Friday Open Thread

Well first, it's hot (but I'm from Arizona so you can't scare me) and dry so please have a safe and fun 4th and let the experts handle the fireworks AND be careful if you go out into the water (not in a pool).  The waters here in the Puget Sound region are very cold. 

 Kind of a fun survey on "How Creative Are You?"  if you draw (and I don't). 

We like to talk about family engagement here and boy, did Arne Duncan fall flat in his latest Twitter chat.  From Conversation Ed:

The topic of Arne Duncan’s July Twitter chat was “Parental engagement”. And that’s ironic for two reasons:

  1. He received a lot of parental engagement on the chat he probably wasn’t expecting.
  2. He didn’t “engage” much with the parents who were asking him the tough questions regarding his education policy that affect their kids.
In fact, Duncan didn’t say much, but parents and educators certainly did.

On the Seattle Craigslist, they are advertising for "teachers" for Clark County in Nevada.  It seems to be another version of TFA (but for principals and office staff as well).  No thanks.

A woman in Washington who died this week of measles was the first to die from the disease in 12 years in the U.S.  It was not suspected she had measles but died from pneumonia, which is a common outcome from measles.  She contracted them at a medical facility in Clallam County; her family thought she had been vaccinated as a child.

This comes as California governor, Jerry Brown, this week signed a bill in to law that no child can attend public school in California without vaccinations unless there is a medical reason with no exemptions for religion or personal beliefs.   Parents whose children are not vaccinated may either homeschool or send their child to a private school that allows non-vaccinated children. 

Thirty-two states do not use personal belief exemptions for vaccinations.  There are two other states with this kind of strict law that California has now enacted - Mississippi and West Virginia.

Update: And a shout-out to Washington Middle School PTSA who made the Mayor's list of projects to further the City's digital equity goals.  The City Council will discuss these recommendations on July 15th. 
to further the City’s digital equity goals
to further the City’s digital equity goals
to further the City’s digital equity goals
City’s digital equity goals

What's on your mind?


Lynn said…
From the Friday Memo:

Department of Information Technology Services (DoTS)
Learning Management System (LMS): With the scheduled launch of the new Learning Management System (Schoology) in the fall of 2015, training of instructors commenced on June 17th. The training is being conducted in 3 hour sessions. After only 1 week, over 500 SPS instructors have completed the training, and the enthusiasm and feedback have been outstanding. Training is continuing this week, and will reconvene in the fall prior to school starting. An additional 400+ instructors are registered for these classes.
In addition to the traditional classroom instruction, many instructors have elected to receive their training “online” directly via the Schoology LMS. We are extremely pleased with the roll-out of Schoology and the incredible reception and enthusiasm illustrated by the instructors.
Schoology not only expands and replaces the basic “Classroom Page” information that was provided via School-Fusion (and accessible by parents); but offers a transformational learning environment for online, blended, flipped and other instructional models.

Barf. This is how Washington Middle School intends to deal with the wide range of instructional levels in their new blended classrooms.
Yes, Director Peaslee keeps mentioning "blended learning" more and more.

Again, where is the discussion about this (or even notification to parents)? Is the SEA good with this because, in the end, it will hurt their jobs.
Lynn said…
Results of a survey of Bell Times Taskforce members on which of the (pre-selected by staff) options they preferred.

No Change - 2
Modified Flip - 17
Extended High School Day - 0
No Preference - 3
Enough of enough already said…
That is great Lynn, hard to think that mandate could be misinterpreted.
Anonymous said…
What's clear is school staff and the community are miles apart on most issues and this is just one of them.

long road
Anonymous said…

On the "Seattle School Board Meeting - Maybe a Hot Summer Night and a Full Moon" thread that was shut down by the hijacking of one very poorly hid multiple-aliased poster. I would like to add it sure read like someone who has done the same thing repeatedly before only to say they would never be back when redirected. There are the same grammatical issues and obtuse tone, really there are two folks on this blog let alone a dozen or so? I also believe that person has a dog in this hunt and his call for others who endorsed Rick rings of probable motive. Moreover, his frequent attacks on Melissa just ring shrill to those who appreciate all that she does.

