Friday Open Thread

SPS press release on math adoption.  Next steps:

Next, the recommendation goes to the IMC for its approval that the math adoption process was appropriately followed. From there, the Superintendent will review the recommendation, which will then be introduced to the full School Board at its May 21 meeting. The board is scheduled to vote on the math program at its June 4 meeting.

Did you know that the most important thing to get done for public education in Washington State is to get the NCLB waiver back? Hint: it's not.  From Crosscut.

Yesterday, a traditional day for high school seniors to receive admittance letters from higher education institutions, also saw the Obama administration release a list of 55 colleges being investigated over their handling of sexual assaults.  WSU made the list. 

From New Jersey, a story about 62 seniors arrested in Teaneck, N. J. over a senior prank.  They put petroleum jelly on doorknobs (not nice), hotdogs in lockers (also not nice) and urinated in the hallways (very wrong).  Plus furniture damage, graffiti and balloons and silly string.  (The students over 18 are being charged as adults.  A good conversation to have with your senior about the difference between being charged as a juvenile and being charged as an adult.)

Selfie while you cross the stage to graduate, yay or nay?  (I'd say nay if only because you might trip.) 

Upcoming threads: Louis CK on CCSS (brilliant), high school news and a story about how the old-timey direct instruction works for one district.  Oh, and using institutional memory to forecast the future for our district.

I was very weather-happy the past couple of days but now it's time now to snap out of that reverie.

What's on your mind?


Po3 said…
What is the "recommendation' and what is the "IMC?"

Dismal SPS communications.

And also on the math recommendation.

Very shortsighted to limit selections to "common core ready."

As more and more states opt out the whole idea of a national curriculum will be over before it was started.

At least 5 of the 45 who signed on have now opted out. More red states starting to consider opting out of what is now being called "Obamacore."

SPS is heading towards adopting a curriculum on what will soon be a defunct set of standards.

Sad and expensive.
Anonymous said…
SPS 2014-15 post open enrollment numbers

Grade level (%APP)
1-5 (4.2%)
Mid (8.3%)
High (4.2%)

Grade level (%APP)
1-5 (4.7%)
Mid (9.7%)
High (5.2%)

What's going on with middle school?
RosieReader said…
Where did you get the enrollment numbers, and are they posted for the district as a whole?
Anonymous said…
To put percentages of APP as a part of total enrollment, you would have to have total post-open enrollment for 2014, is that what you compared to? Because, this district is adding about 1,000 students, so, your numbers, if you compared them to 2013, are wrong.

Where are the 2014-15 enrollment numbers?

Plus, It would be more helpful if you show the OVERALL growth of enrollment over the last 10 years for grades. If you did, you would see that the demographics of public schools is changing, especially since the implementation of the New Student Assignment Plan.

What's going on with middle school? Easy. Private elementary kids are showing up to public middle school. Remember, Seattle has the 3rd highest private elementary school enrollment % in the US (after NY and SF) so there are A LOT of kids to pile in, and, private-school families are not an unbiased sample. Disproportional high performers would be expected in that sample. UW, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Adobe, etc.

Seattle also has a far more educated population, compared to the national average.

Anonymous said…
RE - MATH ADOPTION (There is a math adoption thread, in case you didn't look there, here's my comment FWIW)

Here's the thing, what matters most is for the math adoption: MATH.

The question

"what aligns best to Common Core State Standards"

is NOT the question,

the real question, the only question is "what text is the best for teachers to teach math and for students to learn math?"

THAT IS the question!!!

The answer, MATH IN FOCUS. Parents know it. K5 STEM at Boren knows it. Schmitz Park knows it. Sounds like Linh-Co knows it. Sounds like Rick knows it too (sorry if I am misrepresenting you, Rick).

So, why would we not go with MIF? Do we 'want to align', or, do we 'want kids to learn math'? What is the priority here?

If you ask a wrong question, you will get a wrong answer ....but, the answer will yield a internal-consistent conclusion, but, of course, the premise was wrong. I don't care about alignment to cooked up standards or pretend depth of knowledge or discovery or investigations or the fad-du-jour, I simply want my kids, all kids, every kid, the ones who can't speak English, the ones who have Downs Syndrome, the ones who love math, female kids, male kids, all kids, every kid, to be successful in math! I want every kids to have the possibility of every imaginable future, including engineering or computer science. Crappy math will kill that for far to many kids, especially our culturally most diverse families.

