Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enrollment at 711 at Seattle's STEM option Cleveland H.S.
including a recap of decision-making.

Cleveland High School Grade counts as of 9/27 at SPS.

The NTN STEM Option Cleveland features Project Based Learning as the primary mode of instruction in all subject areas.

Grade 9 - 232

Grade 10 - 206

Grade 11 - 155

Grade 12 - 118

Total - 711

Good News … Cleveland has 232 in grade 9 and 711 total

in preliminary numbers out on 9/27.

New Tech Network (NTN) schools rarely have as many as 70% of cohort making it to grade 11 … 60% is usually more likely. Let us use 65% to guess for an 11th grade enrollment in 2012. It returns 151 for grade 11 in 2012.

Given what happened at a large number of other NTN Start-ups in the first three years, a 700 enrollment at year three seems optimistic. Yet given the enormous amount of financial resources being put at Cleveland aimed primarily at grades 9 and 10, enrollment might be likely to exceed what happened elsewhere. ….. Except that no other NTN school is requiring Calculus for all by graduation.

Cleveland Math classes are almost all offered at 85 minute length per day for a full year. That is a very good thing and should produce somewhat improved results above most other NTN schools with similar demographic characteristics. Note Cleveland is running an alternating day schedule with a 4 period day + help session. This would normally mean students are taking 8 classes, except most math classes meet everyday.

NT Sacramento's math is a major disaster as is the math at most NTN schools. Project Based Learning gets most of the blame from me for this lack of math performance at NTN schools. Even at the “mother-ship” NT NAPA math scores are below the NAPA regular high school, which is demographically more challenged.

Director Maier was looking for around 1000 students in 2015, which is the same as MGJ and the CAO mentioned in their Cleveland Open house presentation (late January 2010).

I would put the May 2014 over-under line at 634 for those bettors out there.

That will be the fourth year for these 232 freshmen. I will be very surprised if real Calculus competency for all survives as any kind of a real requirement. --- Anyone looking for Cliff notes Calculus?

If we are talking about May 2015 enrollment numbers, I'll take the under. This of course assumes that the SPS is still continuing with the advertised product and delivering it as advertised.


I will note that the Board awarded an $800,000 contract without going through a competitive bid process. CHECK This piece from Charlie Mas.

The required SPS "sole source justification form" was filled in on October 15, 2009 by Susan Derse but it was never signed and dated by anyone. (Good thing not signed as some of it was not true and that signing would have been either perjury or ignorance or both.) The State law requires competitive bids on a project like this. They do have exemptions for non-competitive bid but in reading the exemptions, I believe that this project would not have qualified for an exemption had one been sought.

Now read or reread Mr. Mas's linked piece above. Also I agree with Mr. Mas the data was all readily available because I had been sending it to Board members. This was a clear case of "fooling board members" four of whom wanted to be fooled.

I believe a recall case can be made that each of those four board members should be recalled for violation of RCW 28A.335.190 because no exceptions from RCW 43.19.1906 are applicable. Again an $800,000 contract was awarded without a competitive bid, when Directors Carr, Maier, Martin-Morris, and Sundquist voted to approve an $800,000 contract. They did this twice. Once on 2/3/2010 and again on 4/7/2010.

If the SPS is a municipality then toss in RCW 39.04.280 also.

See Board Policies G45.00 G46.00 and G46.01 HERE.

What did they know and when did they know it?

Plenty they knew plenty.

They just chose to tell the public stories and vote yes.

Facts are a bother for these four.

How to Flush $800,000 Seattle Style. - Major rant.

A few thoughts from 2/4/2010 .... made just after the original 4-2 vote on 2/3/10.

Note the District filed a new action report on 3/15/10 and then approved a slightly modified contract that matched the action report on 4/7/2010.

My testimony from 4/7/2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bill Evers on White House STEM thinking - YIKES !!

From: Bill Evers
Date: Thu, Sep 16, 2010 at 6:38 PM
Subject: new White House STEM Education Report -- inquiry-based methods

To read the report:

[Inquiry-based Teaching Methods]

Inspiration..involves giving students the opportunity to be motivated by teachers and mentors, by collaborations in discovery and invention, and by what they learn in school and out of school. (p.17)

Students need exciting experiences that speak to their interests - in school among teachers, peers, and mentors, beyond the curriculum, and beyond the classroom. These experiences should reveal to them the satisfaction of solving a problem, discovering a pattern or phenomenon on one's own, becoming insatiably curious about a puzzling question, or designing and creating an invention.... (p.17)

We need learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom for students to explore, invent, and discover. (p.17)

Evidence strongly points to the kind of pedagogy that is most effective in STEM education: cooperative, collaborative, active, and inquiry-based methods increase learning and retention of information and higher order thinking skills. It is important that STEM teachers both prepare and inspire their students, engaging them in STEM as much as they instruct them. Reports on STEM learning undertaken by the National Research Council have noted the importance of teachers acquiring a command of the strategies needed to illuminate STEM for learners, and of teachers knowing the variety of ways in which learners develop STEM knowledge and skills. (p. 60)


[Federal Support for Inquiry-based Methods & National Standards]

The Department of Education can help provide the financial support needed for professional development that helps teachers and school leaders adapt their curriculum and teaching methods to implement shared science and mathematics standards. (p. 54)


[Central Coordination at National Level]

