Friday, December 31, 2010

Waiting for SuperFraud

Waiting For SuperFraud
By Michael T. Martin
Public schools have to fail. There is no alternative. So give up trying to argue otherwise with facts and logic.

The mockumentary Waiting For Superman made this clear. Funded by millionaires, the movie told the story of some privatized schools in Harlem portrayed as saviors of children otherwise condemned to public schools. Privatized schools mostly funded by hedge fund millionaires on Wall Street. They spent two million dollars to promote the film nationally. Another major film titled “The Lottery” told a similar tale: children in Harlem desperate to escape public schools. Funded by more millionaires.

State Senator Bill Perkins, who represents the people of Harlem, tried to put profit restrictions on these privatized schools. So the millionaires spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to run an opponent against him in the November, 2010, election. The people of Harlem voted overwhelmingly to re-elect Perkins.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Better Plan ... one that works ...
... and is less expensive

{[ It may not be less filling and taste great but it is a whole lot better than what we have been stuck with for the two and a half years of "Excellence for All". ]}

Dear Seattle School Director, 8/21/2010

KUOW’s Phyliss Fletcher reported in her article “Seattle School District: Gregoire Cuts ‘Shocking’ ” on December 17, that:

This year, for the first time, the state auditor told the School Board it should be more involved in district finances. The school district's first internal auditor just quit. He calls the district finance problems "systemic" and claims district staff ignored his warnings.

Duggan Harman says anything the school district can do to be more efficient will help students, and that district staff will work over the holiday break to come up with recommendations of cuts to present to the School Board in January.

After analyzing some of the 88 slides from the Dec 15, 2010 Board "Work Session" involving the strategic plan "Excellence for All", I have a recommendation for more than tinkering with cost cutting during the holiday break.

The focus must shift to efficiency.

My thoughts develop an entirely new direction for the SPS, based on relevant data and proven instructional strategies.
It is attached.

This took a fair amount of time to construct and I hope you will find it worthwhile. I know the data will be more useful than what Dr. Goodloe-Johnson provides.

If you have any questions or comments, please write.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

Where's the data?
MGJ has quarterly work session for Board but lacks data.

It was Decmeber 15, 2010 and the Board was at the quarterly work session for the strategic plan "Excellence for ALL", which is failing to live up to the hype and spin. Thus the real data that people can actually understand is not presented.

Director DeBell wanted to know about SpED and Peter Maier wondered:
How can we have a Work Session with no data?

Here are the Special Education data changes contrasting the year before MGJ's arrival ('06-'07) with the changes in 2009 to 2010.

Check it out here. If you wish to print this it requires a 14" wide printer to print as you see it.

So why doesn't the Superintendent bring readable data to work sessions?

Oh yes, because then the Board would know the full extent of this expensive debacle.

I would not bring any data either if I was planning on no changes and was intent on avoiding accountability.

Why is the Board waiting any longer to fire MGJ with cause?

Need data check this response

From the link directly above:
Around Nov 15, five parents had a meeting with CAO Enfield. These parents had questions but the CAO had no answers but she told them she would get back to them in January.

Response to 88 slide power point of MGJ on 12-15-2010;
"Excellence for all" is a failure and the Board likely knows it.

I just finished my 13 page response to MGJ's 88 slides. Unfortunately I was so appalled by most of this "Propaganda Push" from the superintendent I did not finish all 88 slides. I watched enough to know a con job.

I wound up making 14 proposals based largely on evidence.

Here is the entire 13 page document.


Here is a piece from near the beginning:

In recent years the huge changes in information technology, enabled productive workers below the middle management level to make decisions in an extremely effective way. This has led to a reduction in the percentage of mid-management employees and an increase in productivity. Workers who are close to the production line level now have access to the information through innovative tools and have become a vital part of businesses decision making. This structure drives productivity gains.

Seattle Schools leadership has encouraged and done the exact opposite:
1. Increased the size of central administration.
2. Increased coaches for teachers
3. Increased class sizes
4. Increase centralized control and decreased school and classroom based decision making
5. Emphasized fidelity of implementation over teacher based decision making.
6. Expressed concern about the math achievement gaps; but produced markedly worse math results for each subgroup of educationally disadvantaged learners. Only last year did things improve in middle school math annual testing but at k-5 and 9-12 the situation remains bleak.