Quoting RICK, a committee participant:

"Publishers who built decent K-5 math programs following the alignment, pacing, and prioritization of CCSS rose to the top of the heap. I maintain that CCSS is mostly a distraction, with a few slight benefits. There has been good math before CCSS, and there will be good math long after CCSS dies on the vine to be replaced by the next fad."


Don't we want rigor for all kids? Or, did I not get the memo, the object is in fact to 'dumb it down'? "Noticeably advanced" sounds good to me!

Is there such a thing as 'jury nullification' for this idiotic process? There were some great people serving on the MAC, people like Rick (huge Thank you, Rick!! I appreciate your thoughtfulness and service), but, if they were hamstrung by a bad, false and extemporaneous constraint (CCSS), instead of prioritizing MATH, then, I hope the Board will have the courage of conviction to "JUST SAY NO" and go with MIF once and for all. Ms. Peters, I invite, implore, plead and cajole you to create an amendment when the time comes to vote on the elemenatry math adoption BAR to cross off the staff recommendation and amend it with MIF. If you succeed, you will be given a ticker-tape parade. Seriously. And then, the 'waiver process', a great process (thank you Director Peaselee), will sit idly by, with no takers. Think about the equity of that... You don't have to have a 'rich school PTA' or a maverick school to get the 'good math'. Ahem.

Don't Seattle kids deserve this much?

Why run for school board, if, at the last gasp, you won't defend kids? I believe each and every member of the Board knows what the right thing is to do. Follow common sense, pick MIF. It does meet the criteria, it does align to CCSS, and, most importantly, IT TEACHES KIDS, ALL KIDS, MATH!

Please god, don't choke again. Do the right thing. We suffered through EDM. The kids are still suffering with CMP2. Please, bring in MIF for everyone.


(PS - thank you to all MAC members for stepping up and serving)
Anonymous said…

Tuesday, May 13, 6:30 p.m., at the Wilson-Pacific building’s SeaMat Center -- Meeting about Wilson Pacific Design

Only a mass, and I mean MASS showing from the community at the Tuesday May 13th 6:30pm Wilson Pacific meeting at Wilson Pacific will get the District to stop and retool this plan.

Otherwise, it will be full-steam ahead and then generations will have to deal with the consequences -- no auditorium for a school that will be bigger than Hamilton and bigger than Madison -- their 'cafetorimums' are not a model to copy (those were forced by the fact that those two buildings were historical renovations and had to work within the original and constrained building envelope! Wilson Pacific is being built from the ground up -- so an auditorium is possible -- the 'box' style, not with a raked floor -- just a simple big, flexible box with pull out bleachers and good acoustics).

The comprehensive middle school stakeholders (yo! families with kids in grades 1 and 2!!) should come out and speak up. The limitations of WilPac will affect ALL 4 other middle schools of the north. If Whitman or Eckstein really want to get rid of some portables so that their core facilities aren't so stressed, they need to come out and make sure WilPac is built rationally. We are all in this together. Please, please come. Let the District know that school buildings need to meet the needs of students.

Po3 said…
So it will come down to the board to vote NO on whatever is brought to them and and send the issue back to the MAC to hopefully recommend Math in Focus.

My guess it will just like Discovery math: 4-3 in favor to adopt the Common core focused curriculum, with those in favor all saying "time is of the essence."
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
CRAP - I forgot to sign the above about the WP high school.

-- Math Counts
Lynn said…
I wasn't the original poster of the enrollment data above, but here's a link to the Friday Memos for the year. The enrollment information can be found on the bottom of page four.

Some history on APP and Spectrum enrollment in case you'd like to look at the trends.

As for the jump at sixth grade - I think some of that is kids coming from private school. There are also kids who aren't miserable enough in elementary to make a move necessary. At the end of fifth grade though, most students are changing schools and there's no downside to a program change at that point.
Eric B said…
@Lynn, That's certainly what we did with our rising 6th grader. Our elementary school was fine for us, but we're switching to APP for middle school.
Anonymous said…
Regarding APP in middle school, as much as APP families didn't want to split the cohort for obvious reasons, I think a lot of families in NE Seattle more seriously considered APP in Middle School when it was geographically closer to them. My guess (without numbers) is that between the less overcrowding at Hamilton and a closer middle school for a lot of APP qualified kids at JAMS, more would send their kids to APP. I know I'd more seriously consider it for my APP qualified 2nd grader in a few years.