For this Federal funding to constitute an investment in the Nation's future worth more than the dollars disbursed, it must reflect a coherent strategy for STEM education. Coherence in turn requires widely shared goals as well as structures that ensure leadership, coordination, and oversight. (p. 21)

What is needed is a more strategic, coherent, and coordinated set of programs across the agencies, as well as greater overall investment of dedicated funds. To achieve this coherence, new structures need to be created to ensure strong leadership, partnership, coordination, evaluation, and integration. (p. 33)

The Federal Government should create, within the National Science and Technology Council, a standing Committee on STEM Education co-chaired by the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Committee should create a Federal STEM education strategy, should update it annually, and should work with OMB to ensure that STEM education programs within the Federal Government are aligned. (p. 35)

[National Tests to Emphasize Critical Thinking]

Assessments...need to foster high-quality teaching rather than discourage it. Such assessments should measure higher levels of thinking and reasoning as well as students' content knowledge and skills....[W]hen teachers aim to increase student scores on these assessments, they should foster all the types of learning that the standards emphasize - not merely the factual recall aspects of learning that are by far the easiest and least expensive to test. A good assessment encourages quality teaching and learning. This is no small feat given that excellence in STEM education means cultivating in students not simply the ability to answer predictable questions, but the capacity to pose probing questions and to figure out methods of answering those questions.

Most current assessments fail to meet these goals. Observers and educators note that they tend to over-represent low-level skills and factual recall, which may lead teachers to drill students on specific skills and facts they need for the test. Current tests often do a mediocre job of measuring the understanding and application of core concepts and principles, and they typically neglect the higher-order reasoning, problem-solving skills, and mathematical and scientific creativity that students need for college and for their careers. (p. 49)

[National Math Curriculum Standards That Emphasize Critical Thinking]

Many of the state-level standards emphasized low-level skills and large bodies of factual content rather than the high-level abilities and central concepts emphasized in the national standards. (p. 42)

In 2001 an NRC panel identified the key strands for effective mathematics education. Those strands balance the need for skills to carry out mathematical procedures with the need for conceptual understanding and complex reasoning (see Box 4-1). The idea is to expose students to elegant concepts and patterns in mathematics so they can understand its beauty while also teaching them skills they need to apply those concepts, enabling them to see the utility and relevance of mathematics. In 2007 an NRC panel published a parallel set of strands for science education (see Box 4-2). These strands transcend the emphasis on low-level factual recall found in many science classes today to include the skills needed to solve complex problems, work in teams, and interpret and communicate scientific information. (p. 43)

[Support for New NRC-led National Science Curriculum Standards to Emphasize Critical Thinking]

A complementary effort is under way in science. A committee of the National Research Council is producing a framework that will be used to develop the new science standards. The framework is scheduled to be completed by early 2011, with the development of full K-12 science standards by the organization Achieve, Inc., through an iterative process involving states and stakeholders and in consultation with professional groups, to be completed by the end of 2011. It will be very important for state-level groups such as the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers to promote the standards as soon as they are completed, so that states can adopt them and begin the work of helping students reach these levels of achievement. (p. 45)

Thanks to "Bill" Williamson M. Evers, NYC HOLD and NYC Math Forum for the above.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Paying the Price for Poor Performance
My Op-Ed the Times would not run.

It's not the students' fault but they're paying the price when it comes to math instruction. Poorly chosen texts and the continuation of a failed approach to math education places huge numbers of students into remedial math classes in college. An OSPI math test looms as a possible high school graduation requirement. Why should students pay the price for the failures of adult leadership?

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn is correct that students should not be held accountable for their math deficits at this time. Most of the last 15 years OSPI has not encouraged nor have many school districts provided proper k-8 math instructional materials, or instructional practices to produce efficient and effective student learning.

Graduates who elect to go on to college and place into remedial math classes should have those classes paid for by OSPI or their k-12 districts. Students who attend college classes regularly and complete homework should be able to make up their deficiencies on the State’s tab. This could be costly at some locations, where 50 percent of recent graduates are placing into the equivalent of high school math year one or even lower. Such a placement means a lot of remedial math classes, which don’t count toward college graduation, must be taken and passed to prepare the student for that first college math class.

Over the last three years, Seattle’s Southeast Education Initiative poured added funds into Rainier Beach and Cleveland High Schools. Since 2004, the University of Washington has been guiding with National Science Foundation funding the professional development of math teachers at Garfield and Cleveland. Two years ago, Rainier Beach joined the UW’s professional development for math teachers and a collaborative planning period was added. OSPI annual test results show that these programs netted progressively lower passing rates for Black and Limited English students at these three schools. The students needed effective interventions but the money went elsewhere.

The Seattle Public Schools' Math Program Manager stated on several occasions that a successful program is more than the instructional materials or the pedagogy; it is about many other things. Unfortunately Seattle is not headed for a successful program. The District now annually spends around $10 million for 110 academic coaches for teachers with no discernible effects. The elementary school program, Everyday Math adopted three years ago, expanded WASL math achievement gaps for all non-white subgroups for the first two years. Recently OSPI’s test results revealed Everyday Math to be a substandard performer in Seattle when compared with Math Connects at Clover Park SD, where they adopted an OSPI-recommended text. Seattle uses no math texts recommended by OSPI.

A year ago, Seattle adopted OSPI non-recommended and State Board of Education rated "mathematically unsound" “Discovering Mathematics” for high school and OSPI pass rates plummeted from 24.2 percent to 12.4 percent for Seattle’s Black students and from 11.2 percent to 6.7 percent for Limited English students.