(((The results from the MGJ agenda are terrible.)))


The ending 14 recommendations follow. (Explanations of these are in the last 3 pages of the 13 page linked document.)

1. Board must recognize that current results are sub par and a continuation of the current direction is unadvisable. Here are 2009 to 2010 changes.

2. There is inadequate funding to continue this bloated ineffective and inefficient centralized model preferred by the Superintendent. Despite financial difficulties and predictions of a slowing economy, she proposed lavish spending on experimental programs of questionable worth, while failing to provide efficient and effective interventions for struggling students. ........

3. A much leaner model that focuses on providing instructional programs aimed at academic advancement and suited to each student’s needs, must be put in place. The new model must deal with current realities and focus on the needs of individual students rather than pursuing an ideological and philosophical path of what certain adults believe should happen. .....

4. A huge increase in teacher autonomy is necessary. Teachers need to be supported rather than ordered about by others. Teachers today know what is needed for the students in their classrooms. Example of SPS incompetence. => At the African American Academy the District mandated that Everyday Math and Connected Math be used. These programs do not use much explicit instruction and need increased practice problems and exercises. Teachers had a much better idea about what was needed in Southeast high schools than the central administration during the “Discovering” math adoption. Two teachers from RBHS and one from Franklin testified that increased practice was needed. Glenda Madison, an RBHS math teacher with many years of experience dealing with students at risk, precisely told the Board what was needed for her students to succeed and was ignored. .....

5. In the past a “building based approach” was tried and found wanting. Much better models can now be developed. Recently, a profusion of ideas around models that decentralize school systems has emerged; while some of these ideas are part of misguided “Ed Reform” mania, some are not.

6. Scott Oki suggested a model in his book “Outrageous Learning” for the improvement of schools. While I disagree with some of his suggestions, he has many thoughts worthy of consideration for the decentralization of the current bloated ineffective model.

7. The most prominent feature of the “innovative” model of the Seattle Schools System, which I propose be developed, must be increased school control and guidance by building principals. As Mr. Oki suggested principals need to be held accountable by the community that a particular school serves, he talks about each school having a board of trustees, which supports and assists the principal, while still holding the principal accountable. .....

8. Seattle’s current Superintendent has pushed a plan founded on the way she believes things ought to be. Unfortunately it is a flop. Of particular interest to me was MGJ’s quotation at time mark 57:25 of part III of 11/3/2010 Board meeting:-

"Assessing every student and placing them according to ability sounds like tracking and discrimination…and we’ve moved light years away from that."

This is at the core of her inefficient wasteful defective approach to educating students.
She sees the best route as a uniform approach to deliver instruction through almost identical instructional materials and pedagogical practices in nearly every classroom throughout the district. She has dismantled programs that attempt to do otherwise. ......

The fact is her aversion to anything that remotely hints that all students are not the same and may be better off with some placement by ability is causing significant damage to many students. ......... A look at recent OSPI annual testing reveals that English Language Learners and Special Education students are very poorly served by her “Differentiated Instruction” model, which she has attempted to successfully install. The year to year changes in results of OSPI annual school testing for Special Education students reveal that under her direction scores are incredibly worse than before she became superintendent.

9. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson’s moving light years away from placement by ability is unjustified. It even extends all the way to AP Calculus, where she would have anyone that wishes signup for AP Calc. There is a reason for prerequisite skills being required for entrance into many courses, unfortunately she views this as tracking.

10. The percentage of students struggling is increasing under her direction. This would be expected, when decision making occurs without an intelligent application of relevant data. Her proposals for instructional materials and programs are not driven by the evidence of what works for students, but rather by alignment with her “inappropriate for the job at hand” beliefs. The percentages of students struggling in math in SE high schools increased as the UW offered more assistance.

11. An administration that does adequate research before making proposals needs to be put in place. Then decision-makers will not need to hide data, ignore data, and falsely report on what documents state, when explaining decision-making to the public. The frantic rush of proposals has been characteristic of the Goodloe-Johnson administration. Unfortunately, during the rush, four directors regularly choose to improperly weigh the evidence in decision making and to continually support the Superintendent’s poor proposals. This was often apparent in the statements those directors made when explaining their decisions. This needs to change. With a better administration in place, directors will have time to think. Then decision-makers will not need to hide data, ignore data, and falsely report on what documents state, in explaining their decision-making process to the public. The frantic rush of proposals that has been characteristic of the Goodloe-Johnson administration must end.