NE Mom of 3
Anonymous said…
Agree. Lots of folks hold off on testing until time for that middle school transition. It's a lot easier to supplement and make it work in those early grades, but kids often need something else in middle school.

good numbers said…
Whatever is going on is interesting. Am I reading the data right? This year has 151 5th graders at Lincoln. They will be next year's APP 6th graders which totals 313 between JAMS and HIMS. Is there normally a 100% increase in 6th grade APP kids over the 5th graders in the program? I knew it was high, but I didn't know it was double.

The other thing people might be confused about is the 4.7%, 1090 elementary APP students, is only the students enrolled in APP. It is not including all APP eligible kids. So, there's not necessarily a huge increase in eligible 6th graders. The kids could have been in ALO or Spectrum and are officially enrolling in APP MS. They aren't necessarily coming from private school.

Lynn said…
This year there are 250 APP-enrolled fifth graders, 30 APP-eligible but Spectrum-enrolled and 61 APP-eligible but ALO-enrolled. Next year there will be 451 APP 6th graders - 110 of those will be newly-eligible.
Anonymous said…
Does this staggering increase have anything to do with the botched testing process?

gened mom said…
Wondering, I have a feeling this huge increase is mainly due to the lack of anything remotely challenging at the elementary schools. My kid who consistently tests in the 50th percentile on her MAP tests is bored to death at our north-end elementary school that has such high reviews! She gets 100% on every math packet and test, finishes her weekly homework packet in 5 minutes, but doesn't "get" to walk to math since she's appropriately placed.

I'm considering "buying" her one of those APP slots. I just need the name of the person who apparently hands out APP eligibility to anyone who pays for it since she won't qualify, but I think she's able. :)
Anonymous said…
As I always always point out when people question the APP numbers - don't calculate the % from SPS enrolled students. Calculate from total number of students in Seattle. Because that's the pool that APP is being drawn from.

There are many more than 51,000 students in Seattle - 51,000 is only the SPS-enrolled numbers. What are there, 60,000? 65,000?

Yes, of course the private schools have many students who would probably be APP qualified - but a heck of a lot of the private school students wouldn't be. But any discussion of the number of kids eligible for APP needs to start with total number of students in Seattle, not total enrolled in SPS b/c the latter is going to make the APP enrollment look way off and the former looks much more understandable.

And Melissa - I know it's probably gone - but can my deleted comment from earlier be returned since I signed immediately below?

Hey cool I got "factor" in my captcha.

Signed -- Math Counts.
Math Counts, I cannot retrieve deleted comments. I'm sorry I did not see your next comment.
Unknown said…
Seattle, mark your calendar. Standardized - Lies, Money & Civil Right: How Testing is Ruining Public Education is playing May 14th at the Northwest Film Forum. See you there.

Standardized, the movie: Join us in Seattle for a viewing and discussion
Anonymous said…
With my APP kid -- it was clear he was way ahead in math -- even in K and first grade -- and he had qualifying COGAT scores, but he was not reading 2 years ahead of grade, until he took off in 2nd grade (in Spectrum). He (and we) liked his Spectrum program, so we kept him in Spectrum until the shift at the end of 5th grade. (His 4th grade ITBS was high enough to get him the achievement levels APP was looking for. Since APP here tests not only aptitude but current achievement, many kids who have the aptitude, but aren't quite there in achievement as K or 1st grade kids, spend time in Spectrum first. If Spectrum is working well enough, their parents often don't shift them up until the school change in 6th grade.

I am old, though -- so maybe what I am describing isn't such a frequent practice these days.

Anonymous said…
Regarding the math adoption, I know the existing board and committee members have already dealt with difficult issues surrounding the adoption process and it's integrity. There is great tension between CCSS alignment and the apparently overwhelming favorite MIF. I believe it's state legislation, Randy Dorn's decision to embrace CCSS, and state and federal dollars that skew the process away from MIF, towards Envision, which few believe, standing alone, is better than MIF, but which is far, far better than EDM, and was among the top choices anyways. I've heard that people on the committee feel what we get will be good, much better than before, even if not the favorite.

