Disqus

Friday, May 24, 2019

Looks Like Amplify May Be the Provider of Choice in SPS

Sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.

I received a new group of public disclosure emails today.  They were not in any way related to Amplify and yet, there were two items about Amplify.  This was from the Assessment Development Program Manager, Shawn Cook.

In September 2015, principals were sent a notice to look for a "Beacon email" from Amplify.

"Please forward this and advise all teachers to look for this email. This is for ALL buildings, not just Amplify schools."

What was this about?

This year, the district is making Quick Checks within the Amplify Beacon assessment platform available to ALL schools in the district for grades 2-9. Quick Checks are short (5-7 questions) formative assessments aligned with standards. These Quick Checks are available for both reading and math and can be given at any time throughout the school year. 

Within the next week, all teachers who have rostered classes in PowerSchool for ELA and Math should receive an email directly from Amplify Beacon with their user name and temporary password. Please advise your teachers to look out for t his email (it will come from "mClasshome") and create their password as soon as possible. If they do not receive an email by Sept. 11, please have them email Amplify@seattleschools.org. and someone will promptly respond.

We will be sending out more information specific to Quick Checks (how to administer, how to score,etc.) directly via email within the next two weeks.
Anyone have their child take these assessments?  Any thoughts?

So Amplify is already well-established in SPS and if they have their Science curriculum adopted, it will be even more so.

As well,  from the Journal on Transforming Education Thru Technology:
Two education technology companies have worked on an integration intended to benefit districts following Next Generation Science Standards. Illuminate Education, which produces the Data & Assessment (DnA) platform, worked with Amplify, which has developed NGSS-aligned curriculum, on development of a new service to measure student progress for grades 3-8 against the Next Generation standards.
Expected shortly, Amplify's new NGSS Benchmark Assessments will enable educators using both Amplify Science and DnA to view not just Amplify test results but also related assessments and data for a broader view of the academic outlook.
So if the adoption goes thru for Amplify, this will be the next thing to buy.  And on and on.






44 comments:

suep. said...

Hi Melissa, I might be able to shed some light on the history of Amplify in SPS.

To the best of my knowledge, Amplify was first introduced into SPS in 2014 as an assessment, called mClass Beacon. It was purchased in August 2014. The Board did not know about it or have the chance to review or approve it because the cost ($244,375) was just under the threshold that requires Board approval ($250k).

Here's some info: https://www.ourkidswa.com/many-schools-moving-to-new-assessment-system/

I was on the Board at the time, and served on the C&I Committee. The first I heard about mClass Beacon was from parents who told me their kids were being given a test, but the results were not being shared with them. Then I heard from a teacher who told me the kids were bombing the test, in part because it had no relation to what they were learning in school. Then I heard from some principals who had concerns about it also. So I brought all these concerns to staff at C&I. Staff explained they were trying to implement a formative test that could be used district wide, to prep kids for Common Core Standards.

They still had MAP but it wasn't being used in all schools. Staff acknowledged there were flaws with mClass Beacon and hoped to make it work somehow. I remember a staff member giving us a presentation that he was excited about that showed an interactive data dashboard that teachers would have for each student.

The district conducted a survey on Amplify and got mixed responses: https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/14-15agendas/061715agenda/20150617_Amplify_Survey.pdf

The one component of Amplify's mClass Beacon assessment that school staff said was helpful were the "Quick Checks." I believe these were short quizzes that didn't take up much time but gave some immediate info about what the students had learned. So I suggested that the district only use that component.

Despite the issues, staff came to the Board in June 2015 asking to expand Amplify Beacon to the whole district. This time the cost was $433,000 -- which now required Board approval. Because of all the issues associated with the product, a number of Directors (including me) voted against the expansion, so it did not pass.

The document you cite indicates an effort to expand Quick Checks into other schools in Sept. 2015, three months after the Board had voted against extending the contract. I can only assume some money remained in the original contract that allowed that to be an option. Otherwise, I don't know how that would have been paid for.