I can say that as a parent of 2 of the 7,500 kids disclosed-on that the district did nothing to satisfy my concerns and the event was not handled well at all. I wonder how other parents feel about this issue now half a year latter. I feel dusted under the carpet. Also, has Nyland dealt with those tough issues he was accelerated in to deal with? English is out but could that be it? As the legal budget grows, so do class sizes, how could this be called good stewardship?

I know based on my critique above who I will/won't vote for and it will have little to do with a single sentence uttered.

takeyourtoys andgo

Lynn said…
Yes. If a school board candidate posts here (as Leslie Harris and Rick Burke have) I would prefer that they identify themselves. To post anonymously (and negatively) about another candidate is unprofessional and unhelpful in my decision making process.

On a totally unrelated note, I wish someone would write a guest post about dyslexia. I'd like a primer that would help me to understand how common this disability is and identify the best practices for serving these students. Is there an early literacy program we should be using in all our primary classrooms? I suspect this affects a large number of students and wish there was something concrete we could advocate for.

What does Hamlin Robinson provide and why doesn't the district do the same thing? A close friend is pulling her ten year old out of SPS to homeschool. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade and with dyscalculia and dysgraphia a year later. This very bright child has experienced nothing but failure in school and it's going to take a parent's full time attention to make up for that.
question mark said…

Hamlin Robinson has a great program from friend kids that have attended -primarily multisensory - Slingerhand. SPS does have some accommodations along with IEP services but nothing compared to HR. There is some interesting work with brain plasticity and computer interventions done by Dr. Berninger at the UW. SPS is woefully dismissive of the problem though.
question mark said…
Also, on identifying especially with bright kids for them to be hit or miss throughout school but as they weren't performing 2 years below they wouldn't qualify for an IEP. Testing can be done at SPS by the psych but it is fairly rudimentary. Outside testing is several thousand dollars and much more encompassing but only supports accommodations not additional services aside from periodic pullout teaching.
Anonymous said…
Epic fail in Arizona

57% of high school grads went on to college and 6 years later 19% had a for year degree and another 6% had a two year certificate. Yet most AZ high schools rated an A or B on the Arizona A through F rating system.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Four year degree
Anonymous said…
What is happening in district 1. Any searches on their names that I make only comes up with this blog as it relates to the race. Anyone know where their websites are?

tick tock
Tick Tock, as far as I know, neither candidate has a webpage or Facebook page. Sorry.
Anonymous said…
Any idea what this was?

The entire school board evaluating the performance of one public employee? I can only think of two people it might be...

Anonymous said…

Here is a link to VALERIE Strauss

with her answer sheet column
on Arne Duncan's performance

She would like to see accountability in regard to Mr. Duncan's poor performance .

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Dan. So what? Everybody doesn't need to go to or finish college. It is mostly a social experience. And an expensive one. I say this as a high techie.

Anonymous said…
The HS class of 2006 in Arizona at this point in time has 75% of its graduates with less than a two year certificate beyond high school. I agree everyone does not need to go to college and it is expensive.

However .... When educational opportunities are so pathetic that motivated students are unable to complete programs because they graduate with minimal skills, then there is a problem.

In half the high schools in AZ, 5% or fewer of the 2006 HS grads of 2006 received a BA within 6 years.

I will agree that in many cases too many are going to college but AZ ' S poor high schools are a huge problem.

Pres. Obama want even more in college than currently . ... ?????

-- Dan Dempsey
jkr4sps said…

As an educator who has worked with hundreds of children and youth with mild special education needs, it is heartbreaking to know of the many instructional approaches and interventions that can improve reading skills, and to know that there are school systems using what is called an RTI approach, yet we make no system-wide effort to implement these interventions in Seattle Public Schools. Dyslexia is a diagnosis that is most commonly given when reading is particularly difficult for a child. Some early learners need to explicitly learn that letters have sounds, when blended properly these sounds make words. Decoding instruction or 'cracking the code' continues with advanced decoding - where word parts are recognized fluently and blended into multi-syllable words. Decoding is one component of reading instruction. Explicit reading comprehension instruction can also be provided. When reading skills lag, learning math can be hampered because the words in a sentence in a math word problem or the math instruction are not as predictable as words in a sentence in a piece of fiction or nonfiction.Some learners are good at guessing - they look at the first letter or two in a word and appear to be better readers than they are. Guessing doesn't work as well in math text. Oftentimes, the reading issues don't become obvious until text becomes more complex and the learner needs to read and re-read in order to understand. Of course, there's much more to say - hope this is a helpful start.
Anonymous said…
I met a group last week in Rainier Beach passing out information about trying to get SPS to implement interventions for dyslexic students in Seattle Public Schools, but they said SPS refuses to work with them.
Check out the the south Seattle Facebook page for more information. This same offer was also discussed at the South Seattle Collage discussion on disciple a month ago. It appears there's a direct tie in with students with dyslexia and disciplinary problems.