Like the majority of the responding public, I would favor MIF, but I also say phooey to CCSS, regardless of the dollars attached. Some who know a lot more than I may see it differently.

As for Peters, let's not forget she's only been in office for a few months and has fought tooth and nail for better math for the past several years. I know she's put a lot of time and effort into the Math adoption, while learning the ropes since she took office. I worry more about other board members who tend to go along to get along, and nobody will ever accuse Peters of that.

Anonymous said…
Thanks for posting that, Carolyn.

And thank Heaven for Dora Taylor and Parents Across America!

Anonymous said…
Po3, et al, Indiana is the only state (so far) of the original 45 states who adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to drop the CCSS. I'm assuming people are confusing adoption of the CCSS and membership in one of the CC testing consortia. Yes, at least 5 states who were members of Smarter Balanced and/or PARCC have dropped out. But EVERY state that dropped membership in a consortium (except Indiana) will be developing or have already developed their own state assessment aligned to the CCSS.

And, as far as I understand, Indiana dropped the Common Core State Standards in name only. The opponents of CCSS in Indiana are screaming bloody murder over the recent adoption of the Indiana College and Career Ready Standards --- the name of Indiana's new state content standards. Apparently, the new standards are virtually identical to the CCSS with a sprinkling of Indiana's old standards added to the mix.

And for those on this thread and other threads who have referred to the CCSS as the "latest fad," I would suggest that you keep in mind that Washington has had state content standards and an assessment aligned to those standards for 20 years. Essentially, the CCSS and the Smarter Balanced assessments are simply the latest iteration of the state's content standards and standardized test. This is not a "fad" and if you want the CCSS and Smarter Balanced to go away, you better do some heavy lifting. They are not simply going to fade away as all fads normally do.

--- swk
Lynn said…
I expect private school enrollment to increase (at least in the early elementary years) if your predictions are accurate. Families who can afford it will escape the developmentally inappropriate expectations and the children left to suffer will be the ones ed reformers are concerned about.

Benjamin Leis said…
@SWK - You can add South Carolina to the list of states that have almost withdrawn from the standards. They've now passed a bill in both houses of their legislature and their governor is not going to veto it so this one is fairly certain.

Charlie Mas said…
There is a huge increase in APP enrollment at middle school.

I think it was recently calculated that something like 12% of north-end middle school students are in APP.

The increase is the result of a number of factors including, but not limited to:

* Families are more reluctant to put an elementary student on a long bus ride

* Relationships built in elementary school make them sticky

* Families don't want their children to change schools any more than necessary

* Education starts to get serious for a lot of people at middle school
I would add to Charlie's comments that many parents likely see the writing on the wall for Spectrum and are doing what they can to get into APP.

Many students who qualify for Spectrum also do so for APP and their parents may now be exercising that ability.
Anonymous said…
A thought and a question: (Thought) Spectrum's demise is also inextricably linked to poor capacity management. Were I the parent of a Spectrum qualified kid who got wait-listed, I'd be rightly pissed off that SPS is denying my kid their appropriate education by claiming there's no room at the inn. No room? Make room. Whatever it takes. The horror stories I've heard from kids who tested in but never got in should never, ever have happened. Bad policy leads to bad results. Hence, Spectrum withers and dies while APP becomes disproportionately a refuge and security blanket for kids above grade level. Crazy.

And now the question: Why is Math in Focus good enough for Highline School District, but not good enough for Seattle? They love it so much there, that they've adopted it for elementary and are adopting it for middle school as well. And they sing the praises of none other than Susan Enfield for getting it right! They're loving some Enfield in Highline, and who can blame them? She supports the best math curriculum, not the one that aligns with Big Brother's Wish List (aka Common Core).

"Aligning with Common Core" sounds like nothing more than a "we had no choice" excuse in the making when the deficits of this curriculum come knocking in a year or two. Do we want what's best for the kids, or CYA for those in charge when it backfires and disappoints in a year or two? It appears to me it's the latter.

I sincerely hope the Board chooses MIF, after hearing it's praises from my friends in Highline.


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