In the prior year (2009), Seattle Black students’ 10th grade pass rate was 85 percent of their middle school cohort rate, Limited English speakers passed at 94 percent of cohort rate. In 2010 the corresponding rates are 51 percent and 57 percent.

It is unlikely that much positive change will take place in Seattle without massive public pressure or at least increased financial accountability. If the SPS is forced to pick up the tab for its ill prepared graduates’ remediation, then perhaps improved materials, practices and the required interventions listed in Seattle’s promotion/ non-promotion policies might show up. Social promotion, “Differentiated Instruction”, and “Discovery Learning” are failed approaches to math competence and need to be ended, by financial force if necessary.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

UW Professional Development Gone Bad
A Report on some of the Damage

Show me the Results
... or Show me the Money

With various funding sources but primarily National Science Foundation grants, University of Washington led professional development for math teachers has been an absolute disaster for far too many students at Cleveland, Garfield, and Rainier Beach high schools. (also throughout most of the district with the Discovery/Inquiry approach)

The UW began professional development in concert with the Seattle Schools central administrative personnel in Fall 2004 at Garfield and Cleveland. Each school began a school-wide unmonitored three year math experiment that ran from Fall 2006 through Spring 2009. This experiment used inquiry learning in small cooperative groups and Key Curriculum Press' "Interactive Mathematics Program" text books. During the last two school years the UW has been professionally developing the math teachers at Rainier Beach high school. RBHS math teachers received an extra planning period, a common planning period, in which they were able to plan lessons using the "Complex-Instruction" training they had received.
(check RBHS 2009 & 2010 scores below)

In the Fall of 2009 every high school school in Seattle began using Key Curriculum Press' "Discovering Mathematics" series. The University of Washington's Dr. James King found these books very appropriate. The State Board of Education found them "Mathematically Unsound".
(check 2010 scores below - contrast 2009 to 2010 changes in Seattle with the change in State averages)

So how did it go?


Check the test results for the last five years. Note the special IMP projects ran at Cleveland* & Garfield* in 2007, 2008, 2009. Garfield is Seattle's Academic Magnet High School.

For Black Students :

Spring of year
tested - Cleveland - Garfield - RBHS - SPS avg - State Avg
2006 ---- 8.5% ---- 28.1% ------ 22.0% ---- 21.7% -- 23.2%
2007 --- 11.0%* --- 30.1%* ----- 36.2% ---- 19.6% -- 22.5%
2008 ---- 6.3%* --- 22.5%* ----- 21.6% ---- 16.0% -- 22.2%
2009 --- 12.7%* --- 29.8%* ----- 15.6% ---- 16.3% -- 20.9%
2010 ---- 5.7% ---- 16.7% ------ 3.9% --- 12.4% -- 19.0%

For Limited English Students :

Spring of year
tested - Cleveland - Garfield - RBHS - SPS avg - State Avg
2006 ------- 18.0% ---- 11.1% --- none -- 16.3% -- 12.8%
2007 ------- 15.4%* ---- 5.0%* --- none -- 13.6% -- 10.7%
2008 -------- 4.8%* ---- 0.0%* --- none -- 19.5% -- 12.7%
2009 -------- 0.0%* --- 16.7%* --- none -- 11.2% --- 8.1%
2010 -------- 3.3% ----- 0.0% --- none --- 6.7% --- 9.3%

The collapse of Rainier Beach pass rate scores on Spring OSPI Math testing has been particularly evident as measured in the pass rates by income level note the UW professional development came the last two years and focused upon Profession Development using Complex Instruction.

Rainier Beach High School for Non Low-Income and Low Income students:

Spring of year
tested - Non Low-Inc. --- Low Income
2006 ---------- 23.1% ------- 30.0%
2007 ---------- 45.7% ------- 32.8%
2008 ---------- 35.3% ------- 25.6%
2009 ---------- 12.5% ------- 20.0%
2010 ----------- 5.0% ------- 17.2%


One Source of Seattle's many problems that contribute to lack of math achievement is at UW and sponsored with NSF funds -- your tax dollars working counterproductively.

The Mathematics Education Project
(MEP) is a professional development resource for educators, who are committed to transforming K-12 mathematics teaching and learning so all students develop accurate, reliable and flexible strategies and a robust understanding of mathematical concepts.

A major problem with MEP is MEP's goals are focused on teachers not on improving student performance.
Check out the MEP goals HERE.

The Mathematics Education Project is the outgrowth of two projects funded by the National Science Foundation – Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding a Community of Mathematics Learners. Through these projects, a community of educators from K-12 schools and the University of Washington gained extensive knowledge of research-based professional development resources, the art of facilitation, teacher leadership development, strategies for working with administrators and parents, and factors that contribute to sustainability of change. Through the MEP, this mathematics community and other colleagues in mathematics education at the UW intend to reach out to districts in the state of Washington and other states in the region.

From the MEP website, where nine instructors are listed:

Lisa (#4) supports secondary math teachers to use Complex Instruction strategies to create classroom communities that promote equitable student participation. Her research focuses on the ways in which mathematics classrooms that use Complex Instruction provide opportunities for students to use their salient identities as cultural tools for learning mathematics.

Anita's (#7) research and professional development focus is teacher preparation that supports racially, culturally, and linguistically diverse students to thrive in mathematically rich environments.