12. A Superintendent that is accountable for his/her actions and a School Board that holds the Superintendent accountable is drastically needed. The current superintendent has a lengthy list of inadequacies, which the board has apparently continually ignored as only when issues were brought to light in an embarrassing way were they even mentioned. The point about not discussing legal failings because they are in litigation may be a policy but it is not a law. Recently the appeal in regard to the many failings of the Superintendent in regard to the NTN contracts approved at two votes, was dropped. The dropping of ligigation was to enable the board to sanction and/or ask for an investigation of the superintendent. The District fails to fulfill the requirements of RCW 28A 645.020, which requires particular actions from the Board when Board decision’s are appealed. The Superintendent is the secretary of the Board. Instead of providing a certified correct transcript in the NTN case the transcript was inaccurate because of likely evidence tampering, which concealed a forgery. Not a single director has made a comment about this matter. The is no accountability for the Superintendent and apparently the Board is not interested in any accountability from the Superintendent. Like many in the community I have 100% no confidence in the Superintendent and close to 100% no confidence in the School Board as a collective group. Look at the results of the last three years, any confidence would be unjustified.

13. A decentralized model is desperately needed. Seattle has competent teachers and competent principals to put a decentralized model in place. In today’s high Info-Tech environment, there is absolutely no need to continue with bloated levels of management and mid-management. A greatly increased focus needs to be on assisting each student to learn. The current model, Superintendent, and School Board are failing to serve the community.

14. Effective efficient targeted interventions are needed by struggling students and must be provided as this is a high priority. MGJ’s spending was focused on expensive tools for performance management. She provided little usable information to the Board on student performance. TEAM MGJ spent very little on interventions and apparently little time planning for interventions. The Superintendent rarely reports on the academic performance of students in an accurate intelligible honest format to anyone.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stemming the Tidal Flow of Misinformation from MGJ

Seattle Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson reflects on some of the district's successes in 2010, looks ahead to next year, and introduces their new website in a letter to parents.

In an attempt to correct the enormous flow of misleading information generated by TEAM MGJ often with the help of four Seattle School Board members, I offer illumination in Blue.

MGJ's letter in black, my comments in blue.

Looking back, 2010 has been a year of progress and change for Seattle Public Schools. We signed a historic teacher contract, which supports quality teaching in every classroom. (No it does not. It continues to deny teachers the autonomy needed to meet the needs of each child. The District spends money on expensive experimental stuff, for example the NWEA/ MAP testing tool instead of spending on providing the interventions needed by students struggling to learn) We received a $12.5 million federal teacher incentive fund grant that is devoted to instructional and leadership excellence at 29 high needs schools. (Dr. MGJ diverted carry over funds from high needs low income schools to fund her grandiose expensive plans for Cleveland’s NTN STEM program.) For the first time, the District released individual School Reports, giving families, schools and the community detailed information on the performance of every school, as well as a plan to improve. (These school reports painted an incorrect picture of improvement by showing that 66% of students were making gains. This will always be true when all the students are compared with those in the bottom third of students.The actual change in scores from year to year paints an entirely different picture.) Finally - thanks to our supportive community - voters approved the $48.2 million supplemental school levy, which will help reduce the number and severity of budget cuts, support teachers and provide classroom materials. (This is highly unlikely given the way money is spent on programs, which lack a track record of success.)

We continue our work on implementing a new Student Assignment Plan that responds to what parents and families have requested. (How odd. Director Betty Patu advised waiting at least a year. This plan was based on making every school a quality school, but there was no evidence anything other than increasing income and ethnic imbalances would occur.) Thank you for your support and patience. We are committed to providing you with a plan that is predictable, equitable and easy to understand. (But given the complete failure of her three year Southeast Education Initiative the District has no idea how to make every school a quality school, after increasing the percentages of ethnic minorities and low-income students at many of them.)

We're starting the third year of our strategic plan, Excellence for All, which was approved in 2008 based on extensive community input and best practices nationally, and is aimed at ensuring all students graduate college and career ready. (After two years, an analysis of the data reveals “Excellence for All” is an expensive flop. Those supposed “Best Practices” are hardly that when analyzed in the light of “Project Follow Through” or Hattie’s “Visible Learning”.)

