Sunday, April 26, 2009

19 of 19 principals support their boss .. this is news?

Director Carr,

I was thrilled in Nov 2007 that you had won election and then really pleased when you and Harium attended Dr. Bergeson's math standards roll out at Roosevelt. My hope was you would both seek out and examine the complexities of the SPS math crisis.

Then came your comments on 4-22-09.

I realize that you are relatively new to the job of director but I was deeply disappointed in both your decision and your reasons for that decision.

In regard to 19 principals supporting the recommendation two points:
1. Why would they jeopardize job security by opposing the boss's plan?
2. What do they know about this particular adoption and the issues facing the district?

On Saturday at the market I bumped into one of the 19 principals and asked him a few questions:

What would you guess is the SPS overall 10th grade math WASL pass rate for ELL students? His guess 10% (same as I would have guessed but reality is 19.5%).

Then since he knew the district average was around 20%, I said and for Garfield the ELL pass rate would be?
His guess 22% ( a good guess but reality is Garfield =0% passing ... he was shocked... and you Director Carr are you shocked?)

I then asked him about Cleveland.
He reasoned that Cleveland would have a high ELL population and went with 24%
(actually Cleveland's ELL passing =4.8%)
He thanked me for the information and we parted ways.

There is a significant problem that is continually ignored by math decision makers due to ignorance of the facts. (This has a lot to due with Central Administration's failure to present the facts or deal with them.)

Garfield and Cleveland are now in their 3rd year of using the exact plan that Anna-Maria is advising the district to use with this coming math adoption.

Please read the attached letter I wrote to Director DeBell.

Your anecdote about Art Mabbott's one time lesson and Anna-Maria's assistance is entirely irrelevant to the problems facing the SPS in math.

How would Mr. Mabbott's lesson have gone in a class of 30 in Discovering Algebra of which about half scored at math WASL level 1 as 8th graders? Could he succeed with that mix for 180 school days. The Garfield and Cleveland data says NO.

Please deal with the actual data presented in a meaningful way. Stop authorizing continued experiments on Seattle Children.

To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data.

You will find relevant data in the attached letter.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.


Anonymous said...

There is so little regard for minorities, especially when the subject is math. The reform movement is a catalyst for resegregation.

dan dempsey said...

I am sure that the principals remember former principal Joe Drake and how well his opposition went. If you don't know this case, just link opposition and former principal.

Think .... if ... then.