jkr4sps said…
It makes perfect sense for students who are not experiencing academic success to either become invisible (fall through the cracks) or call attention to themselves by being the class clown or acting out. No sense sitting through class when the instruction is out-of-reach. Good instruction can be life changing. What's the facebook name, SE SPED?
WallyMom said…
The Wallingford Walyhood Blog did a Q&A with the district 2 candidates Rick Burke and Laura Gramer, there are some interesting answers.
Anonymous said…
It's "South Seattle and South King Education advocates" They also had a website listed, but I cant find the handout. The name was something like dyslexiaxplained.blogspot...

I will have to find the flyer when I get home. The women was incredibly knowagable about what's going on with advances in helping dyslexic students. The meeting, it was sad. The organizer's brother had dyslexia and some how that resulted in his murder.

Anonymous said…
OK I posted this on a thread that was ended.... so I will try again

Aspirational unattainable unrealistic goals should not be policy.

Consider this idea =>

Rethinking Student Advancement

Since the late 19th century, most schoolchildren have advanced according to credit hours (or “Carnegie units”). All students of the same age were expected to advance at the same pace across all subjects. Unfortunately, that meant some students would struggle just to keep up while more advanced students were bored. A better way, argues Michael Horn, would have students advance according to skill, not age:

Reengineering our education system in this way would also allow us to shift from focusing on how many years of schooling a student has—faulty measures that focus on time but not learning—to measures that allow us to see what students have mastered in terms of their knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

Instead of the above we have nonsense language like Board policy No. A01.00 that appeared in the Board Resolution on SBAC testing. It contains the following:

Board Policy No. A01.00, Instructional Philosophy, states that, “The Board of Directors of Seattle Public Schools believes that every student can and must learn at grade level and beyond (which I assume means the age placed grade the student is currently in) and that all students will be afforded the opportunity to reach their potential and graduate from high school ready for college, career, and life. We recognize that in today’s global economy, college ready and career ready standards are the same and are appropriate for all students.

WOW!!! This is aspirational nonsense that apparently justifies "one size fits all" instructional objectives. I guess "Differentiated" instruction will solve any difficulty so all students will pass the SBAC at every grade level.

This is the same thinking that brought about NCLB's 100% of the students will be proficient by 2014 ..... and when this did not happen your state needs a waiver and your state will not get a waiver until you do what Arne Duncan wants.

Charlie Mas often states that the Board makes policy and should enforce policy through accountability. The following is policy nonsense:

We recognize that in today’s global economy, college ready and career ready standards are the same and are appropriate for all students.

This is thinking that is disconnected from the reality of human diversity and this kind of thinking is nearly perfect justification for all students passing every component of SBAC testing. (Are kids who can't pass SBAC defective? read A01.00 or is it the system that's defective? )

My wife taught students with multiple handicaps. A college friend is principal of a school for handicapped students and many of those students have multiple handicaps and are medically fragile.

News flash for Board members => Same standards are not appropriate for all students
and not all students can learn at grade level well enough to pass SBAC grade level tests.

The Board needs to
#1 Change policy A01.00
or #2 enforce policy A01.00

Please note that SBAC testing seems perfectly aligned with this ridiculous policy.

Side note: So what has the Board done with stats like these

At Aki Kurose Middle School less than 55% of 7th grade students passed the MSP Reading test and less than 55% passed the MSP Math test. More than 1 in 4 7th grade students scored at the lowest math level "level 1"

accountability?? enforce policy A01.00 ??

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
I'm not aware of the handicaps that impend student performance, can you be more specific?

College is social experiment? Speak for yourself.
Anonymous said…
Experience, not experiment. Read for yourself.

