Wednesday, August 26, 2015

State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores | EdSource

State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores | EdSource:

State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores






California Department of Education officials have repeatedly cautioned against comparing students’ scores on past state standardized tests with forthcoming results on tests aligned with the Common Core standards. The academic standards have changed and the tests are different, making comparisons inaccurate, they and others have warned.
Earlier this month, as the department got ready to send parents the initial student scores on the new tests sometime over the next few weeks, department officials deleted old test results going back more than 15 years from the most accessible part of the department’s website, impeding the public’s ability to make those comparisons.
The department has removed results dating back to 1998 in math and English language arts from DataQuest, the website where it posts education data it collects. That includes the database of the Standardized Testing and Reporting program, known as STAR, which enabled the public to search results by district, school and student subgroups from grades 3 through 12 since 2003.
Currently, the only test score results that remain on the site are those from science and history tests, which have not changed because the state academic standards in those subjects remain the same. For individuals adept with Excel spreadsheets, the data do remain available as downloadable research files, which can be found here.
On Monday, the department said it removed the data in order to comply with the 2013 state law that set the timetable for ending tests measuring performance under the old state standards and starting new Smarter Balanced tests in math and English language arts aligned with the Common Core. The new tests in California have been named the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP.
The 2013 law, sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and backed by the State Board of Education, forbids state agencies and local districts from comparing results of the two different tests (see page 6 of Education Code document for precise wording of EdCode 60641(a)(2)). The law says the California Department of Education and local school districts “shall not use a comparison resulting from the scores and results” of the new tests “and the assessment scores and results from assessments that measured previously adopted content standards.”
The law says nothing about whether the old test results should be made available to the public.
On Wednesday, state Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley issued an additional statement saying the education department removed the data to “avoid confusion” regarding the new California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress System.
“DataQuest is a living, breathing database that we periodically update so that it provides the most relevant information to the public,” he wrote. “We removed the STAR test results from DataQuest because we are soon going to put up the CAASPP test results and we want to avoid confusion because the two tests cannot be compared.”
Others criticized the move as an overreaction.
“The department did not have to bury the old test results,” said David Plank, executive director of Policy Analysis for California Education, a State removes 15 years of test results before releasing new scores | EdSource:

Philanthropy & Washington Post Reporting: A Few Missing Facts | Education Town Hall

Philanthropy & Washington Post Reporting: A Few Missing Facts | Education Town Hall Forum: Weekly Broadcast Archives, Extended Discussion, plus Monthly BUS Ride:

Philanthropy & Washington Post Reporting: A Few Missing Facts 






DC won more money per student from pro-privatization donors than any other urban school system, according to researchers who followed several years of educational philanthropy. The report has not yet been released, but the Washington Post shared some of results this week.
The Post article shares pertinent, if unsurprising, facts from the report:
  • Cities that had a Teach for America site or laws that encourage the growth of charter schools, for example, were more likely to receive foundation funding.
  • Some funding is tied to “more rigorous lessons tied to Common Core standards” (Cornerstone Assignments)
  • National foundations support projects like DC’s Empowering Males of Color
In addition to focusing on the MSU research, reporter Michael Alison Chandler also added some details about PTA and other local giving:
Not included in the total is PTA funding, which brings a significant additional stream of funds to some schools in more affluent communities. The PTA at Maury Elementary School in Capitol Hill increased its fundraising dramatically in recent years. Its budget for this school year is $157,000, up from about $15,000 in 2009-2010.
The DC Education Fund — which funnels great sums from the Walton Family Foundation, The Broad Foundation, and other donors into DC schools — crowed, via Twitter, that the findings mean: “enthusiasm abt leadership, progress, programs driving success in fundraising.” But there may be other explanations.


A Few More Facts

There are a number of related points the Post doesn’t mention. For example:



The Melting of Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Newark Schools - The New York Times

The Melting of Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Newark Schools - The New York Times:

The Melting of Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Newark Schools



The national debate over how to best educate our children is usually undertaken at a high level of abstraction. Constructive dialogue is often hampered by intense philosophical preconceptions that drive the perceptions and characterizations of all key players in the underlying drama: union leaders, charter operators, philanthropists, school administrators, politicians and teachers. The great strength of Dale Russakoff’s heartbreaking and disheartening book, “The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015) is its steadfast insistence on avoiding generalities and explaining realities.