Looking ahead to 2011, I see the District moving closer to realizing our goal: every student achieving, everyone accountable. Personally, I will continue to focus on Listening, Learning and Responding. (Personally, I would focus on holding MGJ accountable for her many illegal actions; among them are:

(1) misleading public officials with her 17% lie about SPS graduates, (this is a gross misdemeanor) and

(2) her failure to submit transcripts of evidence that are “certified to be correct” when Board decisions are appealed in King County Superior Court, (this is a violation of RCW 28A 645.020) and

(3) her proposal to bring trainee teachers into Low-Income High Minority schools, where currently only 1 out of 200 classes is taught by a teacher who is not highly qualified. The Board approved her plan 6-1 to pay TfA trainees with 5-weeks of training full teaching salaries as full time teachers in Low-Income schools, while they continue training to become full certified teachers, (the legality of this action in contracting with TfA remains in doubt) and

(4) her forging of the 3-12-2010 NTN School Board Action Report, which led to spending $800,000. This is a class C felony.

Joy Anderson et al. recently dropped legal action so the Board and Superintendent would have no reason for failing to discuss this approval to spend $800,000, which was based on a forged action report.
) This fall, I was able to meet and talk with parents and community members at regional meetings, coffee chats and numerous other events and activities across the District. I was impressed with what our families, parents and students have to say, and I will continue to listen to all the voices of the Seattle community. (It is really unlikely MGJ will act on any of the community voices she hears.)

I encourage families to stay involved in your student's learning. (Because many of our programs lack explicit instruction and enough practice for many a child to succeed without enormous help from parents, tutors, or others.) Be a volunteer in the classroom, attend school meetings and contact your teacher or principal with any suggestions or concerns. And beginning today I invite you to preview our new District website, designed to provide much easier access to the timely information you need. With your continued support, we have the momentum to provide our children with education as a strong foundation for their futures.
(What momentum is she referring to evidence or her press releases?)

Seattle Schools Urban Outlaw Behavior
Please ...
Stop This by writing a letter

Here are the email addresses:

A few thousand letters or more are apparently needed to get this school board to possibly act on criminal wrong doing.

More of
The Seattle Schools
continuing adventures in
Urban Outlaw Behavior

Dan writes:

Anderson memo-gate forgery is just another example of SPS business as usual. The fact that this included written evidence of forgery, is just another thing for the Board to ignore.

MGJ was simply too busy to actually read the memo she referenced in regard to an $800,000 contract approval. Besides it was all CAO Enfield's fault for she was the lead person on the 3-12-2010 Forged action report and she sent the memo to the Board on 2-2-2010 not 1-29-2010 as claimed. Apparently MGJ did not read the memo, which was critical of her proposal, but she did submit the bogus action report and claimed to have used the memo in constructing it. It seems that CAO Enfield is responsible for submitting the bogus memo in place of the real one to the court. The Superintendent is the secretary of the Seattle School Board, so it was likely her responsibility to submit the actual memo referenced.

Keep in mind the Board was too busy on 2-3-2010 to read the $800,000 NTN contract, which was a mismatch with School Board action report. This mismatch of contract and action report was not a major concern until the appeal of the contract approval by Anderson et al. on 3-5-2010. The appeal initiated the NTN do over complete with forged action report of 3-12-2010 and a new contract that correctly aligned with action report as well as to what the public had been previously told over three months. Approval took place on 4-7-2010 same four (2007) directors voting for in a 4-3 approval.

The 2-2-2010 action report used on 2-3-2010 was filled with incorrect data. "Four (2007) Board" members ignored extensive correct valid data submitted to them by the public in order to approve the contract they had not read.

Joan Sias wrote:

I think that the board should get a letter, explaining that MGJ, despite her Ph.D., cannot be trusted to present the most relevant, reliable research, and to present valid assessments of that research. She cannot be trusted to not cherry pick research results.

{[ The problem with that is over half of the Board members are cherry-pickers, who deceive the public by omitting various facts to make unjustified "Official Board" decisions. New Board President, Steve Sundquist, is perhaps the most flagrant example of such misbehavior.

On the other hand at least "writing to the Board" will produce one more document showing the Board refuses to do the job they were elected to do, which includes supervising only one employee Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. ]}

Her citing of this biased Pearson review of a weak study is evidence of either incompetence or intellectual dishonesty.