Rosemary (#8) is director of Center Connect, the College of Education's outreach unit, and senior director in UW Educational Outreach. She coordinates the development and offering of content-focused professional development for educators. Most recently, she has been project director for Creating a Community of Mathematics Learners and Expanding a Community of Mathematics Learners.

Gini (#9) works to bridge the worlds of math education research and those directly responsible for the teaching and learning of mathematics within schools by supporting districts with a long-term vision for systemic change. Most recently Gini has been involved in researching Leadership Content Knowledge as a result of her work as the internal evaluator of Lenses on Learning Secondary.

A lot of NSF tax-payer dollars were spent.
So where are the results?

Clearly the focus is NOT on effective and efficient ways to learn mathematics in the classroom. LOOK at the RESULTS of two years of this practice at Rainier Beach High School.

Where is the Accountability for this complete disaster?

Note the Superintendent has appealed a Superior Court ruling that found the Board's approval of the "Discovering Math" series to be "Arbitrary and Capricious". The Board excluded evidence in making its decision. The District has refused to remake the decision using all the evidence.

The SPS has a poor definition of Mathematics:

Mathematics is the language and science of patterns and connections. Learning and doing mathematics are active processes in which students construct meaning through exploration and inquiry of challenging problems. This definition is a primary source of SPS's failure to effectively and efficiently mathematically educate its students.

Three years of Southeast Education Initiative spending at Rainier Beach was a complete disaster. No I did not get the Non-Low-Income mixed up with the Low Income.

Three years of SEI spending ended August 31, 2010. The SEI was all 100% a Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson production. The Board seems to have never looked for any results from SEI spending.

No wonder "Five" Directors voted to extend her contract despite a damning state audit. These "Five" Directors DO NOT pay attention to data or even look for it.

Reform Education Mayor Loses in WA DC
Chancellor Michelle Rhee likely Out

In the Washington Post:

Pro Reform Education Mayor Fenty Loses in the Primary.

Fenty, the youngest mayor in the four decades of home rule, drew national accolades for his efforts to reform schools; oversaw a dramatic decline in the homicide rate; and led a successful drive to build neighborhood amenities such as recreational centers, dog parks and athletic fields. .......

But across town in the Lamond Riggs neighborhood of Northeast, Victor Cumber voted for Gray because he feels the mayor has lost touch with the people who put him in office four years ago. "Fenty is trying to do some things for the city, but I don't see him doing things for the people," said Cumber, 58, who is black. "People need jobs and the kids need to be taken care of. Why did he have to close some schools and get rid of their teachers?" ....

Fenty's most high-profile initiative - the takeover and reform of the city's long-troubled public schools - drew equal praise and criticism for the appointment of hard-charging Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee and the terminations of hundreds of teachers and central office staff. The teacher firings, as well as the closings of two dozen schools, affected African Americans most directly. ...

A Gray victory would recast the balance of power in city government, likely giving more influence to teachers, public employee unions and other labor, business and neighborhood groups that endorsed him.

How Adrian Fenty lost his reelection bid for D.C. mayor
By Nikita Stewart and Paul Schwartzman

Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, September 15, 2010; 4:56 AM


More from DC: Is that so, Chancellor Rhee?

So, it turns out, the problem with school reforms in D.C. -- which contributed to the defeat of D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty in the Democratic primary -- wasn’t that some of them were punitive and nonsensical.

What she should feel somewhat bad about is still refusing to understand that a lot of people rejected her reforms not because they didn’t understand them, but because they didn’t like them and in some cases thought they were harmful.

If Rhee does some reach some agreement with Vincent Gray, the man who defeated Fenty and is all but certain to be elected mayor in November, that will result in Rhee’s continuation as chancellor, it will almost certainly require that she acknowledge what really happened.
Ed Week on Rhee and Gray's win.
Michelle Rhee's Future in Doubt After Fenty Loses D.C. Primary

great comments follow this article
Jay Mathews: Good-bye Rhee. Hello who?

Monday, September 13, 2010

About Low-Income students
Seattle is even slightly worse
than elsewhere

Talk with Dr. Goodloe-Johnson

Superintendent Coffee Chat Dates:

•Central: Thursday, October 7
at SBOC from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.

•Northeast: Tuesday, October 12
at Jane Adams (K-8) from 9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.

•West Seattle:Monday, October 25
at West Seattle Elementary from 6:00 p.m. –7:00 p.m.

•South East: Wednesday, October 27
at Mercer Middle from 6:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m.

•Northwest: Tuesday, November 2
at North Beach from 9:00 a.m. -10:00a.m.

So here is something to talk about with Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

In grade Three the GAPS (2010 MSP) in Seattle
between non-low income and low income students is for
MATH = 35%

There is an enormous instructional problem k-3. Where are the interventions? But more importantly: Why are we doing what we are doing k-3 and continuing to do it?

It is not getting better after grade three the gap is immutable in elementary school once established.

Grade 5 (2010 MSP) GAPS
between non-low income and low income students
MATH = 37%

Please ask Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and Dr. Enfield: Why they believe their current instructional philosophy and beliefs align with student reality.

Our School Directors apparently never ask that question so someone should.

The Seattle Central Administration's decisions seem all about adults wrangling in politics and grants at the expense of the children ... especially low income children.

See this damage done to low income students in elementary school. Calculations based on OSPI annual testing and reporting of Pass Rates.

