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."

1 comment:

kprugman said...

I was reminded today of how backward the US is. An 11th grader was multiplying two integers using Lattice multiplication.

We were computing how long in years it would take Voyager to reach Sirius. I was thinking what Voyager would find if it decided to turn around and land on Earth 30years from now.

If the DOE doesn't think the current math textbooks are discriminatory, we'll just have to wait and see what the next generation decides.

Lattice multiplication worked 500 years ago, I don't think its a viable option for the 21st century.