And that was the last I heard of Amplify until Nov 2017 when two of my colleagues on the Board told me they had just come from a C&I meeting and learned from staff that an unprecedented number of schools had been granted waivers to all use the same curricular product -- something called AmplifyScience. These Directors were alarmed by this seeming end-run around the Board, in what appeared to be a de facto curriculum adoption. I agreed with them.

By the way, I have heard that the assessment component of AmplifyScience is also problematic. I understand the adoption committees also acknowledged this weakness. Apparently that component is inflexible and teachers are unable to modify the assessment to meet their needs. I have also heard that some staff have proposed a workaround involving Schoology to make the Amplify assessment usable. But it will require more work from teachers. If this is accurate, that means that AmplifyScience fails to provide a necessary component that the District asked for in its Request for Proposals. That in turn begs the question, again, of why is Amplify being recommended as the best option for all of K-5 and 6-8?

-- Sue P.

Long Game? said...

Student works on mClass Beacon benchmark assessment on September 11, 2014.Many Seattle Public Schools students are taking a new test beginning this month – but the district isn’t adding testing time to the school year.
The computer-based tests are designed to help teachers find out what students already know and what they need to learn early in the school year. These types of assessments are known as interim benchmarks because they “benchmark” student understanding periodically, which helps teachers adjust their teaching to their students’ needs.
This year, Seattle Public Schools contracted with a vendor to supply benchmarks – called mClass Beacon – that match the state’s Common Core college and career readiness standards. In the 53 participating schools, the MAP achievement tests will go away for students in Grades 3-9 in order to alleviate concerns about “overtesting.”

https://www.ourkidswa.com/many-schools-moving-to-new-assessment-system/

It is true that in 2017, the district provided unprecedented amounts of waivers. Geary should remember this incident.

Anonymous said...

Amplify Statement about Data and Privacy

https://www.amplify.com/privacy-security/

As providers of technology solutions to schools, our commitment to data privacy and security is essential to our organization. The following principles are at the heart of our data practices:
...
Transparency: School districts, parents, students, and teachers have the right to know what information is collected by school technology. Our contracts and privacy policies disclose the types of student information we store for our customers, how this information is used, and by whom.

Where's the Amplify Contract for Seattle Public Schools, SPS School Board?

Missing Contract

Anonymous said...

SPS 5th-Grade State Science-Test Pass Rates (before and after the Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 1 - Director Pinkham

1. Hazel Wolf K-8 (Amplify Waiver School, 2017-2018)

(A very successful school in teaching Low-Income Students undergoes
a 35% drop in State Science-Test Pass Rate, in 2018)

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 79%
2018 35%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 94%
2018 84%


2. John Rodgers Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 45%
2018 30%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 88%
2018 73%


3. Olympic Hills Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 60%
2018 33%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 91%
2018 64%


4. Viewlands Elementary School

(Viewlands shows a major drop in Science-Test Pass Rate for all students, in 2018)

Low-Income Students

2017 42%
2018 8%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 93%
2018 64%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

@Test Scores

That EXACTLY mirrors our experience being an unwitting and VERY UNWILLING, forced Amplify guinea pig.

Kid 1 went through JAMS just before Amplify, did well. Lots of hands on experiments, building machines and circuits, sampling water from the creek, testing towers against forces, etc.

Kid2, exactly the wrong time because last year & this, ONLY Amplify. Really great, caring teachers, they are NOT the problem, BUT AMPLIFY WAS/IS GARBAGE. Kid tuned out rather than watching dumb videos. And no real hands on anything. The “simulations” on the screen are suppose to take the place of hands on science. Stultifying beyond words. Watch water boil. Really. Wasn’t done. Didn’t bother turning in homework half the time. Simply couldn’t be bothered. Bombed tests. Because material was not learned as eyes glazed over and hands sat empty and idle. Brutal. Kid2 now HATES science but used to love it. Amplify slayed the learning, the joy, the wonder, the content as well as the class cohesion as now teams to solve lab problems were ever needed.

It is unconscionable on every level that this tripe is even considered.