Reading Results HERE

Math Results HERE

Ratio of Change HERE

So where are those effective interventions?

What is happening with the supposed benefits of differentiated instruction?

Why do our instructional leaders and decision-makers refuse to believe the results of Project Follow Through the largest study in the History of Education ever?

Note PFT just happened to focus exclusively on low-income students at grade 3 and below (pre-K though grade three; PFT began as Head Start research under Lyndon Johnson) and eventually ran for 28 years.

Read about it HERE and HERE.

See some results from PFT HERE.

We are suffering from a plague of administrators, politicians, consultants, and College of Ed folks who sentence teachers to do what "They, the real elite smarties on Education" want done. Notice this has absolutely nothing to do with what works. Teachers know this but apparently Administrators and Board Members are clueless.

Results do matter. more Here

Hattie's Visible Learning tells us what works and the SPS decision-makers do NOT care about Hattie's research or what works.

Appropriate actions for the public in response include:
(1) Vote against Levy
(2) Recall "Five" Seattle School Directors
(3) Advocacy to Fire the Superintendent with cause.

Really $300,000+ annually for this grief and totally incoherent approach to most everything and the Board keeps on rubber stamping largely due to the class of 2007: Carr, Martin-Morris, Maier, Sundquist.

We do not need another $300,000 study or need to hire another $500,000 consultant. All that needs to be done is to buy a copy of Hattie's "Visible Learning" HERE and get a clue.

$50 vs. another Million Bucks hard to say, which the SPS visionary leaders would buy. Given past performance likely not the $50 expenditure. ($43.15 + tax)
After Elementary School in GAP LAND:

The non-low-income v. low income gaps narrow a bit for reading in middle and high school.

For math things have improved a bit in middle school so now the gaps are about the same as elementary school rather than widening in middle school.

HERE is the Full Data on GAPS Reading and Math for Seattle and State all grades.

In grade Six the GAPS (2010 MSP) in Seattle
between non-low income and low income students is for
MATH = 38%

In grade Seven the GAPS (2010 MSP) in Seattle
between non-low income and low income students is for
READING = 28.5%
MATH = 36%

In grade Eight the GAPS (2010 MSP) in Seattle
between non-low income and low income students is for
MATH = 33%

In grade Ten the GAPS (2010 HSPE) in Seattle
between non-low income and low income students is for
READING = 22.7%
MATH = 37.7%

Grades k-4 are in urgent need of fixing in both math and reading.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Expansion of a Failed Experiment .. Seattle Style

Porter et al. won a legal appeal in Superior Court on 2-4-2010 of the Seattle School District's adoption of "Discovering" math texts for high school use. The Superintendent decided to appeal that decision in Washington Appeals Court. I maintain this appeal was unwarranted and a waste of funds when the School Board should have been remaking the adoption decision using "all the evidence" as ordered by Judge Spector. This kind of decision-making and expenditure of funds on appellate court action is yet another reason to vote against the next Seattle School levy.

Take a look at effect of the "Discovering" math adoption.

Three years of the "IMP" inquiry/discovery approach at Cleveland and Garfield (through 2009) were very damaging to students classified as "Black" Students and also "Limited English". I pointed out that the SPS had together with the UW run two unmonitored damaging experiments on students for three years.

The Superintendent and the Board then decided to expand that "failed experiment" to all Black and Limited English students through out the District for School Year 2009-2010 and beyond.

Here are the results:

2008 (2009) 2010 for Black students’ pass rates:
Ballard: 25.0 (14.3) 26.9
Cleveland: *6.3 (*12.7) *5.7
Franklin: 17.4 (12.9) 16.7
Hale: 34.5 (33.3) 28.9
Ingraham: 13.0 (13.7) 5.4
Garfield: *22.5 (*29.8) *16.7**
Rainier B: 21.6 (*15.6) *3.9
Roosevelt: 31.0 (32.4) 28.1
Sealth: 28.8 (17.9) 10.2
W Seattle: 17.3 (15.2) 6.1

* UW NSF project assisted year
** AP Magnet

2008 (2009) 2010 for Limited English Speaking students’ pass rates:
Ballard: 16.7 (17.2) 11.8
Cleveland: *4.8 ( *0.0) *3.3
Franklin: 23.5 ( 9.4) 13.2
Hale: none
Ingraham: 35.5 (12.0) 3.0
Garfield: *0.0 (*16.7) *0.0**
Rainier Beach: none*
Roosevelt: 46.4 (15.8) 6.7
Sealth: 11.4 ( 6.3) 0.0
W Seattle: 19.0 (12.5) 6.7


Would competent leaders be using "District Funds" on outside legal counsel in an attempt to continue this wreckage?

Note: If instead of appealing the Board had remade the "Adoption Decision" and then quickly restarted the adoption process, perhaps a second year of "Discovering" could have been avoided.

The real question is why was this rigged skewed process that produced the "Discovering" recommendation validated by Sherry Carr, Steve Sundquist, Peter Maier, and Cheryl Chow with "yes" votes for the adoption? Michael DeBell, Harium Martin-Morris, and Mary Bass voted "NO".

Unfortunately Harium did back the Superintendent in her decision to appeal Judge Spector's ruling that the adoption was done in an "arbitrary and capricious" manner.

Why do the class of 2007 (Carr, Martin-Morris, Maier, Sundquist) not understand that "Exclusion of Evidence" is not allowed in decision making. Just because the Superintendent thinks excluding evidence is her "right" does not make it "right".

