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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Seattle Schools Named for 2012 Achievement

From OPSI:
A total of 381 schools are receiving Washington Achievement Awards for 2012. Award-winning schools were notified today via email by State Superintendent Randy Dorn and State Board of Education Chair Jeff Vincent.

The Washington Achievement Awards, now in their fourth year, are sponsored by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Board of Education. Award winners are selected using the state’s Achievement Index and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Flexibility Waiver.

Washington’s School Achievement Index rates all schools according to specific outcomes and indicators from 2010 to 2012. The five outcomes are student performance in statewide assessments in reading, writing, math and science tests, as well as the school’s extended graduation rate, which includes those students who took longer than four years to graduate.

Those outcomes are each measured using four indicators:
  1. achievement of students who are not from low-income families;
  2. achievement of students who are from low-income families;
  3. achievement of a school when compared to “peers” (schools with similar student characteristics, such as the percentage of students who have a disability, are learning English, are designated as gifted, come from low-income families, and are mobile); and
  4. improvement in the achievement of all students combined from the previous year.
Congratulations to all these schools which includes (* means past winner):

Overall excellence:
Bryant
John Hay*
JSIS*
Loyal Heights*
Maple*
Montlake
Mercer*
The Center School*
Catherine Blaine K-8*

Language Arts
Mercer
The Center School

Math
Mercer*
West Woodland*

Science
Beacon Hill International
Bryant*
Daniel Bagley
John Hay*
JSIS*
Laurelhurst
Loyal Heights*
Maple*
McGilvra*
Montlake*
North Beach*
Schmitz Park
Van Asselt
West Woodland*
Mercer
Roosevelt
The Center School*

Extended Graduation Rate
Nova*
South Lake*

Closing Achievement Gaps
Alki
JSIS*
Nathan Hale
The Center School*

High Progress (Title One eligible)
Mercer*

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to all the schools!

One question...I haven't looked deeply into the criteria for these awards, but I wonder if the APP schools (esp. Thurgood Marshall and Lincoln) aren't considered for this because at least in the case of Lincoln, the District and possibly the state don't consider them "schools" but "programs". Not a big deal to me, but since the kids in these programs are often invisible when it comes time to counting them for capacity (for example), I wonder if they're not eligible for these achievement awards either. I'm assuming they would be pretty high on the academic ratings. Just curious, and I wonder if there are other "programs" not considered for this because the District doesn't consider them schools.

- APP Parent

Anonymous said...

APP parent, TM is not an APP school. It has several programs, among them APP. Please check out the school website. APP kids are not invisible and certainly not their parents. Please read the actual post and the 4 indicators they used for WAA.

another APP parent

Anonymous said...

Yes, they recognize and include schools with APP programs. Thurgood Marshall received this award in the past. The school's principal, to her credit, turned down the award because it was for "progress" measured the year after the APP program came to the school. The principal did not accept the award because the "progress" upon which the award was based was in fact just a huge bump in tet scores with the arrival of a new program that is defined by a population of kids (APP) who test high.
- 6593 ralaft

Anonymous said...

Hamilton's ex principal (Mr CC) didn't have any problem to accept this award and then brag about at every time when he could in the past 3 years even though the reason for award was the same than in TGM (APP arrival).
But please note that this is the first year when Hamilton is not among the awarded schools since APP is there. Maybe the numbers are showing that in fact there is a base of the parental complains in the past 3 years???
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

Please check out the WAA site. It explains the methodology for evaluation across the state. Once there, please read the section on gifted students (= APP students) and please read the footnote. Here is the site:

http://www.k12.wa.us/EducationAwards/
WashingtonAchievement/

another APP parent

Eric B said...

That's a commendable display of sportsmanship* by the Thurgood Marshall principal.

* Not the right word, but it's eluding me this morning.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the criteria for gifted students has been added since Thurgood Marshall's principal declined the award. That crieria was not applied 2 years ago. This was the right thing to do. Superintendant Goodloe Johnson manipulated school populations to make school test scores appear better on paper rather than focus on improvement of individual students. TM's principal rightly placed the emphasis on her students and not the "award". It looks like the award criteria now attempts to acknowledge this and better recognize true achievement.
-- seattle parent

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Anonymous said...

