Thursday, February 4, 2010

Accept accountability - Do Not Appeal

Seattle District spokeswoman Patti Spencer said:
"This is a very surprising decision, and the District is now evaluating its next steps. Seattle Public Schools followed an extensive process in adopting these materials, which were thoroughly vetted by a diverse group including mathematicians and teaching professionals."

It seems Ms. Spencer is a bit off task as she failed to address the result. From the beginning the District treated this case as …… if we go through “right steps” then the result is just excellent, because really who cares about answers.

Once again the district thinks that the process is all-important and the result or answer does not matter. Being reform math devotees they assumed that the answer does not matter because full credit will be awarded for process.

Welcome to the Real World math, where the answer matters.

Whatever would be the basis of the appeal?

Big news you will need to address your failure to get the right answer. Oh pardon me. You are appealing you must think you have the right answer.
It is now time for you to prove it.
Oh my gosh all you have is Discovering Geometry and all the theorems and any shot at formal proof is in the last chapter. It is only February, so you are just out of luck.

OK so prove it by checking your work. Where is your work?
No. I am sorry the cherry-picked data from Madison, Wisconsin will not cut it. It is not relevant data as it was cherry-picked off of a much larger selection.
You said this high school choice was made to produce vertically aligned instructional materials k-12. So let us look at the results from k-5.

Oh you hear your mother calling and it is time for you to go home.
I agree.

Because the Discovering Books were rated Mathematically unsound that is why they align with your k-8 materials.

The district's preference for reform math and inquiry materials has widened the math achievement gaps of many subgroups of disadvantaged learners over the last decade while those gaps in Language Arts shrank significantly over the same period.

The discovery/inquiry IMP materials used at Cleveland and Garfield saw ELL pass rates go to 0% in 2008, while the Percentage of Cleveland Black students rose to above 70% classified as far below basic level = level 1

The district ignored principal major elements of the NMAP report. Most flagrant was the strong recommendation for the increased use of “Explicit Instruction”.

Citizen comments were not even submitted to the court by the district as a basis for the decision nor was the NMAP report submitted. The plaintiffs submitted many citizen comments to the court. Many were data rich. Plaintiffs also submitted the NMAP report, because they felt it should have been used in the decision making process.

A board member clearly found the individual experience of her child relevant to her decision but her child may have little to nothing in common with the educationally disadvantaged learners that the district so routinely ignored in their flawed decision making on math materials over the last decade.

Contrary to the claim of the District as “Discovering” being a balanced program, the court found the texts to be an inquiry-based program. The publishers call the program Discovering and said that it is an investigative program. The court found the publisher’s claims to be true and did not find the “Discovery Program” balanced.

Don’t appeal just remember:
"Every student achieving, everyone accountable." -- It appears the court is now demanding everyone accountable…. Forget any appeal thoughts if you are modeling accountability.
Or is the desire not to be accountable.
Let's finally walk the talk.
Rerun the process correctly and this time try to produce the correct answer the students deserve. Better Late than Never.


Anonymous said...

Hey Dan -- I emailed your lawyer (Mr. Scully) and told him I'd be happy to testify or file an amicus brief in the event this goes to appeal. I think my 'story' in the adoption committee selection process makes SPS look pretty bad.

-- Matt Grove

dan dempsey said...


Thanks a lot. We shall see.

I think MG-J wants to appeal but they have no evidence. We can site a variety of similar districts where low income did poorly with Discovering.

They really messed up big time with the Strategic Plans vertical alignment of material. Thus the 9-12 decision was linked to the k-8.

That allowed us to bring in lots of k-5 data and argue from the districts record of harmful choices.

They are just toast.

They based their entire defense on we follow the process. We argued results count. They essentially said no it is all about process. Well when we show you violated article IX .... game over.

KS-B and Patu both want this crap out. DeBell he won't back an appeal. So we just need one more. Any of these folks planning on continuing living in Seattle?

I don't know about you .. but I am really done with Steve.

Maier's clueless so I guess I can excuse him. Carr perpetually misguided as she believes what the staff tells her. She will get this figured out eventually I hope.

It is really hard to understand how messed up this district is. I could not believe how messed up things are. It took me a long time. Charlie thinks you need at least about 5 years to get the hang of this. I am beginning my fourth year.

The problem that Maier and Carr have is they both came from Cheer-leader organizations. It is really difficult to go from a 100% supportive organization to director. I mean the PTSA is not about critical thinking in regard to district short-comings. If you are expecting real activism to fix the mess... you need to be in a different organization.

Ditto for Maier and background. Sherry asks much better questions and I really like her, in spite of her voting. She has communicated reasonably often with me. I think she has rarely made a decision based on the available evidence, but a little Real World encounter with superior court may move that right along.

Peter never responds I send him material but his voting and lack of communication is unacceptable. When I send stuff that clearly shows a disaster and you don't ask me or the staff about it. Then vote against it. Hey from now on ask a question, give an explanation, or we may drag the district right into court, when you vote to violate article IX without a reason.

I mean really look at the evidence in the NTN decision. Why didn't they admit they had painted themselves into a corner with the student assignment plan and had nowhere to go because no one did any research ever on NTN. Listening to the vendor and taking site visits to listen to "Happy Talk" just will not cut it.... When you never collected any evidence and then chose to ignore damaging presented evidence because it got in the way of your pre-made decision. Nope I think they are toast.

I went back and looked at Meg's testimonies on both Jan 20 and Feb 3. She even sent them a slide show on Jan 20th. They are total toast I luv article IX.

I expect to see their decision-making MO change radically.

I do not think they will appeal largely because the public will hate them all.

We shall see and thanks for the offer.

Hopefully we won't need it.

I am trying to get the union to get after them on the NTN Contract, using the exact same technique I used on "Discovering". Except this will be way easier to win.

dan dempsey said...

Oh yes your story was just another priceless example of incompetence...which is quite a specialty with TEAM MGJ.

But now MGJ's slogan of everyone accountable will come into play. Thanks to superior court.