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why NY test mess is far from over.
Exams fundamentally flawed

New York's "test mess" is worse than even the avowedly reformist state education leaders have acknowledged -- and it may not be over yet, either.

A close look at the data (some of which became available only via the Freedom of Information Law) strongly suggests that the exams created each year by CTB/McGraw-Hill -- which purportedly measure the math and English proficiency of 1.2 million New York students -- are fundamentally flawed. That means that even Regents Chancellor Meryll Tisch and state Education Commissioner David Steiner's "recalibrating" of the scoring can't fix the problem.

The state Education Department paid the company $38 million for the tests used in 2006-'09.

The Common Core .... (Gates Standards)
.. Internationally competitive?
How the packing of committees was done and lots more.

An interesting revelation from interesting folks.

National standards →
National tests →
National curriculum →
Teachers’ salaries tied to students’ test scores →
Teachers teaching to the test each and every day →
National indoctrination of our public school children →
National database ..... ... Believe it or don't.

A 45 minute roundtable discussion

In this roundtable discussion, you will hear explanations from:

Professor Jim Milgram (mathematics content specialist, Stanford University)

Professor Sandra Stotsky (English / Language Arts content specialist, University of Arkansas and a National Math Advisory Panelist)

Betty Peters (member of Alabama State Board of Education)

Peyton Wolcott (investigative journalist in Texas,

Beth Schultz (math educator, parent activist in Maine)

Diana Crews (Alabama radio host of City on a Hill, )

Donna Garner (activist and retired Texas teacher)

Strengthening Teaching or NOT

What is up with the profusion of organizations in Washington State that have to do with education?

Try this one:

The Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession (CSTP) is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to building a strong, supported and effective teaching force for Washington’s students.

Who funds this place?

I got this when I clicked on Funding:
Error 403 Access forbidden!

You don't have permission to access the requested directory. There is either no index document or the directory is read-protected.

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.

Interesting Board of Directors ......

but I am not so sure I want Paul Allen financing all these improvement efforts.
Teacher Development

CSTP is a nonprofit organization with a simple mission—making sure Washington has the teaching force its students need to succeed. If students in Washington's public schools are to reach the high standards that have been set for them, it will be the state's teaching force—current teachers and new ones—who get them there.

Looking at the "Help" UW provided Cleveland, Garfield, and Rainier Beach in math and the results, the place to start is fixing the UW. UW help produced extremely poor results. UW professional development was not a help but rather a hindrance.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Newsweek: Why School Reform Fails

"Few subjects inspire more intellectual dishonesty and political puffery than “school reform.”

Identifying Effective Classroom Practices

Here is a conclusion based on empirical results which explains that the teaching of teachers at great expense in Seattle about "Inquiry-based" instruction will produce no student gains in mathematics. Seattle's "inquiry focused" Pro-D is a complete waste of time and resources as was demonstrated once again by Seattle's recently released test results from OSPI. The UW's NSF funded "Inquiry Focused" professional development at Garfield, Rainier Beach, and Cleveland produced among the worst results in the entire District for Black students and Limited English speaking students.

From the linked peer reviewed study of
Using Student Performance Data to Identify Effective Classroom Practices

section III Results and Discussion

first paragraph last sentence:

"Last, a teacher who scores higher on inquiry-based teaching (standard 3.4) relative to routinized standards and content focused teaching (standards 2.2, 3.1,and 3.2) is predicted to produce student gains in reading but not in math."

The results show "Inquiry" just does not work. Will Seattle ever decide to stop the expensive insanity?

A place to start is voting NO on the coming levy.

Despite presentations from the Public that "Inquiry has not worked in Seattle Math" the Board continued to approve incoherent poorly structured instructional materials that lack sufficient practice, and examples. Students are NOT learning when they are not effectively instructed. Struggling students continue to struggle in Seattle.

(1) Everyday Math purchased May 2007 then $350,000 of additional consumable instructional materials were needed a year ago. The results have been disappointing despite "Professional Development".

(2) The mathematically unsound not recommended "Discovering Series" purchased May 2009 for $800,000 with another $400,000 of professional development fails struggling students. It is without sufficient explicit instruction.

(3) Despite horrible NTN results elsewhere the District spent $800,000 to have the New Technology Network mandate "Project Based Learning" as the basis for instruction in every class at Cleveland STEM.

Cutting off the money might stop the insanity.

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

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Leaving TERC for Math Connects

New k-5 Math Materials at Clover Park School District are performing well. Congratulations to all involved at CPSD in making it happen.

In school year 2009-2010 Clover Park began using McMillan/McGraw Hill Math Connects.

In 2007-2008 Seattle began using Everyday Math.

Both districts used TERC/Investigations prior to adoptions.
Clover Park had officially adopted TERC several years earlier.
Seattle had TERC in widespread use but it was not an official adoption.

Despite expanding math class time to 75 minutes per day Seattle saw math achievement gaps increase for all non-white demographic groups the first two years of EDM.

Washington State switched to the MSP in 2010, which tests our new (2008) math standards for the first time.

Did Clover Park's selection of OSPI's top rated Math Connects make a difference? Sure did. Take a look at the cohort comparison from grade 3 to 4 and for grade 4 to 5.

Compare CPSD with state cohort groups and with Seattle's Everyday math trained cohorts.