HIMS mom,

Interestingly, the rumblings for boycotting the MAP at HIMS were started back in that era. The principal touted and took credit for the amazing jump in test scores while not exactly being welcoming to the APP population in his building. The proposed boycott was not about the MAP being tied to teacher evaluations. He was hounding APP teachers to show "growth" on the MAP as they bumped along the top of it within the margin of error.

These same kids have now aged up to Garfield. Everyone knows that the MAP is a flawed and pointless tool for Advanced Learners (and other learners too), but now the teachers are vilified. Get your Spring opt outs lined up!

open ears

Anonymous said...

@HIMS mom and open ears,

The point of this award was for whole school achievement. Something that other schools with great challenges have been able to achieve. If you look at why some of these schools are successful, a part of that may have to do with the make up of the student population and their families, but the biggest part, IMO, has to do with the building culture, staff, and its community and how it goes about teaching, learning, and interacting with one another.

Mercer isn't on that list just because of a math text. Mercer's sustained and focused effort toward improvement is starting to pay off. The work and the committment of its staff (including previous ones) play a large role in its success. The challenge of success now is how to maintain that level of support and not let it withered because the kids and their needs don't go away.

I don't know HIMS' previous principal personally. He came during the district wide principal shuffle and school closure in 2009. HIMS took on the music program and APP. I have heard much criticism from APP side, but less so from other programs there. I spoke with a parent about his son's experience with HIMS before 2009 and it was a different school prior to NSAP and before/after the $73 million reno. The school went through big transition in 2009. Many in APP were not thrilled about the splits and had a lot of anxiety. I don't doubt people wanted more reassurance and "acceptance", but the thing is a principal is a principal of the whole school, not just one program.

HIMS has a new principal now and there are still rumblings. Principal and teacher issues are not unique to any buildings. What is unique is how much of it is expressed by one program and the lenght it continually lives on and on. It would be interesting to hear open ears take on HIMS' ex-principal at his new school? Is this same person taking all "credit" of the award at his new school too?

I worry about APP. It's good to discuss one program, but I do think there is a fine line with open discussion and advocacy to casting "questions" and depicting "history" in certain vain. From the beginning, MAP's implementation and goals were confusing to everyone throughout this district and its planned usage has changed over time. Looking at MAP now, I suspect it will be another relic in a few years time.

Finally, this isn't about one principal, but more about what we do to staff who teach and oversee our kids. If we call them out freely with such ignominy because we can remain anonymous, what are the incentives for any teachers or staff to want to teach or remain in such a program? I understand human nature, being what it is, is more apt to shout out complaint than praise. For me, this blog is full of good info, discerning readers, and thoughtful discussions. There are times however, the peevishness and lazy way things are said (sometimes without bothering to read the posts carefully or do the research to verify first) make me less incline to take the discussion seriously. I don't go to the APP blog as often for that reason.

My take away from this WAA, is we have good schools here and there are things we should look for and take away to make other schools better.

AAP

Anonymous said...

Thank you AAP. I have children eligible for APP, and we have been reluctant to join the program inspite of its many benefits because of some of the postings I have read here and on the APP blog. If you let your contempt for certain teachers show so clearly, your children will follow your lead, and they will learn nothing from the class because they will believe the teacher is incompetent.
The main reason the Asian countries are so much better at educating their children is that they have great respect for teachers there. Under Confucianism, teachers are put even above parents. We will never be able to compete with these countries in education if we continue to show such disrespect to teachers. No one believe that they can design a building better than an architect, or operate better than surgeons. Yet so many parents here seem to believe they can teach better than the people who have trained for several years to do so.

CCA

Anonymous said...

Since I will probably be pilloried for my previous post, I will go the whole hog, and mention some of the postings from APP parents that have bothered me for a long time.
HIMS is NOT preening under unearned laurels on the back of APP students' test scores alone; the language immersion kids are there, and spectrum, and the general ed kids, and they are no slouch. A 10th grader at Ingraham, who started at JSIS, and then went on to HIMS and Ingraham, just won the 1st prize at a speech contest and received a fully paid trip to Japan.
The language immersion kids are NOT overcrowding HIMS, they are neighborhood kids and were there first.
Lowell general program kids did NOT steal the library from the APP kids who had to move to Lincoln. Once you have given your book to the school library, it belongs to the school, not to your child. Adams's PTA put in a rain garden and a brand new playground at their school in the last few years. I am very certain that the parents who put in time, money, and hard labor on those projects do not plan to rip them out and take them to Whitman when their children leave Adams. And yes, it is unfortunate that your children have to play on muddy ground and pavement, and eat in a too small cafeteria. But so did JSIS, and MacDonald, and QAE, for several years.
SPS is NOT victimizing APP for the benefit other schools and programs by applying WSS and removing teachers in October; that is what they do to every school, for several years now. Next year we will only have a 0.5 counselor, and a 0.3 special education IA, for over 500 kids! My child's class had 33 kids last year, this year we thought we would have a 3rd teacher to reduce the class size. But she got moved to K because once again there were more students enrolled than expected. My child's teacher has to teach math and science to 33 kids in another language. That is why we have to pay for IAs through fundraising.
It is great that you are so proactive in advocating for your children. Just remember that other children exist, and their parents love them just as much as you do yours, though they might have less time, money and energy than you, to ensure that their children get the best of everything.