Watching said…
Olympia has provided funding for full day K. Funding full day K will begin in 2016. Presently, non free and reduced lunch families are paying over $3K per year for K.

Watching said…
The district claims that Middle College is a program and not a school. However, OSPI lists Middle College "School"on their web=page.

The district claims to close Middle College due to low enrollment and we know that the district disallowed the school from enrolling students. OSPI reports that in May 2014, Middle College had 214 students.

The district claims that teachers do not have qualifications to teach at middle college. Yet, OSPI reports this:

Average Years of Teacher Experience 15.1
Teachers with at least a Master's Degree 84.6%
Total number of teachers who teach core academic classes 11
% of teachers teaching with an emergency certificate 0.0%
% of teachers teaching with a conditional certificate 0.0%
Total number of core academic classes 361
ESEA Highly Qualified Teacher Information
% of classes taught by teachers meeting ESEA highly qualified (HQ) definition 87.0%
% of classes taught by teachers who do not meet ESEA HQ definition 13.0%

In essence, OSPI reports that 87% of the teachers, in 2014, had qualifications to teach.
n said…
Those numbers sure seemed high to me. While they represent full compensation, they also might represent the highest level a school employee can reach - Ph.D. status. I'll never get there. A masters had become de rigueur and most teaching programs now have built-in programs for reaching it. One of my colleagues is getting his and he was in school this week spending a day helping clean the office - part of his masters program requirement.

I received my BA and then returned years later for a certificate. That also completed by fifth-year requirement which was a blessing as I did not want to do another year. The masters replaced the fifth year although that step was grandfathered in to the pay scale. There is also a pro-cert requirement from OSPI which puts new teachers through another hoop to keep teaching.

Most teachers in my building spend hours and hours working. If pro-rated to the hours actually spent working, I think you'd be surprised at our actual pay-per-hour.

I've railed about principal pay before. Principals do not necessarily have a Ph.D. but a sort-of streamlined "principal-papers" degree that I wonder about. Does that earn $160,000 a year? Is it reasonable to pay elementary principals so much more than their teaching staff? To pay management so much more than entry-level is typical of our current culture of greed at the top.

Finally, with all the degrees and post-teaching continued-learning demands(like pro-cert), why is professional development so important to people. I've learned little for all the hours of PD I've taken. Those wasted hours I've spent in workshops and meetings would have been better spent on planning lessons and assessing student work. I'm not a stupid person. There are only so many hours in a day. For all the talk on this blog about Sped issues, that is the area our school has had the least professional development.

As for dyslexia, as a new teacher years ago I assigned myself PD by working at Hamlin-Robinson to learn about reading disorders. I took that information to John Stanford who hadn't even heard of the school. He was open to researching it. But he died. In all the years I've taught, I've never seen the District really understand or address reading problems. And I was a LAP teacher for a year. I was assigned the job rather than be riffed from the building. I started using a Marie Carbo method while our Sp.Ed. teacher did Distar - both programs were brought to us by a new principal. She was an excellent principal who understood elementary challenges. I'm not sure that Distar was the perfect program but I did see good results with the Carbo method. And I agree with the poster above who discussed the need to break words into phonemes and phonics and really teach reading element-by-element.

But the money. That's what gets me. Why are we paying those who do the least the most? We teachers deserve decent pay, time to plan and assess our teaching, and some autonomy. And principals main job should be monitoring classrooms and student achievement at the school level. Principals need to understand teaching as much as teachers. Many do not.
Anonymous said…
CCC wrote:

"I'm not aware of the handicaps that impend student performance, can you be more specific?"
Here are just two handicaps:

Three of my four sons had varying degrees of dyslexia. They all repeated a grade.

Mental retardation prevents students from progressing at a rate that would satisfy the Common Core.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…

The flier details UW professor Dr. Berninger teams offer to provide free PD to teachers severing students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities.

The link you were trying to find is Anther good reference is

Be wary of anyone promoting the use of "sight words", they do fully understand the issues with reading.

"When the responsibility for learning sight words or practicing math facts is delegated to families, this opportunity gap gets amplified, since some students don’t have the home support to take on this critical component."

Someone might want to give all board candidates a refresher on learning disabilities before the election.