We’ve already suffered through. So it’s not our problem anymore, but still we believe in an excellent education FOR ALL - that is what equity is, so yes, we’ve written the Board & gave them our experience. Did any of them get back to us? No. They seem intent to burn this district down to spare the ego of WELCH. But no worries, like Potter before her, if she’s broken the law, she will be going to jail. For while the Board may be kowed and or hoodwinked, guess what, the Assistant Attorney General of the State of Washington IS NOT on the SPS payroll and does have to deal with their intimidation or harassment (the way the teachers have to). So the clock is ticking. This is not just about a philosophical difference or a communication gap, a pedagogy clash, this is about the LAW, and it doesn’t bend to BS or get buried in 800 page reports that you have less than 24 hours to read and respond to.

Juneau may want to consider how Goodloe-Johnson got fired. And how unemployable she was after that. If Juneau is as politically ambitious as she is reported to be, she better act NOW while there’s still time for her to get in front of this.

Law & Order

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)


District 1 - Director Pinkham

1. Jane Addams K-8 Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2017 46%
2018 36%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 90%
2018 87%


2. Hazel Wolf K-8 Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2017 57%
2018 52%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 91%
2018 66%


3. Whitman Middle School (Amplify Waivers School)

Low-Income Students

2017 46%
2018 26%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 86%
2018 73%


Test Scores

Carol Simmons said...

All of these posts are so very important. Are they being shared with the Board? I know that some members of the Board read the posts on this forum but not all.

Please send these reports and findings to the School Board also. They will most certainly want to consider the data that has been reported, and then pause before they make any kind of decision to adopt this curriculum.

Anonymous said...

SPS 5th-Grade State Science-Test Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)


District 2 - Director Burke

1. B F Day Elementary School

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 71%
2018 44%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 91%
2018 57%


2. Daniel Bagley Elementary School

All Students

2017 85%
2018 74%


3. Greenwood Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 70%
2018 69%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 86%
2018 87%


4. John Stanford International School

All Students

2017 93%
2018 79%


5. Licton Springs K-8

All Students

2017 60%
2018 39%


6. McDonald International School

All Students

2017 94%
2018 92%


7. Olympic View Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 62%
2018 50%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 89%
2018 86%


8. Sacajawea Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2018 36%

Non Low-Income Students

2018 71%


9. Whittier Elementary School

All Students

2017 84%
2018 87%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test (8th-Grade) Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)


District 2 - Director Burke

1. Eckstein Middle School Scores
(only Non-Amplify Middle School in District, 2017-2018)

Low-Income Students

2017 47% (34 students)
2018 51% (40 students)

Non Low-Income Students

2017 91% (276 students)
2018 80% (257 students)


2. Hamilton Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School, 2017-2018)

Low-Income Students

2017 44% (30 students)
2018 57% (30 students)

Non Low-Income Students

2017 88% (337 students)
2018 92% (280 students)


3. Licton Springs K-8

All Students

2017 80%
2018 42%


4. Robert Eagle Staff Middle School

All Students

Low-Income Students

2018 40%

Non Low-Income Students

2018 88%


Test Scores

Melissa Westbrook said...

Test Scores, this info speaks volumes. I sent it to the Board.

Anonymous said...

SPS 5th-Grade State Science-Test Pass Rates (before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 7 - Director Patu

1. Beacon Hill International School

Low-Income Students

2017 64%
2018 50%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 76%
2018 82%


2. Dearborn Park Elementary School

All Students

2018 46%


3. Dunlap Elementary School

All Students

2017 18%
2018 32%


4. Emerson Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 29%
2018 27%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 55%
2018 30%



5. Graham Hill Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 29%
2018 22%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 36%
2018 71%


6. Hawthorne Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 39%
2018 44%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 87%
2018 79%


7. John Muir Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 23%
2018 26%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 84%
2018 82%


8. Kimball Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 50%
2018 33%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 65%
2018 70%


9. Maple Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 45%
2018 53%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 29%
2018 27%


10. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 25%
2018 38%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 18%
2018 8%


11. Orca K-8 Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 18%
2018 25%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 81%
2018 74%


12. Rainier View Elementary School

All Students

2017 71%
2018 66%


13. South Shore PK-8 School

Low-Income Students

2017 12%
2018 28%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 77%
2018 55%