See this letter.

Math Connects is working a whole lot better in CPSD than Everyday Math is doing in Seattle.

In Spring 2010 grades 3 through 8 were tested on the new math standards for the first time. One year ago Clover Park adopted the math texts recommended by the State for grades k-5.
Note: The ratio of change in scores from grade 4 in 2009 to grade 5 in 2010 for Clover Park bettered Seattle’s ratio for every demographic group.

CPSD ratios bettered Seattle’s ratios for:
All by 0.09; White by 0.04; Black by 0.20; Hispanic by 0.32; Asian Pacific/Islander by 0.18; American Indian by 0.01; Limited Income by 0.12; Limited English by 0.20

Seattle's claimed concern about the math achievement gaps seems very superficial as the SPS continues on with their marginally-functional and expensive reform math agenda.

Value Added Model for Seattle Math
not for Teachers but for Materials

Here I apply the Value Added Model not to the teachers but to the Superintendent's $1.2 million math materials expenditure. "Discovering" $800,000 for texts and $400,000 for professional development.

See this for the complete letter with the statistics:

Dear Seattle School Director,
September 5, 2010

Why if you are interested in “Struggling Students” and closing the achievement gaps in mathematics do you not apply the Value Added Model to the recently adopted $1.2 million “Discovering Mathematics” high school instructional materials program?

Porter, Mass, and McLaren in their lawsuit against the district noted that the Board did not consider all the evidence in the adoption decision made on May 6, 2009.

There is no dispute that the original 1100 page transcript of evidence clearly only supported the Superintendent’s proposal. It omitted all the evidence submitted by the public sent to the board that did not support the proposed action item. The public’s 300+ pages were later added to form the entire 1400+ page administrative record, which should have been used by the Board on May 6, 2009.

Appellants claimed in their appeal it highly likely that the adoption of “Discovering” would likely further disadvantage Seattle’s “Black” students and “Limited English” students. Value Added Modeling reveals that the appellants’ claim is confirmed by OSPI’s spring 2010 HSPE test results for Seattle’s grade 10 students.

How much longer must these two segments of Seattle’s educationally disadvantaged students continue to be discriminated against with Seattle’s instructional materials and practices? Why is the Board continuing to support the Central Administration’s discriminatory vertically aligned mathematics program when much better choices remain available? Why should any Seattle voter approve a $48 million levy given current wasteful discriminatory leadership?

Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

Seattle's Black students 2009 grade 10 math scores retained 91% of their middle school scores
Limited English speaking students retained 94%

At the State level in 2009 Black students retained 85%
Limited English speaking students retained 78.6%

With the new OSPI HSPE testing in 2010 the same method showed
At the State level in 2010 Black students retained 65.4% of their middle school average
Limited English speaking students retained 93.9%

In Seattle in 2010 at the end of one year of "Discovering" scores were much worse.

Seattle's Black students 2010 grade 10 math scores retained 51.2% of their middle school score value.
Limited English speaking students retained 56.5%

Saturday, September 4, 2010

2+2 = Litigation

Thought I would do a little fact checking.

A couple of connections worth looking at:

The Original at EducationNext:
By Joshua Dunn. Seriously short on facts.

From Joanne Jacobs:

Also I made a comment at Scientific American:

My comment at SciAmer is easy to find if sorted from Newest to Oldest.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Seattle TEST results in Math show a
Needed high stakes for Bureaucrats
Open Letter

The Central Administration and the School Board have been advocating for Performance Management via High Stakes testing. I say start now with analyzing the performance of the UW CoE, Seattle Central Administration, and the Seattle School Board in regard to Mathematics. See below.

Dear Seattle School Directors, 9-03-2010

Over almost the last four years I submitted numerous data selections and research articles in an attempt to get the district to revise its discriminatory instructional materials and practices in mathematics.

I pointed out that the NSF funded Professional Development project that began in 2004 had morphed into an unmonitored damaging three-year math experiment at Cleveland High School (2006-2009). It is quite apparent that the district has failed to address the practices that are harming Black students and Limited English speaking students. Instead these harmful practices were expanded with the “Discovering” adoption and the signing of the New Technology Network contract.

The University of Washington continued to expand professional development for high school teachers as Rainier Beach was added to the NSF funded professional development two years ago with I believe Math teachers getting a collaborative planning period as well as help from a UW “expert”. Rainier Beach used College Prep Math for several years but changed to the district adoption of “Discovering” last year.

The results for Black students obtained at UW and NSF assisted Cleveland and Rainier Beach from HSPE testing in 2010 were vastly inferior to Franklin which received no UW NSF service.

Professional Development in Math thus far is not only expensive but counter productive. Why does the board allow this chaotic approach to the teaching of mathematics to continue and in fact expand?

Please note the following cohort comparisons for Black Students as well as other in the SPS for those students tested at grade 10 in 2010.

Note the Middle school cohort (grade 7 in "07" & grade 8 in "08") pass averages for these Black Students was 24.2% but dropped to 12.4% in 2010 for the cohort in grade "10"

Results for most of Seattle’s Black Students were bad but for Rainier Beach and Cleveland things became even worse than before, the UW help should be removed as it is damaging students. The vertically aligned k-12 math program in Seattle is damaging Black students as well as Limited English speaking students.