Experience or experiment - again, speak for yourself. I don't think that's true.
Anonymous said…
n raises questions about principals' pay.
Some thoughts

#1 Principals have a longer contract

#2 There is a more than adequate supply of teachers with administrative credentials to fill principal vacancies. (In the private sector salaries seem to be influenced by supply and demand at lower level jobs --- Thus H1B visas and illegal immigration depress wages)

#3 HS principals of comprehensive high schools have a difficult job. The number of assistant principals and counselors can effect that difficulty.

#4 In many situations the job of elementary principal is less stressful than than of middle school or high school principal.

n raises questions about teachers and time to get work done.
Most Asian countries have far more planning time for teachers.
Many private independent schools in the USA have more planning time for teachers (Lakeside, Charles Wright, Albuquerque Academy. - I visited Albuquerque Academy in 1988 an middle school teachers plan time was about 50% of their day as they read each students and hand corrected it. Max class size of 17.)

About Professional Development ....
PD seems to exist to provide employment for professional developers.

PD could take place through Professional Learning Communities ... except PLCs have become mechanisms for top-down indoctrination in many cases.

Teachers are not treated as professionals in a great number of situations,
read SB 6696.... The non-professionalization of education is the plan.
Instead of researching why things are not working well, the FEDS through Race to the Top and SB 6696 have mandated that "failing schools" must use interventions that Do Not Work.

Check out Gildo Rey in Auburn.... amazing success and yet there is essentially zero effort to copy what is done there.... No copying of Gildo Rey because Gildo Rey is not doing what schools of education have been advocating. (nor what most NSF grants have been funding)

W. Edwards Deming wrote:
To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.
Deming also stated that at most only 14% of a system's problems can be attributed to the employees.

Education difficulties are largely the result of politics and management. Education leadership is highly defective. Just look at Arne Duncan, SEA, WEA, NEA, school boards, legislators, Randy Dorn, the Business Roundtable, Fox News editorials, NSF grants, Gates Foundation education direction --- there is rarely if ever the intelligent application of relevant data. As for accountability for lousy leadership there is none.

Where are schools going? Just follow the money.
Especially Pearson, Gates, Walton, & Broad money & New Schools Venture Capital.

-- Dan Dempsey
n said…
I have the articles on Gildo Rey(Renton?) along with another applauding a second at-risk school either Highline or Federal Way that has made tremendous achievement in math scores. They are in my classroom. I should have posted about them. Didn't our own Mercer show achievement? We don't have to venture too far to find success. Our problem is that nobody seems to care. We applaud them one minute and forget them the next.

As I recall, Deming also had an algorithm for management pay which was based on entry-level pay? Do you have that info?

Politics and management: the core of our problem and perhaps the core problem of most of what ails us nationally.

As for longer working year, not much! Do you realize that elementary teachers have no extra days by contract to close out their year. Portland teachers have two days. And added to our duties this year was cleaning student desks (which I have my kids do) and cleaning cubbies (which I do myself.) I wish someone would post the duties of custodians. They used to be responsible for many jobs that teachers are expected to do today. Is their contract online? And I get that this is all an SEA problem. Still, I'm curious. SEA is hardly responsive when I ask.

Back in the day - two decades ago - we had a principal who connected our school with Dr. Berninger and yes, I still have my file of wonderful work she had produced at that time all focused on phonemes and phonics. It isn't new. As Dan says, nobody puts it altogether in the District. We simply have no real educators at District level. I don't know what else it could be. And my current principal doesn't have a clue . . .
n said…
One more thing, Dan: elementary used to be less stressful. Yes, it still is to a degree but you'd be surprised at the problems elementary faces today. Besides teachers who are trying to teach everything - which HS and MS teachers do not - we have an enormous number of behavioral and social issues. We need counselors every bit as much as MS or HS. That was our number one request at budget time but our principal managed to prioritize elsewhere. Math in Focus at first grade this year was no easy task! It was "calculus" for first graders! It seemed like it anyway.

