This and That

OSPI has two  job openings of interest.

- Special Education, Dispute Resolution Program Supervisor
- Privacy and Records Governance Manager

Yikes! the Schools First! group (the group that manages the district's levy elections) has "Mayor" Mike McGinn as honorary co-chair.  Wonder if anyone told them about Ed Murray. They have Lauren McGuire as BOTH an honorary co-chair AND a Board member. Both. She's busy.

From the Wait, What? blog, Jonathan Pelto reports this:

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium has provided its member states with most of the results from the spring’s Common Core SBAC testing.

Unlike Connecticut, where the Malloy administration is apparently keeping the information secret as long as possible, the State of Washington has been updating the public about the results as they came in. As of two weeks ago, Washington State had already received the results for more than 90% of its students.

The Common Core SBAC test results from Washington State confirm the worst fears that the Common Core SBAC test is designed to fail the vast majority of public schools students.

And now the Washington State results are in and while children in the lower grades did better than initially projected, THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS IN GRADES 5,6,7,8 AND 11 FAILED the Common Core SBAC test in math!

The State of Washington will be holding a press conference on August 18, 2015 at 10am to release the disaggregated district-level results for their state which will undoubtedly reveal that the SBAC test particularly discriminates against children from low-income homes, children who face English language barriers and children who need special education services.

OSPI's website says there will be a "media roundtable" on August 12th, TBD and release of "Release of results for all spring 2015 state tests (at OSPI’s annual score release press conference and via email or SMS text) on August 17th. I'll have to check with OSPI on these dates.

From the Huffington Post ed blog, from John Thompson: Oklahoma's state PTA org has voted to boycott state testing.

Nate Robson reports in Oklahoma Watch that the Oklahoma Parent Teachers Association (PTA) has voted to boycott all non-federally mandated tests "in an attempt to pressure lawmakers to cut back the number of high-stakes tests students take." The PTA also asked that the state Department of Education not use the test scores to calculate school A-F grades, and called for the exemption of all schools from A-F grading if less than 95 percent of their students are tested.

Parents, students, and teachers rallied at the state Capitol but the legislature did not listen. So, Corbett promised, "Together, we will take our classrooms out of the wallets of the testing companies and turn them back over to our teachers."

I would add that the Oklahoma PTA hit a nice balance. It did not undermine the efforts of State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister to work with the rest of state government and the USDOE in crafting alternatives to test, sort, reward, and punish. The PTA did not ask students to boycott the End of Instruction (EOI) tests they need to graduate. But, they will boycott enough tests to throw a monkey wrench into the worst test-driven policies.

Thompson then says:

My sense, which grew stronger during last week's EngageOK state education conference, is that almost all of Oklahoma's stakeholders are disenchanted with test-driven reform. In conversations with district and state leaders, as well as educators, it seems that corporate school reform has been repudiated by liberals, conservatives, parents, students, educators, and local government representatives. 

It is the USDOE -- and its misuse of federal power through the NCLB waiver -- that is keeping output-driven reform on life support. As Secretary of Education Arne Duncan's term winds down, and after next spring's test boycott, it will clearly be time to pull the plug on the failed experiment. And, we will have parents, more than anyone else, to thank for freeing our children from the education malpractice known as "reform."


Unknown said…
Um, I think that Schools First hasn't updated the list of board members on the website. BEXIV was done under McGinn, and Lauren McGuire was SCPTSA president at that time.

I was at the last meeting in June and Greg Wong just stepped down and they elected new folks as well. The list looks like it's not current...

Unknown, they updated the date for next Feb. so you'd think they might have looked at the entire website. Of course it's not current but it's weird to change the date and nothing else.
Anonymous said…
Lauren McGuire is incredible and she doesn't have a snobby Laurelhurst accent.

Getting Stranger
Getting Stranger, that's quite the endorsement (I think).
Anonymous said…
Yep I can't vote for an Australian or Canadian, is she here legally?

Getting Stranger
Oh My said…
Getting Stranger is Getting Desperate.
Anonymous said…

-- Dan Dempsey
I thought the Stranger's saying Geary had a tough accent to place was pretty funny. I've lived here awhile but I did not know there was a Laurelhurst accent.
Anonymous said…
Ladies and gentlemen, plasticity has left the room.