14. Van Asselt Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 29%
2018 25%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 50%
2018 36%


15. Wing Luke Elementary School
All Students

2017 61%
2018 43%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test (8th-Grade) Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 7 - Director Patu

1. Aki Kurose Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2017 47%
2018 35%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 72%
2018 54%


2. Mercer Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)
(the first SPS School to start using Amplify, 2016-2017 School Year)

Low-Income Students

2015 84%
2016 76%
2017 67%
2018 48%

Non Low-Income Students

2015 92%
2016 93%
2017 92%
2018 71%


3. Orca K-8 Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

All Students

2017 58%
2018 42%


4. South Shore PK-8 Scores School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2017 25%
2018 18%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 52%
2018 37%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

Correction: Orca K-8 was not an Amplify Waiver School.


Test Scores

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Clarification: AmplifyScience states in its Bid that it placed Amplify Curriculum Materials in 69 SPS Schools. Only 20 of the Schools have been identified by District Staff to date. In 2017, 11 Middle Schools, and 9 Elementary Schools were given Curriculum Waivers by District Staff. The remaining 49 Schools are most likely SPS Elementary Schools, and SPS K-8 Schools. Ask Board Directors for any additional information on the implementation of the Amplify Pilot-Program.

Test Scores

Anonymous said...

SPS 5th-Grade State Science-Test Pass Rates (before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 6 - Director Harris

1. Alki Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 64%
2018 50%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 76%
2018 82%


2. Arbor Heights Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 64%
2018 50%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 76%
2018 82%


3. Concord International School

Low-Income Students

2017 64%
2018 50%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 76%
2018 82%


4. Fairmount Park Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2018 62%

Non Low-Income Students

2018 92%


5. Gatewood Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 40%
2018 35%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 83%
2018 73%


6. Genesee Hill/Schmitz Park (2015) School

Low-Income Students

2018 42 %

Non Low-Income Students

2017 80%
2018 %


7. Highline Park Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 40%
2018 25%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 79%
2018 55%


8. Lafayette Elementary School

All Students

2018 61%


9. Louisa Boren STEM K-8 School

Low-Income Students

2017 36%
2018 14%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 87%
2018 83%


10. Pathfinder K-8 School

All Students

2018 67%


11. Roxhill Elementary School (predominantly Low-Income Students)

All Students

2018 40%


12. Sanislo Elementary School (predominantly Low-Income Students)

All Students

2018 33%


13. West Seattle Elementary School

Low-Income Students (predominantly Low-Income Students)

2018 36%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test (8th-Grade) Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 6 - Director Harris

1. Denny Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 54%
2018 25%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 86%
2018 65%


2. Louisa Boren STEM K-8 Scores

Low-Income Students

2018 8%

Non Low-Income Students

2018 56%


3. Madison Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2017 53%
2018 34%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 88%
2018 69%


Test Scores

Stuart J said...

This is interesting reading, but why do some schools only have one year, not two, and why is Louisa Boren listed in two different posts? The amount of detail here is quite overwhelming.

It looks like a few schools had a rise, but most had a drop for both low income and non low income students. When the difference is slight, eg just a few percentage points, it could be the case the sample is so small that just a few students could impact scores, and there can be cohort differences between classes. So a change either way of a few percentages might not be all that meaningful. What is striking is the major drops fow low income at Madison, Denny, and others of above half to about a quarter, and especially the decline each year at Mercer for low income.

Anonymous said...

Boren is a K-8, so it is in both elementary and middle school data.

WL

Anonymous said...

If there are fewer than 10 students in either category (low income or its complement), or if the pass rates are either above 95% or below 5% for either category, then scores are suppressed in the OSPI posted data to avoid identifying students. That is the reason some years or schools have missing data.

Test Scores

Anonymous said...

Boren does not use Amplify in Grades 7/8. Their 7th and 8th graders are in a Career-Connected CTE Engineering Program that provides science credit under Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidelines. OSPI recognizes career-connected learning as a legitimate alternative to traditional science classrooms.

State Science Test Scores are irrelevant. Everyone knows that. They do not test 21st Century Skills, Technical Competency, and the ability to collaborate to solve complex engineering and science problems.