Things have changed at elementary. But no one seems to get that - esp. our union. Elementary schools are little dynasties for principals. Those who come with elementary experience recognize and are respectful of those changes. Those who come from MS or HS don't have a clue. My school is suffering under such a principal. Developmental concerns are present at any age. But they are different with five-to-twelve-year-olds than they are with thirteen and up. If you read the thread on K, you must know that elementary has huge academic demands and issues today. Perhaps even more than MS or HS when you consider that children aren't ready developmentally for all that is being asked of them and that teachers are being evaluated on the achievement these kids make. Think about it. Give us a break. :)
Why should it matter whether Middle College is a "program" or a "school"? The board should be the final arbiter on whether a program or a school closes. Such decisions should not be left up to staff alone. If a policy needs to be changed, then let's make that change happen so that Middle College can be saved - and can thrive again.
Anonymous said…
n said...

Is spot on with the importance of elementary school and the challenge of having to teach all subjects. These teachers should be highly compensated without needing a PHD.

They also should be the most skilled, because many learning issues can be traced back to elementary school.

It's one thing to know a subject well and another to be able to teach the subject well. We need both and we should be willing to pay more than 60K a year. Why not 120K for the best? Oh ya, I forgot we have tunnels to pay for.

Da Tunnel

Anonymous said…
n said:
"As I recall, Deming also had an algorithm for management pay which was based on entry-level pay? Do you have that info?"

Sorry no I do not.

n makes an interesting point about a time when elementary school was less stressful.

In the supposed interest in improving education in elementary school the exact opposite has occurred. No one with any common sense would find the current structure acceptable. Yet Arne Duncan et al. continue with enhancing this lunacy.

The current CCSS thrust in grades k-2 is completely inappropriate, yet Randy Dorn, WEA, Seattle School Board bought this insanity. I say bought because they took this nonsense in exchange for Race to the Top dollars. Read SB 6696 to find out what was traded for those RttT dollars.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
What's happening with HB 2214? I thought it was going to the Senate for a vote (where it was anticipated it would be voted down), but it seems to have been diverted to a rules committee. Requiring SBAC for graduation in light of the preliminary WA results seems nothing short of crazy. PARCC is losing members and it's unclear what the future holds for SBAC, yet graduation could hinge on passing this questionable test?

Watching said…
House Democrats passed 2214 by a large margin, but that bill was held back by the Senate. Here is what Senator Sharon K. Nelson had to say:

"After 14 hours of hearing nothing, at around 3 a.m. Senate Republicans finally said they would essentially grant a waiver for the 2,000 kids who failed the biology test, but only on the condition of yet another onerous change to the testing system. We believe that change would do nothing to fix the system and in fact would leave thousands of students at further risk of not graduating in the future. We saw that as doubling down on an already broken system.

Read more here:

What type of "onerous change to the testing system" did the Senate want? One can only imagine. This session, Senate Republicans want to link test scores to teacher evaluations. A lot of negotiating goes on in the middle of the night, I see.

HB 2214 further embeds SBAC. Many high school students have not had the CC roll-up and I imagine many more students will be at risk for not graduating.

One thing is certain: Olympia has created a testing mess/nightmare and there is no reason to put faith or belief within these individuals.

2214 would help 2000 students that will
Watching said…
not graduate because they didn't pass the Biology EOC. Yet, thousands of students will be expected to pass SBAC and they have not had the roll-up. Olympia has created a testing mess and there is no reason to put faith within the hands of these individuals.
Anonymous said…
HB 2214.E2 - DIGEST

Eliminates the tenth grade assessments in reading, writing, and mathematics and alternative assessments that students may use to obtain a certificate of academic

Requires students to meet the standard on the smarter balanced English language arts and mathematics assessments administered in high school, or demonstrate by the beginning of their senior year that they have met state standards using the SAT or ACT.

Intends for students who fail to meet the standard to take and pass locally determined courses in their senior year that align with their college or career goals, including, when available, high school transition courses.

Declares it is the intent of the legislature for Washington to administer only the following for high school graduation: The smarter balanced assessment in English
language arts; the smarter balanced assessment in mathematics; and the statewide assessment in science, including, when operational, the comprehensive next generation science standards assessment.


Translation: we really don't know if these tests are any good or when some will be operational but in the spirit of how we adopted CCSS we approve this plan.

Suck it up kids.

As I read this: "Intends for students who fail to meet the standard to take and pass locally determined courses"

So big deal if you pass these courses ... you still need to meet the requirement of
"Requires students to meet the standard on the smarter balanced English language arts and mathematics assessments administered in high school, or demonstrate by the beginning of their senior year that they have met state standards using the SAT or ACT."