{[ Normal MGJ practice ]}

We are not able to know whether she is dishonest or incompetent. In either case, this behavior causes serious harm to children, and should be grounds for dismissal. How can the Board know, in general, when this woman's advice to the Board is valid and trustworthy?

[{ By fact checking her proposals and reading the evidence submitted by the public, which they prefer not to do or heed. }]

It seems quite apparent that four Directors elected in 2007, who began service in November 2007, do not care about whether MGJ's advice to the Board is valid and/or trustworthy. They participated in bolstering many of her misleading statements and often approved proposals based on a collection of misleading statements both oral and written.


It is very apparent that a few letters are ignored by the Superintendent and the Board.

I urge you to write

the Superintendent asking her to resign

and I urge you to write to

the Seattle School Directors demanding they fire the Superintendent with cause

for numerous violations of State Laws.

Here are the email addresses:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Proposed Rally
on January 5 to Fire
Dr. Goodloe-Johnson
with cause

I propose that before the 6:00 PM School Board meeting on Wednesday, January 5, we gather at 5:00 PM with formal speeches at 5:30.

---- ---- ----
It has been suggested that with darkness in January a Saturday rally may be better.
What are the thoughts of others?
---- ---- ----

Dr. Goodloe-Johnson has lied (17%-gate), and failed on numerous occasions to submit certified correct evidence to the court when decisions of the Board are appealed.
On 2-3-2010 she had the Board vote to approve a contract that did not match the action plan. In the redo do-over for that she forged the 3-12-2010 Action report. Someone tampered with evidence submitted to the court in regard to the memo of 1-29-2010 sent to the Bpard on 2-2-10 but never submitted to the court. A different memo masqueraded as the authentic memo.

She forged the NTN Action Report which was presented on 3-12-2010 and used for an introductory item on March 17, 2010.

Her current instructional approach and management have increased math achievement gaps for most subgroups of educationally disadvantaged learners at the high school level.

Reading achievement gaps at the high school level for many subgroups are growing faster than math gaps.

Three documents are available as .pdf downloads or for viewing at

HS GAPS ..:.. : ..:.. Forgery Facts

A response to the Board Work session of Dec. 15, 2010

The above three documents are in a somewhat rough stage at the moment.
First draft but I wanted to get them up for your perusal.

HERE are some pages from the FOIA:

Sent by Enfield ..:.. ..:.. Forgery Proof


PeoneyPower nominates Phil Brockman for next Superintendent.

Do we have a second for that nomination?

Any other nominations from cyberspace?


The document the Board and the Superintendent ignored =>

The study produced by Gates Data Fellow Eric M. Anderson PhD. :

"Correlates of High Achieving Schools: Learning from Top Performing Inner City Public Schools" produced in March 2010.

My latest FOIA arrived and
Dr. Goodloe-Johnson needs to be fired with cause or some School Directors should be recalled

Liar, Liar, Liar, Lair,
Forgery, from a lying Forger and
Evidence Tampering.

The big six questions I have are:

(1) How many people are lying?

(2) Who is lying? and

(3) How many directors tolerate gross misdemeanors and a felony from the Superintendent, while believing they are not violating their oath of office as a Seattle School Director?

A Director swears to: “support the Constitution and Laws of the United States and the Constitution and Laws of the State of Washington, and will to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, truly, faithfully, diligently and impartially perform the duties of the office of Seattle School Director.

(4) Where did MGJ get the bogus version of the Anderson memo that she used and that was submitted to the court?

(5) How long will it take for the Board to fire the Superintendent with cause?

(6) How long will it take someone in authority to request an investigation into illegal activities on the part of the Superintendent, so that she is charged and held accountable?

I have no more questions as I have evidence to answer all the rest. Thanks to Joy Stevens the handler of public requests for information at the JSCEE.

Forgery Facts HERE

Friday, December 17, 2010

Big News from WA DC on
Teach for America
Who wants 5-week wonders labeled "Highly Qualified"?

Senate Sought to Call
Novice Teachers"Highly Qualified"
and Allow Concentration in
Poor, Minority Schools.