Getting Stranger
Anonymous said…
: I did not know there was a Laurelhurst accent."

Of coarse there is, that's where the original Gray Poupon TV commercials where filmed.

Getting Stranger
Anonymous said…
Bigger Problems than SBAC....

I think that OSPI has been faking math programs and math competence since the early days of Terri Bergeson. Students do not rise to meet the level of expectation without adequate support and each student needs to be faced with meeting realistic expectations.

OSPI has been engaged in believing that their wise direction is increasing mathematical competence. NAEP testing shows some increase in WA students in math but nothing of the magnitude that would make anyone believe that Algebra II (or its equivalent) is a reasonable graduation requirement for all students. ...... As a result we saw the Collection of Evidence and other deceptions no mask the fact that many graduating students cannot pass a math test which is at a level well below Algebra II competence.

Yet the graduation expectation is still Algebra II course completion or equivalent (but hardly competence). This Algebra II requirement was originally supported in the Legislature by OSPI.

I think 3 years of math is needed in high school but those courses should teach students to be more competent by increasing their current proficiency levels.

25% of grade 8 students perform at level 1 far below basic ..... how about a high school plan for those kids. I mean a plan that includes realistic goals and does not include frustration and deception.

In moving from the MSP to the SBAC we move into a few years where we will learn little other than we bought a new test and can not compare it to past results.

But lets all believe that this is going to improve things .... and forget about those 25% well below standard until some other time.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said…
Typo above:

As a result we saw the Collection of Evidence and other deceptions to mask the fact that many graduating students cannot pass a math test which is at a level well below Algebra II competence.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
Dan, are you forgetting we need to lower competencies, so no child will be left behind? Expecting districts to educate the general populous is not realistic. An educated populous threatens the very fabric of capitalism and we will not sit back and allow schools to threaten the very fabric of the United States of America. We need to leave educational decisions to wall street. Wall street needs solid control over the message to insure the next generation will blindly invest in stocks and bonds which are the very fabric of America.

Donald Trump
Anonymous said…
Donald Trump,

Thanks for the heads up. Here is one for you Donald.

Who’s Been Giving To Jeb Bush’s Education Group?

This week, the education advocacy group started by former Gov. Jeb Bush released a detailed list of donors for the first time. The Foundation for Excellence in Education posted the list on its website.

The Foundation for Excellence in Education conducts research and advocates for states to adopt education policies, including expanding school choice, measuring student, teacher and school progress and adopting the Common Core math and language arts standards. The group has raised $46 million since 2007.

The donor list does not reveal exact amounts, but lists each gift within a range — such as from $10,000 to $25,000. Gifts of more than $1 million did not have an upper range. More than 180 donors have given to the group.

Foundations were the biggest givers, with the Walton Family Foundation donating between $3.5 million and more than $6 million. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave between $3 million and more than $5 million over five years.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
"Together, we will take our classrooms out of the wallets of the testing companies and turn them back over to our teachers." Love it!

Anonymous said…
The State of Washington will be holding a press release the disaggregated district-level results for their state which will undoubtedly reveal that the SBAC test particularly discriminates against children from low-income homes, children who face English language barriers and children who need special education services.

Do people think the test results suggest disparities where there really are none?

Or do test results highlight existing disparities? If so, isn't some of the outrage misplaced?

I'm not suggesting there aren't many other reasons to drop the SBAC, as there sure are. But if the results provide insight into deeper problems, it seems we'd be wise to focus on those, too.

Half Full
Half Full, that might be true but it's a new test with new standards. I'm not sure I'd believe much that comes out of it except for how many students opted out.
Anonymous said…
Alg 2 is not a graduation requirement. 3 years of math, yes, but once geometry is done it is student choice. Schools do not get to decide.
Ramona H
Jan said…
Half Full -- I wonder if it is not some of both. There are probably already some learning/knowledge disparities there, as the child works through the process of learning a new language at the same time as trying to learn what is being taught (in the case of ELL) or works through the process of compensating for whatever the disability is (language processing, ADD, executive function, cognitive impairment, etc. etc) -- while at the same time trying to absorb the same lessons that other kids are getting. But since the tests require that children demonstrate their knowledge through the same "static" (they don't speak English well, yet -- or they struggle with language processing or expression, or they have ADD that makes it hard to stay on point) that challenges their learning -- they take another hit when the tests don't accurately measure what they DO know.

