.org

As part of its ongoing efforts to follow best testing practices, the MAP test’s vendor, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), recently recalibrated the percentile results associated with our students’ MAP scores, to better measure how Seattle students perform relative to students across the nation. This practice of recalibrating percentiles is common in standardized testing, and happens every several years.

The recalibrated percentile rank scores provide a more accurate snapshot of your student’s performance compared with other test-takers, since they are more representative of the national school-age population.


(continued)

suep. said...

Here's the rest:


In order for you to be able to see your student’s academic growth over time more accurately, Seattle Public Schools has updated your student’s percentile scores for the past three years to reflect the recalibrated percentiles. You can find the new MAP scores online at The Source at http://source.seattleschools.org. You may notice only a slight change or a very significant change, depending on how your child scored compared to the larger national average of students taking MAP tests.

A student’s MAP results are reported using both percentiles and a RIT score. The RIT score shows what students are ready to learn rather than what they have already mastered, and is used to show a student’s current achievement on a scale that is independent of grade level. This percentile update does not change your child’s RIT score.

The recalibrated percentiles do not change eligibility for advanced learning (Spectrum or APP) students. Original scores from the Spring 2011 MAP test will still be used for eligibility for advanced learning for 2012-13. Next year, eligibility will be based on the recalibrated percentiles. If you have any questions or concerns about the updated percentiles or the MAP test, please contact research@seattleschools.org.

Sincerely,


Mark Teoh
Executive Director of Research, Evaluation, Assessment & Development
Seattle Public Schools

suep. said...

Here's part one of the email Teoh sent this afternoon re: MAP recalibration. Blogger is having trouble with it.

February 1, 2012

Dear Seattle Public Schools families,

As you may know, Seattle Public Schools uses a computer-based test called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to provide schools and families with information about student achievement. Schools administer MAP tests in math and reading two or three times a year to many of our students. (The fall MAP test is optional.) Teachers and principals use information from the MAP tests to monitor students’ academic progress and to design their instruction to help every student succeed. You have likely received your student’s MAP scores and percentile in the mail. These scores are also available online, via The Source, the online resource for families and teachers at http://source.seattleschools.org

As part of its ongoing efforts to follow best testing practices, the MAP test’s vendor, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), recently recalibrated the percentile results associated with our students’ MAP scores, to better measure how Seattle students perform relative to students across the nation. This practice of recalibrating percentiles is common in standardized testing, and happens every several years.

The recalibrated percentile rank scores provide a more accurate snapshot of your student’s performance compared with other test-takers, since they are more representative of the national school-age population.

(continued on the PREVIOUS post...!)

mirmac1 said...

And the profit-making rush is on...

McGraw-Hill launches new CCCS test!!!

suep. said...

Here's part 1 of the Teoh letter re: MAP sent this afternoon:


February 1, 2012

Dear Seattle Public Schools families,

As you may know, Seattle Public Schools uses a computer-based test called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) to provide schools and families with information about student achievement. Schools administer MAP tests in math and reading two or three times a year to many of our students. (The fall MAP test is optional.) Teachers and principals use information from the MAP tests to monitor students’ academic progress and to design their instruction to help every student succeed. You have likely received your student’s MAP scores and percentile in the mail. These scores are also available online, via The Source, the online resource for families and teachers at http://source.seattleschools.org

As part of its ongoing efforts to follow best testing practices, the MAP test’s vendor, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), recently recalibrated the percentile results associated with our students’ MAP scores, to better measure how Seattle students perform relative to students across the nation. This practice of recalibrating percentiles is common in standardized testing, and happens every several years.

The recalibrated percentile rank scores provide a more accurate snapshot of your student’s performance compared with other test-takers, since they are more representative of the national school-age population.

Anonymous said...

I can just now see my kinder's winter MAP score for the first time, but not my older child's. It's been almost 2 months since they took the test initially. Is the recalibration what made the scores take so long?

Will the kindergarten MAP scores be factored into the AP placement? Our school didn't take a fall MAP, just the winter. Any word on when AP results will be going out?

Not a MAP fan.

Anonymous said...

Just checked the Source, and my son's Winter MAP are finally up.

His Fall MAP scores have changed - as Elementary Mom indicated. Not just the percentiles - the RITs changed as well.

My son's a kindergartener who's testing for AL - how am I supposed to trust his Winter scores for determining his AL placement when they're just now realizing there was a scoring mistake on fall's tests?

Feeling very frustrated.

-- D's mom

Anonymous said...

@Melissa/Charlie, is it possible to start a new MAP thread? i really don't get it. "re-calibration" - what, prior the SPS kids were only compared against other SPS kids? or compared against incorrect grade ranges? what was incorrect, and why should we think it's correct now? i have 3 kids' scores and can't find any pattern. were there other MAP school districts in the same boat, or is this purely a SPS issue?

-Diane

Anonymous said...

From a generic NWEA parent letter:

The most recent [norms] study occurred in July of this year [2011] and it benefits from a larger, more representative sample that reflects the diverse demographics and characteristics of students and schools in the United States. The larger, more representative sample allows us to make more informed estimates of student growth throughout the school year that we can use to adjust instruction in the classroom.

With the improved methodology behind the 2011 study, we are seeing some differences from the previous study, particularly in how student percentile rankings and growth projections are distributed. For the majority of students, the changes from the new norms have resulted in only minor differences. However, we are seeing more significant changes for certain groups of students, particularly students in the 1st and 2nd grade, but also for some students who are performing much higher or lower than others.

Your child’s learning, or demonstration of what they have learned, has obviously not changed as a result of the updated norms. Rather, the group of students that they are being compared with in the norm study has changed, and this will subsequently impact the average growth projections and percentile rankings relative to this new group of students. While these differences will be more apparent for some students, they represent significant improvements in how we are measuring and evaluating the academic growth of your child.


-parent

Bob Valiant said...

Kennewick School District Citizens blog has run a series of investigative reports on the MAP. It can be found here: http://ksdcitizens.org/2011/09/11/can-we-be-confident-that-test-scores-provide-useful-information-about-kennewick-students/