CCA

CCA

Anonymous said...

To the previous posters:
Since this post is about the "Seattle Schools Names for 2012 Achievement", I am not going to discuss the APP issues you brought up.
I would only add two additional comments: if you think that any principal could take credit and accept an award for his school's progress (based on questionable test scores) with no problem because his school population has changed and because of this decision the average test scores went up, be happy about it. I feel that this is just not fair for any programs in the school and with this I respectfully agree to disagree with you.
Also please note that this award is for the previous school year, when Mr CC was still in Hamilton (no award), and not in Mercer yet (awarded). So I would like to congratulate for Mercer and its teachers, students and ex-principal.
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

CCA and AAP,

Mercer was doing amazing work well before Carter moved there, so I don't see how he had much to do with it. Has he published a self-congratulatory letter to the community as he did the first year APP was at Hamilton? Julie Breidenbach didn't at Thurgood Marshall. The word Eric B is looking for is "integrity" maybe. Yes, HIMS has strong students and dedicated teachers in every program, but I'm refering to a specific year, sprin 2010, when the MAP scores took a huge jump.

Hamilton is likely not on the list this year because the population is fairly stable and not making big jumps. You have to look at the demographics of a school from year to year. Since NSAP schools like Bryant, McGilvra, Larelhurst and Montlake have had many fewer students from outside the immediate (affluent) neighborhood. Their scores went up too!
These are not schools with "great challenges". Under choice (pre-NSAP), students from less affluent neighborhoods farther south could and did choose Montlake or McGilvra, now they are pretty locked in to the neighborhood school.

I hope that as a district we do all that we can to follow Mercer's example and show that kind of growth in future years in other southeast schools, since families now have no choice.

The majority of schools on the list have every reason to take pride in their earned and sustained achievments.

My intent is not ignominious slander of one person, but to report what I see and hear in the schools. I do use one moniker for consistency.

open ears

Anonymous said...

HIMS mom, I didn't understand your posts. I read your posts as a criticism of Hamilton's former principal for accepting the award and "brag"ging about it, but also of his tenure as explanation why the school didn't receive the award this year. So he wasn't personally (and I'm not sure how any one person can be) responsible for the school getting the award x2, but is personally responsible when the school didn't get the award?

@open ears, perhaps I missed it, but what I read was the announcement of the award and the usual thankful acknowledgement of staff, students, and community. It didn't sound much different than other schools accepting the same award. I don't think the former principal is so foolish to accept an award like this as if it was all his doing. He is judge by his peers and they are not blind, (nor were Hamilton staff and community then or his present staff and community now at Mercer).

When I read this post, I thought it was a straight forward Washington Achievement Awards announcement with list of SPS schools that won. I never read thinking it was about APP@ Hamilton as a program, especially when looking at the 4 indicators used to evaluate the award. And yet APP past and present keep cropping up. Why is that?

AAP

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ, CCA, did some APP parent cut you off in the ice cream line one time? Can I dig through all the posts on here looking for something offensive a JSIS parent did or maybe an advocacy stand they took I could take issue with(recent PTA funding issues come to mind), combine them all out of context, and then villainize that entire school, too? Pick any school, really.

The fact that SPS has failed some schools some times is certainly not an excuse to sit idly by and allow it to happen to your own. I'm glad the APP parents are looking out for their kids' playground. I've been there; it is ridiculous. And you can't possibly expect me to believe they are the first people to get sucked in by the insane program/school distinction and therefore whether library materials belong to a school or a library program.