Amplify is not real science and engineering. That's why Boren rejected it. Come on people...are we really arguing about whether students should learn science and engineering at a computer screen? Any teacher worth their weight in potassium chloride will tell you that science and engineering is a contact sport predicated on experimental activities, collaboration, and project-based learning.

My Child is Happy

Melissa Westbrook said...

My Child, this:

“Any teacher worth their weight in potassium chloride ...”

made me smile. Thanks for that.

Raschelle Holland said...

Spokane School District did away with Amplify after one year. It is a mass data collector and digging deeper into the privacy policy, Amplify, does own the student data.

This is a compilation of the history of Amplify. Seattle Public Schools was part of a National Grant funded from The National Education Department. The grant placed 5 Data Coaches in 5 schools. Spokane & Seattle were both part of this grant. I was one hired to be a Data Coach in Spokane. It was a two year grant. My concerns escalated throughout the grant period. The testing took a long time each cycle and more. I am contributing because I compiled the history of Amplify and sent it to my school board. It was completely dropped the following year. Epic Fail.

Compilation:
https://divinesparkignites.com/2015/05/23/amplify-a-modern-day-medusa-2/

Anonymous said...

The info that Ms Holland provided in her post is a huge red flag.
Spokane School District did away with Amplify after one year? The Board needs to find out why.

Red Flag

Anonymous said...

Interesting link Raschelle, you should post that on the Seattle Times article that came out today in favor of Amplify.

Teresa

Anonymous said...

Reposting an SPS science teacher's comments following the most recent ST article:

ALL elementary and middle schools in Seattle already have Carolina and Foss lab kits and have had them for the past 17 years. These kits are ALL hands-on and do not involve “memorizing definitions”. Nothing would be different with Amplify.

What they would get with Amplify would be almost NO lab materials since Amplify is 2/3rd either computer or reading based and 1/3rd activities. When asked at a meeting, the Amplify rep confirmed that there are no real “wet labs”, that they are mostly activities. As a middle school science teacher for 24 years, I know that students learn better by DOING science instead of READING about what someone else did. This does not mean that my students do not use computer simulations when they are called for. It just means that technology is used as PART of the process, instead of the WHOLE process.

This article makes it seem like Amplify is the only choice, however that is not true. The TCI curriculum (which was also piloted) is also aligned to the new standards and it is the opposite of Amplify- it is 2/3rd lab-based and only 1/3rd computer-based.

...If adopted, we will be RENTING Amplify for 9 years (pre-paid) and at the end of that time we will have nothing left. The last adoption was 17 years ago. What happens to Science if we go that long again? It’s my fear that it will be like it was when I first came to the district in 2001. I taught at Meany and there was literally nothing in my room. No lab kits, no books, no materials at all. If Amplify is adopted we could very well be that way again.


forewarned

udubgrad said...

I was at a school that “piloted” the Amplify reading and math tests in 2015. The principal refused to tell parents of the test and I was harassed because I made a big deal about notifying parents. I could not prove it, but I felt it was being given for development purposes. The test was quirky to a high degree. To my knowledge, parents were not given the results of their child's tests nor told what happened to their child’s data.

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test (8th-Grade) Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 5 - Director DeWolf

1. Madrona K-8 School Scores

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 40%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 82%


2. Meany Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2018 19%

Non Low-Income Students

2018 66%


3. Washington Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2015 30%
2016 52%
2017 41%
2018 32%

Non Low-Income Students

2015 80%
2016 90%
2017 87%
2018 84%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test (8th-Grade) Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 4 - Director Mack

1. Catharine Blaine K-8 Middle School (Amplify Waiver School)

All Students

2017 91%
2018 77%


2. McClure Middle School Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 50%
2018 44%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 91%
2018 83%


3. Salmon Bay K-8 (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2017 58%
2018 58%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 86%
2018 74%


Test Scores

udubgrad said...

In contrast to what SEA leadership is attempting to imply, it looks like Burke and Pinkham are the only two directors we know for sure are NOT racists. They are standing up for low income students and demanding science curriculum that works! Not surprisingly, the union is siding against low income students. They’ve been going along with every big business scheme for over 25 years.