In place of the cardboard figures that often dominate education narratives, Ms. Russakoff provides nuanced portraits of flawed but largely well-meaning human beings. It is not just sticking to the facts and the avoidance of taking sides that makes “The Prize” such a moving and thought-provoking book. It is the painstaking specificity with which she describes the lives of those strangely absent from many more ideological tracts: the children.


Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Newark public schools in 2010 provided the perfect canvas on which to examine a failing urban school district. Although not an education expert as such, Ms. Russakoff’s long tenure in The Washington Post’s New York bureau earned her access to all of the protagonists in the unfolding tragedy. Many may question their decision to be quite so open after reading “The Prize,” whose only heroes are individual teachers and principals working with particular children and their families to occasionally overcome breathtaking odds.
Watching the $200 million iceberg (Mr. Zuckerberg’s $100 million donation was contingent on raising a matching amount) slowly melt into an ocean of recrimination over the course of 256 brisk pages can be a sometimes painful exercise. The union boss, Joe Del Grosso, demanded a ransom of $31 million to compensate for what he felt members should have received in previous years — before agreeing to discuss any labor reforms. The superintendent, Cami Anderson, demanded accountability from schools but set her own performance goals only after the academic year was largely over and relied on expensive consultants — whose total bill ultimately exceeded $20 million — without clear objectives long after she had promised to recruit a permanent leadership team.
The school reform movement’s focus on measurable results and “business-style management” is laudable. But it is downright chilling to watch the leadership team throw around buzz phrases from business best-sellers with minimal focus on the nuanced requirements of applying these principles to the education ecosystem generally or to the Newark public schools particularly. Too many of Newark’s children have suffered unspeakable trauma from their exposure to a combination of violent crime, family turmoil and deep poverty. With all the high-minded talk of revolution and “ripping off Band-Aids” and “changing the engine while flying the plane,” remarkably little thought went into the actual effect these policies might have on this population in desperate need of stability — much less how $200 million could be best spent in this context.
Reformers here also seem to be willing to assign responsibility to true believers with modest records of accomplishment. Gov. Chris Christie, who controlled the Newark school budget, appointed Chris Cerf as New Jersey state education commissioner. Mr. Cerf, a lawyer, secured this position and a previous “reform” role in New York City on the strength of his eight-year tenure at Edison Schools — initially as general counsel but ultimately serving as president — an early reform effort that collapsed in the face of disastrous financial and operating performance as well as accounting irregularities. Mr. Cerf abandoned Newark just as public anger there peaked in March 2014 to work as a senior executive at Amplify, Rupert Murdoch’s for-profit educational venture. He left that job barely a year later, just before News Corp., Amplify’s parent, announced its intention to sell the division in the face of mounting losses. In July, Mr. Cerf was appointed the superintendent of Newark public schools shortly after Ms. Anderson resigned.
“The Prize” contains plenty of dramatic confrontations between those who The Melting of Mark Zuckerberg’s Donation to Newark Schools - The New York Times:


Seattle opt out numbers for 2014-2015. It’s on! | Seattle Education

Seattle opt out numbers for 2014-2015. It’s on! | Seattle Education:

Seattle opt out numbers for 2014-2015. It’s on!



Hale_opt_out_kiro_small


Seattle had an incredible first year resisting the SBAC.
Let’s take a look at the final numbers and see what happened. It’s also worth noting Seattle’s opt out numbers turned out to be higher than what was initially reported by OSPI in July.
11th Grade
Seattle’s 11th graders captured the media’s attention with their willingness to step up and opt out. This became such a phenomenon John Oliver mentioned Nathan Hale in his profanity laced take down of high stakes testing.
What do the final numbers look like? A mind blowing 76.1% of 11th graders opted out of the ELA and 80.5% for Math.
For ELA, this translates into 2,425 students.
For Math, this translates into 2,557 students.
big_11th_Seattle
What’s also interesting is a significant number of 3rd through 8th grade students opted out. After the OSPI press release, the narrative became parents of 3rd through 8th grade students must be OK with the SBAC.
Granted, the final numbers aren’t as stunning as the 11th grade. That said, the final count was high enough to throw a wrench in the system. Each grade, from 3rd to 8th, failed to meet the 95% participation requirement. That’s quite an accomplishment for the first year of resistance to a brand new assessment.
It’s important to remember that these are the kids who will face the SBAC as a graduation requirement. Now is the time to rise up and squash it, before more harm is done.
Below is a break down of the opt out numbers by grade. (Click on the image to enlarge. Opt outs are listed as “No Score”)
3rd Grade
OSPI Not Tested Report for 3rd grade ELA. Student refusal = 118.
In final report, total students with no score = 235. Total refusal rate of 5.3%
 OSPI Not Tested Report for 3rd grade Math. Student refusal = 121.
In final report, total students with no score = 245. Total refusal rate of 5.5%

big_3rd_Seattle

4th Grade
OSPI Not Tested Report for 4th grade ELA.  Student refusal = 145.