I'd hope we as an academic community would be above hoping for the worst for our neighbors just because bad things have happened to us. Divided we fall, and you're sitting over there happy with your hatchet.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Sleeper,

You're welcomed to dig as much as you'd like, and post whatever comments you wish about JSIS. I speak for myself only, not for JSIS. About our choice to fund TAs, every PTA in every school makes their own decisions on what they are willing or able to do for their school. What we do is what has worked for us. It is an internal decision and an internal fund raiser. We do not ask for money from SPS and we are not taking any funding away from anyone. Yes, it is a huge amount of $, but less than the cost of 1 month of childcare for each family. All donations are voluntary and private. The PTA does not call up people and harass them. We do not have gold level, silver level donor lists with prizes. It's give if you can. If you can't afford to give money and feel the need to do something, there are many volunteer opportunities, just as important for the functioning of the school. I really do not see how our internal fundraising for our school is anyone else's business. I do agree that JSIS should be an option school, yes. We are an international school, optimally we should have students from all backgrounds. That, however, is NEVER going to happen unless the state can impose an income tax, and fully fund schools. This district does not have the money to transport kids from all over Seattle to Wallingford. And because of historical bigotry, north Seattle is not going to be as diverse as the south end.
I do not have a problem with APP. It is one of the best programs. I probably have less problems with APP than some of the posters here. I do not think the director of advanced learning should be replaced; I like HIMS principal. I know many families who have children attending HIMS and they do not have a problem with the staff there. I accept that not all the teachers would be great. That is just a fact of life. I went to the top private schools and then early entrance at the UW, and there are bad teachers at those schools also. If you are very lucky, you will have 5 or 6 exceptional teachers in your life. Most will be competent, some will be howlingly bad. They might be extremely expert at their field but bad human beings with no empathy. I had a class with one who was at the top of his field but so arrogant and dismissive that no one ever learned anything from him. I also had 3 Nobel Prize winners as professors who actually discussed my ideas with me as if I, an undergrad at the time, might have some valuable insight. On the whole, I have found that you can learn more from someone if you can think of them with respect.
That is what I objected to in the posts I mentioned; the lack of respect, the entitlement, the belief that the posters are being victimized because their children are gifted. All children have some gift, who is to judge which ability is better? I am not hating on all APP parents, my post was very explicit in saying that; I am objecting to SOME of the posts. They could all be from one individual for all I know. God, I hope so. I read the APP blog to get info so we can make informed decisions. I have children who got the required scores for APP first time they tested, back in 1st grade. So I keep an eye on the program to see if we want to join in middle school. APP students have benefits no other has, one of which is choice to THREE different high schools, two of which are amongst the best.
If there were not such clear advantages to joining the APP program, there would not be almost 300 posts on the topic of how to file appeals to get into it on the APP blog. Why persist in seeing yourself as maltreated?

CCA

Anonymous said...

I don't hear SPS or blog commenters calling for the end of language education on a monthly basis the way I hear them calling for an end to gifted education. Our neighborhood school has worked fine for us, but my kids are pretty happily average. If they needed accelerated curriculum I'd be nervous about the attitude of the district, too. And I do think APP gets picked on a lot more than other schools, pardon me, "programs," yes, including JSIS.

PTA fundraising is an equity issue, which I'm sure you're aware of, and that is what makes it the public's business. McDonald has a much lower income level to deal with, and raising the funds to continue a luxury program like you have has been a much bigger problem for them. I am sure an APP parent could post a similarly defensive screed about how they have to advocate for certain things since they are a program and not a school.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Yes, I do realize that parents in schools with high FRL population have a difficult time raising money. It's hard to do when people need all they have just to survive. I am glad that there are programs that can replace, such as federal money or parnerships with local organizations like SAM or PNW Ballet. JSIS parents are able to support the school with IAs for language instruction; but it is pretty much all they can do. We have no art teacher, only 2 art lessons each year for each class.
I do not feel defensive about what we do. It is the choice we have made. I did not move here so my children can go to JSIS. We have been in this neighborhood always, and many families at the school are the same. It is my personal opinion that the amount the PTA is trying to raise is too high, we've always just managed to raise half that. We've never had an IA in every class, and that is what they are trying this year. If this succeed, good; if not, we'll make do. There is no UTOPIA in this country, we barely got the health care act passed. It is what it is, we can work to make changes, and that is all.

CCA

CCA

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