For Black Students consider the following pass rates and change from “09” to “2010”

Seattle Black Students 12.40% down 3.90%

State Blacks Students 19.00% down 1.90%

Tacoma Blacks Students 11.8% down 2.00%

Now consider the pass rate in 2010 and the change from that school’s 2 year average in “08” & “09”

Cleveland Black Students 5.70% -9.35%

Garfield HS Black Students 16.70% -9.45%

Rainier Bch Black Students 3.90% -14.70%

Franklin HS Black Students 16.70% +1.55%

A $1.2 million dollar adoption that included $400,000 in professional development produced the above disaster but RBHS and Cleveland had Southeast Education Initiative funding as well. Garfield, Cleveland, and Rainier Beach had UW NSF funding as well.

The number of Black Students unable to score above level 1 at RBHS went from 64% in “09” to 82% in “10”

So where is the accountability?

Sincerely looking for a response from each of you,

Dan Dempsey


Consider this from Core-Knowledge.

"Unfortunately, when we look at student achievement scores for a specific teacher or a specific school, we don’t know whether the curriculum program helped enhance the scores or had little effect. But I suggest that the quality of each curriculum program a teacher is using needs to be considered when student achievement scores are used to grade teachers. I believe that teachers are responsible for implementing a program well, but are only responsible for the implementation. As this research shows, the quality of a given program has a strong influence on the students’ achievement."

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

OSPI testing = Seattle has no idea what they are doing in Math:
OSPI Director of Math deceived Board into buying more expensive trash

About Seattle Schools

(1) Seattle uses Everyday Math grades k-5
Connected Math Project 2 grades 6,7,8
Discovering from Key Curriculum Press for High School.
None of these books are recommended by the State.
Prior to Seattle's adoption the "Discovering" texts were rated mathematically unsound by the State Board of Education.

High School (with Discovering) was definitely worse in 2010 for Black Students and Limited English Speakers. Remember $800,000 for books and $400,000 for professional development produced these high school results.... not to mention the $11 million in academic coaches for teachers sprinkled about. OSPI Director of Math, Greta Bornemann, testified just before the Board voted 4-3 to adopt "Discovering". You can see her here at minute 117, put cursor slider in slot to move to 117. Even though "Discovering was found "Mathematically unsound" by the State Board of Education ... Greta did not mention that.

Why was Greta mentioning the original recommendations when only one text was recommended? She helped in creating Seattle's $1.2 million dollar High School fiasco.

She said that recommendations serve as a guide but do not direct what a district should buy. There may be many programs that may be sound. So what does Greta think about Seattle's results? Why has Mr. Dorn left Terry Bergeson's math team intact?
Bergeson produced 12 years of expensive math disaster.

Why is Ms. Bornemann still employed as Director of Math at OSPI? No accountability anywhere.

She talks about transparency of process but she neglects to mention the "Discovering" texts that the Seattle Board was about to vote on were rated "Mathematically Unsound" by the State Board of Education.

The MSP used grades 3 through 8 is the first time the New 2008 Math Standards have been tested.

The HSPE at high school still tests the old math standards. It will be gone next year when course ending Math assessments are used (I believe).

It was easy to evaluate "Discovering" before Seattle's adoption. It sucked.

The Math Adoption lawsuit filed on June 5, 2009 looked at likely consequences for Limited English Speakers and Black students.... well they happened.

Rainier Beach H.S. switched from College Prep Math and saw the following for Black students.

Pass Rate "09"= 15.6% => 3.9% in"10"

Level 1 "09"= 64.5% =>80.4% in"10"
The Pass rate for Limited English speakers that was horrible at Cleveland and Garfield from 2007 to 2009 with IMP and which the SPS gurus led the Board to believe would get better with Discovering in 2010.....(but it Got worse).

Here is the two year average of 08 and 09 compared with 2010

Pass rate:
Cleve from 2.4% => 3.3%
Garfi from 8.35% => 0.0%
Sealth from 8.85% => 0.0%
West S from 15.65% => 6.70%
Frankl from 16.45% => 13.20%

Level 1 + No Scores:
Cleve from 75.8% => 86.7%
Garfi from 64.1% => 76.5%
Sealth from 84.9% => 82.6%
West S from 73.25% => 83.3%
Frankl from 77.25% => 71.0%


Average of 08 and 09 compared to 2010
Black Student Pass rates:

RBHS from 15.6% => 3.9%
Cleve from 15.05% => 5.7%
Garfi from 26.15% => 16.70%

Average of 08 and 09 compared to 2010
Black Student Level 1 + No Score:

RBHS from 64.5% => 82.4%
Cleve from 70.1% => 71.6%
Garfi from 53.0% => 62.0%

For Pass Rates in Math if we take the cohort average from grades 7 and 8 (years 07 & 08) then compare with the 10th grade score(2010) we get this:

White students 72.35% => 67.8% ratio .937
Black Students 24.2% => 12.4% ratio .512

Seattle Central Administration and School Board rarely use evidence in making any decision. They just do whatever they like.

This is known as "Arbitrary and Capricious" decision making.

If you listen to the Greta link above through the Board's voting you can listen to all the people that found this defective "Discovering" stuff just super duper.

Cheryl Chow speaks around 1:40 for far too long.

Seattle is now producing the same mess that 18,000 student Bethel schools demonstrated would likely occur with "Discovering". Bethel adopted Discovering three years before Seattle.

======Once again the intelligent application of relevant data should have trumped this Educational Nonsense propaganda ... but did not ... bye bye $1.2 million.