That is why standardized assessments are such a two edged sword for (some) SPED and ELL kids. On the one hand, some schools would be happy to just not teach them -- and either not test them, or just let them fail the tests, since the higher scores of neurotypical, English language speaking kids will make the schools' failure to teach them invisible, unless their scores are tracked specifically. This is why some SPED parents initially liked the idea of NCLB -- though it failed pretty spectacularly.

On the other hand -- it can be counterproductive to make a kid who has only been learning English for 2 months, or a kid with really severe language disabilities take something like the SBA or HSPEs. Not only is it cruel to the kid to put them through a test they cannot possibly hope to do well on -- we then make it even worse by claiming to gauge what the kid really knows, what they have learned, based on a test that is structured inappropriately, given their disabilities or language issues.

The point of education is to learn. The point of standardized tests, I guess, is to let you and the people responsible know whether you, in fact, DID learn. If the test is structured in such a way that it is 100 clear, going in, that the test will NOT measure what you know and have learned -- what is the point of the test?
Lynn said…
Not every school offers an alternative to Algebra II for the third year of math. OSPI makes it as difficult as possible to make another choice when one is available.

From an OSPI FAQ on high school math: If students want to take a course other than algebra II or integrated math III for their third math credit, what do they have to do?
 Choose a course that is based on a career-oriented program of study identified in their high school and beyond plan
 Meet with a high school representative and their parent/guardian (or designee if a parent or guardian is unavailable) to discuss the student’s high school and beyond plan and the requirements for credit bearing two- and four-year college level mathematics courses.
 Sign a form, along with the high school representative and parent/guardian, to acknowledge that: 1) the meeting was held, 2) the required information was discussed, and 3) the parent/guardian (or designee if a parent or guardian is unavailable) agrees that the course is more appropriate for the student’s education and career goals.
Anonymous said…
HF, it's really simple. SBAC, like it's cheaper cousins MSP and HSPE don't provide deeper insight into why anybody failed. Here's the insight, "Yep Mable, they're still disabled.". If districts don't give a crap, as SPS, then after a shrug, that's as far as it goes. Certainly nobody at OSPI has ever wondered about it for more than 5 minutes. Randy Dorn says he's going to think about sped preschool... Even though we have the best sped preschool in the country at UW.

Parents who wish for a diploma, find some hoops to jump through. Cer

Sped Parent
Anonymous said…
Ramona H,
You make that third year math choice sound like a student can choose any math course they like just by signing up for it. As Lynn points out that is hardly the case.

Take a look at WA NAEP math scores for grade 8... Black students average is 2.5 years below white average. 8th grade MSP shows 25% of all students scoring well below standard. OSPI and education leadership is oblivious to meeting the needs of those students and substitute inappropriate requirements instead.

The collection.of evidence has been discontinued . .. Perhaps the faking, deception and frustration can be replaced with appropriate instruction and appropriate goals.

-- Dan Dempsey
Anonymous said…
to continue ---

looking at 2013-2015 End of Course Assessment EoC Math 1 Algebra for Grade 10 at OSPI shows Detail 10th grade

Passed and previously passed 54,625
4,159 passed (so 50,476 passed in grades prior to 10th)
14,408 not meeting standard

of those 14,408
7,333 were well below standard

The results for grade 10 students show 18,567 for testing (excluding previously passed)
3469 No Score (of those 1201 refused or were unexcused absences)

So 77.6% did not meet standard
with 39.4% well below standard.

The 8th grade MSP for this cohort in 2011-2012 shows
51,423 enrolled
21,999 Not meeting standard
11,948 Well below standard

and then for that cohort EoC math 1 results as 10th graders show
14,408 Not meeting standard
7,333 Well below standard
+ 3469 no scores ....


Reality check!!!

Let us stop the current College and Career ready farce
and put in place at least 3 HS diplomas

General Diploma - with realistic requirements
Academic Diploma really meets current standards (without watering down by collection of evidence and cut score adjustments)

and for those that desire
College Ready Diploma - meets ACT college readiness benchmarks

-- Dan Dempsey

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