Maybe I need to read the bill rather than just the summary.

At least it does not mention test results being used to evaluate teachers.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Reality check for legislators....

Look at the OSPI test results for 2015 administration of SBAC tests.

English Language Arts - 60% passing

Mathematics - 30% passing

Hummm?? so that means about 1 kid in 3 graduates ... unless they do better on subsequent tests.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.
Do not expect intelligent application to happen regarding education in legislature in Olympia.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Good News in E2 HBR 2214 is this bullet point:

Authorizes students who take, but do not score a 3 or a 4 on, the 11th grade
SBAC assessments to earn a CAA by earning an equivalent score on the SAT
or ACT, or taking and passing a "locally determined course," preferably a
transition course, in that subject or subjects.

A locally determined course in that subject... that is certainly broad enough.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
What type of "onerous change to the testing system" did the Senate want? One can only imagine.

Senate Bill 6122 DIGEST

- Reduces the number of state required assessments to only those assessments required to meet federal mandates.
- Eliminates the use of the statewide assessments as a requirement for high school graduation.
- Prohibits the legislature from making future changes to the statutes addressing the statewide assessment system except and only if the following occurs:
(1) The United States congress changes the federal mandates regarding the assessments that each state must administer; and
(2) The office of the superintendent of public instruction provides written notice to the governor and the legislature that federal changes have been enacted which
necessitate a change to the state statutes governing the required state assessments.

Not sure how that is considered "onerous."

Anonymous said…
Watching said…

"Intends for students who fail to meet the standard to take and pass locally determined courses in their senior year that align with their college or career goals, including, when available, high school transition courses."

There have been discussions about this issue. Of course, the issue of funding locally determined courses became an issue.

Anonymous said…
Well... so much for my good news about "a locally determined course" for students failing the SBAC Math....

Turns out the locals are supposed to pick this:

Washington Bridge to College Transition Courses


Bridge to College Mathematics Course is a year-long course focusing on the key mathematics readiness standards from Washington State’s K-12 Learning Standards for Mathematics (the Common Core State Standards, CCSS-M) as well as the eight Standards for Mathematical Practices. The course is designed to prepare students for entrance into post- secondary credit bearing courses. The course addresses key learning standards for high school including Algebra I, statistics, geometry, and Algebra II standards essential for college- and career-readiness.

This course must be taught using the Bridge to College Mathematics curricular materials and the appropriate course name, and course code

Course Name and Code: Bridge to College Mathematics - #02099


More top down insanity. Where do SPS school board candidates stand on this "local selection" idea?

While this course covers the basics in math practices and reviews the procedural steps needed to be successful in math,the course design emphasizes a new, engaging way based heavily on conceptual teaching and learning. Each unit includes a “hook” at the beginning to engage students and pre-assess prior math experiences and understandings.

The hook is followed by several days of tasks that delve deeply into math found in the Standards for Mathematical Practice and the lead headers of the Common Core focus, coherence and rigor.

So what about the bottom 20% of each class that see no use for Algebra II in their lives because they wish to drive a truck or be involved in a retail or service position??? Guess many of them won't be graduating from high school, if the local decision is for a year of Bridge to College Mathematics.

((Apparently we are governed by the oligarchs lackeys.))

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Wow!!! ... I had no idea that every career path required mastery of or even exposure to Algebra II standards.

Really are there no careers that can be pursued by those unskilled in Algebra II?

How much time energy and frustration will result from ridiculous legislation like this?

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
@ Dan,

What bar should we use for what is required to graduate high school? Is it really the "do you need it to be trucker or work in retail" test? Is high school graduation about obtaining the necessary knowledge to survive? Or should it represent something more?

What is the meaning of a high school diploma?

Lynn said…
I wonder about this too. What jobs are available to a person who has a high school diploma but doesn't continue their formal education? It seems to me that the diploma has very little value and we are needlessly punishing students by adding testing requirements to the credit requirements.

If we refuse diplomas to kids who are not passing tests, it doesn't improve their test-taking skills. We are using the threat of reducing graduation rates to coerce schools to do some (unspecified) thing that will make these kids succesful. The problem with that is the assumption that schools aren't already doing everything possible (within budgetary constraints) to teach kids.

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