Hospitalized Dyett Activist Returns to Continue Hunger Strike for 10th Day #FightForDyett

Hospitalized Dyett Activist Returns to Continue Hunger Strike for 10th Day - Grand Boulevard - DNAinfo.com Chicago:

Hospitalized Dyett Activist Returns to Continue Hunger Strike for 10th Day



 Irene Robinson has returned to a 10-day hunger strike at Dyett High School after being hospitalized Monday for dangerously high blood pressure.

Irene Robinson has returned to a 10-day hunger strike at Dyett High School after being hospitalized Monday for dangerously high blood pressure.


GRAND BOULEVARD — A dozen school activists are being forced to consider when to stop a 10-day hunger strike calling on Chicago Public Schools to make a decision on reopening Dyett High School after the first of the group was hospitalized.
Irene Robinson, grandmother of 14 CPS students, was admitted to Provident Hospital on Monday afternoon with dangerously high blood pressure.
“It’s uncontrollable right now, but they’re trying to manage it,” Robinson said Wednesday after being released from the hospital Tuesday. “The doctor said my heart is weak.”
Robinson was back in front of Dyett, 555 E. 51st St., on Wednesday and still holding to the hunger strike, having not eaten even in the hospital.
Organizers for the group said the medical staff monitoring the 12 on a hunger strike are starting to become worried as all are now showing more serious symptoms.
“The nurses are scared to death,” said Jawanza Malone, executive director of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization.
He said all of the group has now lost more than 10 percent of their body weight and the medical staff monitoring the situation have told them it is now more dangerous.
He said the group is experiencing fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, headaches and other symptoms of starvation.
“We’re not going to have people dying out here,” Malone said.
Though Malone said the group must now start considering when some of the dozen must stop, all twelve said they were committed to continuing the hunger strike until CPS makes a decision on Dyett.
The hunger strike started on Aug. 17 after CPS delayed a scheduled hearing on three proposals for reopening the school, the proposal authored by the activists for a district-run school focused on green technology, an arts-based contract school proposed by Little Black Pearl and a sports and business themed high school proposed by the school’s former principal Charles Campbell.
On Aug. 7, CPS said it needed more time to address the district’s budget woes and get new Board of Education members and administrators up to speed on all three proposals. The hearing was rescheduled for Sept. 15, with a vote expected by the board shortly after.
"Chicago Public Schools is carrying out a community-driven process to select a new high-quality school for the former Dyett site," said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for CPS, on Aug. 17. "Identifying a high-quality education option for the former Dyett site is a priority for the district, and CPS is reviewing school proposals to determine the best open enrollment, neighborhood education option for the site."
New board President Frank Clark met with the hunger strikers on Wednesday morning to discuss Dyett, according to CPS.
The group got an added boost of support on Wednesday when American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, Illinois Federation of Teachers President Dan Montgomery and local and state politicians signed on in support of the activists plan for Dyett.
“This is the best proposal I have seen in my entire career,” Weingarten said at a Hospitalized Dyett Activist Returns to Continue Hunger Strike for 10th Day - Grand Boulevard - DNAinfo.com Chicago:

Teachers sing ‘One Day More’ before students return to school — and it’s awesome | WGN-TV

Teachers sing ‘One Day More’ before students return to school — and it’s awesome | WGN-TV:

Teachers sing ‘One Day More’ before students return to school — and it’s awesome






DES MOINES, Iowa — Teachers and staff in the West Des Moines school district broke into song during an employee meeting last week, accurately capturing the angst over having only one more day before students return from summer break.
Superintendent Lisa Remy was speaking when she was interrupted by a school employee. More than 30 people joined in to help sing “One Day More” from “Les Miserables.”
The song was complete with parody lyrics

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/26/15 #SaveDyett


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

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