So Amplify has been collecting data on our students for at least 4 years, and no one know where the agreement is? What the __?@!?

Anonymous said...


SPS 5th-Grade State Science-Test Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 5 - Director DeWolf

1. Bailey Gatzert Elementary School

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 32%
2018 24%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 54%
2018 36%


2. Leschi Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 29%
2018 32%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 74%
2018 82%


3. Lowell Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 33%
2018 34%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 58%
2018 46%


4. Madrona K-8 School

All Students

2017 39% (23 students)
2018 59% (22 students)


5. Stevens Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 32%
2018 31%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 83%
2018 74%


6. Thurgood Elementary School

All Students

2017 88%
2018 90%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

SPS 5th-Grade State Science-Test Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

(an unknown number of SPS Elementary Schools (possibly as many as 49) received Amplify Curriculum
in 2018-2019, without SPS Board Approval)

(only 9 Elementary Schools and K-8 Schools were given Curriculum Waivers by District Staff for the 2017-2018 School Year)


District 4 - Director Mack

1. Adams Elementary School

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 58%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 95%


2. Cascade Parent Partnership Program

All Students

2017 8% (12 Students)
2018 12% (17 Students)


3. Catharine Blaine K-8 School (Amplify Waiver School)

All Students

2017 87%
2018 81%


4. Frantz Coe Elementary School (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students

2018 62%

Non Low-Income Students

2018 86%


5. John Hay Elementary School

Low-Income Students

2017 73%
2018 64%

Non Low-Income Students

2017 93%
2018 86%


6. Lawton Elementary School

All Students

2017 92%
2018 89%


7. Queen Anne Elementary School

All Students

2017 66%
2018 71%


8. Salmon Bay K-8 School (Amplify Waiver School)

All Students

2017 81%
2018 77%


9. West Woodland Elementary School

All Students

2017 92%
2018 82%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...

Theoretically, would it be possible to opt-out of Amplify until all the data sharing and privacy agreements are thoroughly explained to me, as a parent of a middle schooler? If I am not convinced that my child's privacy is being protected, could I then continue to opt out?

No, I do not want my child to miss MS science. But I can't see any other way to get across to the district that I don't want to share my kid's academic performance data with a private company.

Yes, I understand Pearson, etc do this already - but there is a big difference between one test at the end of high school and daily data input. This scares me.

-NW

Data Protection said...

SPS has already given Amplify all the middle schoolers' info, with the possible exception of the very few schools that didn't fill out Amplify waivers. Maybe Eckstein? Go figure that it would be wealthy, connected Eckstein, with 2% ELL and 11% FRL, who didn't sell out their minor children's information. Nice, SPS. Classy.

Anonymous said...

The Google education marketing playbook is really the ed tech playbook as you'll see echoes of Amplify throughout the article:

"...Google’s education marketing playbook: Woo school officials with easy-to-use, money-saving services. Then enlist schools to market to other schools, holding up early adopters as forward thinkers among their peers."

"Quickly, though, a data privacy and security issue emerged, exposing a culture clash between Google’s business practices and a major school district’s values."

"Some critics, though, contend that the equity argument for technology is itself a gimmick that promotes a self-serving Silicon Valley agenda: playing on educators’ altruism to get schools to buy into laptops and apps.

“It centers learning on technology, not students,” said Mr. Fitzgerald, the learning app analyst. “It is a very narrow lens on equity that leaves out things like student-teacher ratios.”

"(Mr. Casap said he would not advise school districts with deficiencies in areas like teaching or student support services to invest first in classroom technology.)"

“You can’t just hand out product and hope it will work in the classroom,” Ms. Hahn said. “You have to work with the districts to make sure that you are keeping the kids and the teachers safe.”

"Google’s ability to test its products on such a monumental scale has stoked concerns about whether the tech giant is exploiting public-school teachers and students for free labor. “It’s a private company very creatively using public resources — in this instance, teachers’ time and expertise — to build new markets at low cost,” said Patricia Burch, an associate professor of education at the University of Southern California."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/technology/google-education-chromebooks-schools.html


nn

Anonymous said...

Amplify Privacy Policy/Disclosure of Information

"in the event Amplify or its assets are acquired or transferred to another party, including in connection with any bankruptcy or similar proceedings, provided that such disclosure will be subject to this Policy and any successor to the relevant business will be required to comply with this Policy with respect to information collected under this Policy;"

"to work with third parties who conduct studies or assist us in providing and improving our products and services, such as platform, infrastructure, software and other types of service providers, agents, partners and researchers. We contractually bind such parties to protect personal information by, for example, not using the information for any purpose other than to carry out the services they are performing for Amplify;"

"and except as restricted by the contract with our School District or SEA customers, we may also share personal information collected or stored in Amplify systems with Amplify’s affiliated education companies, provided that such disclosure is solely for the purposes described in Section 4 and at all times is subject to this Policy."

https://www.amplify.com/customer-privacy/#types-of-information-collected

nn

Anonymous said...

"An alert issued today by the FBI is encouraging public awareness of cyber threat concerns related to K-12 students: “The US school systems’ rapid growth of education technologies (EdTech) and widespread collection of student data could have privacy and safety implications if compromised or exploited….The FBI is providing awareness to schools and parents of the important role cybersecurity plays in the securing of student information and devices.”

https://k12cybersecure.com/blog/fbi-data-collection-and-unsecured-systems-could-pose-risks-to-students/

https://k12cybersecure.com/blog/fbi-this-week-education-technologies-could-pose-risks-to-students/

nn

Anonymous said...

I wonder if SPS keeps track of which students are citizens of EU countries (dual nationals or immigrants here permanently or temporarily). I know of 17 EU families at our school. The reason I wonder is because the GDPR applies to EU citizens. SPS may not care about GDPR compliance thinking they're out of jurisdiction, even though violating it anywhere in the world involves steep penalties, but Amplify and other edtech companies probably have enough of an international presence they should be more concerned about sweeping up EU citizens' data because penalties are up to 4% of percentage of gross global income.

https://blog.gutenberg-technology.com/en/gdpr-in-edtech-what-you-need-to-know

GDPR

Melissa Westbrook said...

GDPR, now that's a really interesting point.

Anonymous said...

SPS Middle Schools State Science-Test (8th-Grade) Pass Rates
(before and after Amplify Pilot-Program)

District 3 - Director Geary

1. Eckstein Middle School Scores

(the only SPS Middle School with No Amplify in 2017-2018)

(Low-Income Student Test Scores do not fall from 2017 to 2018)

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 47% (34 students) (without Amplify Curriculum)
2018 51% (40 students) (without Amplify Curriculum)

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 91% (276 students) (without Amplify Curriculum)
2018 80% (257 students) (without Amplify Curriculum)


2. Tops K-8 Scores (Amplify Waiver School)

Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 64%
2018 54%

Non Low-Income Students (Science-Test Pass Rates)

2017 79%
2018 86%


Test Scores

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

KUOW Story on SPS Science Curriculum Adoption Controversy/Student Data Privacy

https://www.kuow.org/stories/tk-d622

Wayne Au, parent and professor of education, via Facebook & email:

"....I think it would be important to also acknowledge that, given Amplify's history here in Seattle and in other states, resisters are right to worry about student privacy, as well as too much focus on test preparation."

Professor Au, UW Bothell:

Dr. Au’s academic interests broadly encompass critical education theory and teaching for social justice. More specifically his research focuses on educational equity, high-stakes testing, curriculum theory, educational policy studies and social studies education.

https://www.uwb.edu/education/about/faculty/wayneau


Student Privacy

Anonymous said...

Your data is wrong for Maple. Our school passed at a rate of 72.5% in science. Our school has always been in the 70's. Please note that Maple started to enrich our science program with NGSS appropriate curricula from when it was adopted in 2013. We knew the WCAS was coming and prepared for it. Our staff had training on NGSS and adapted out units accordingly.

-Maple Parent

Anonymous said...

That is OSPI data split out for low income/not low income. Yours is the aggregated number, which masks how well low income kids are doing.

SE Pop