Seems that the U.S. Senate is a bit slow. The Seattle School Board with approval of their General Counsel and likely a thumbs up from OSPI's Randy Dorn decided to approve that exact plan as submitted by Superintendent and frequent liar Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

From Transparent Christina comes the following:

Wow, just wow. Four words I didn’t think I would say:

Thank You Harry Reid.

Buried deep in the nearly 2,000 page Senate omnibus appropriations bill that Harry Reid just pulled is an amendment slipped in on Tuesday that seeks to lower the standard of teacher owed every child in the nation under No Child Left Behind (NCLB).

The provision, which has grassroots and community groups across the country up in arms, would have permitted teachers still training in night or weekend alternative preparation programs (known as interns in some states) to be labeled as “highly qualified” teachers.
That designation relieves districts of having to tell parents of the teacher’s sub-par preparation and allows their continued concentration in poor and minority schools.

In Seattle, a group of parents filed an appeal of a Seattle School Board decision that looked as if 25 TfA teachers might be headed to Seattle's low income schools.

The situation gets even more interesting as it is believed that Randy Dorn may have been willing to assert these 5 week wonders are highly qualified.

The School Board was aware that:

1.. The is no teacher shortage in Seattle.

2.. That there is no data showing that TfA is a reasonable choice for a district with an abundance of highly qualified teachers. In Seattle 199 out of 200 classes is taught by a highly qualified teacher. Low-Income and Non Low-Income are both at that 199/200 rate.

3.. The Board and the District were fully aware of the 9th circuit court ruling in regard to TfA not meeting the Highly Qualified Standard in California. Well so much for Washington seeking higher standards than California, right Mr. Dorn.

4.. Director Sherry Carr, with or without help, cherry-picked half a sentence out of Helig's Great Lakes report to show that her vote for TfA was justified. Helig's report specifically states NOT to use TfA in situations where highly qualified teachers are available.

More on Director Carr's use of Helig's study HERE.

5.. The Board voted approval of TfA by a vote of 6-1.
Betty Patu once again was the voice of sanity.

Here is the link to the Huff Post article used by Transparent Christina.

The Student Teacher said: ....
to which Mike said ...

and Dan supplied a bit of data

As a student teacher, I respectfully disagree.

K-5 in Seattle uses the Everyday Math curriculum, which has proven to be the most effective curriculum in the country.

Constructivist math helps students construct traditonal
[sic] algorithms rather ...than memorize them, thus creating a deeper, more conceptual understanding.

The problem is that veteran teachers don't get it, which in turn leads to parents freaking out. However, this type of math curriculum, if taught correctly, pushes students beyond memorizing formulas towards developing into little mathmaticians

Too many students learn algorithms for testing without having true number sense.

To which Mike replied

Wow… Where to begin?

Dear student teacher,

First, you are to be commended for choosing to be a teacher of children. I genuinely believe there is no higher calling or more noble a cause. Second, you are to be commended for your willingness to engage in respectful dialogue on a topic of paramount importance.

Respectfully, I adamantly disagree with each of your assertions. But I think I understand from where they come, as each of your unfounded contentions have been repeated over-and-over by champions of ed-reform for years. Incessant repetition of a falsehood does not make it true. I urge you, I beg you to subject what you’ve been told & taught by “the experts” to critical examination of your own. Ask for validating empirical data, evidence, and research; discriminate between genuine research and opinion pieces; and seek out and read referenced material.

As for my respectful dialogue, I’ll attempt to address your contentions one at a time.

“K-5 in Seattle uses the Everyday Math curriculum, which has proven to be the most effective curriculum in the country.”

Really? Where’s the evidence and empirical data to support such a statement of proven effectiveness? I suppose the truth of this statement could hinge on your definition of “effective.” If by effective, you mean that the EM curriculum boosts employment in the Seattle area, you may be able to build a case. The need for remedial mathematics at community colleges has skyrocketed, as have math tutoring boutiques in the private sector.

“Constructivist math helps students construct tradit[i]onal algorithms rather ...than memorize them, thus creating a deeper, more conceptual understanding.”


In the first place, EM does not emphasize traditional algorithms. Instead, it emphasizes “focus” or alternative algorithms that have proven less effective or totally inadequate for higher mathematics over time. Secondly, building any classroom on a framework approaching exclusive constructivist pedagogy is child abuse, as it denies the child the benefit of exposure to (direct instruction in) the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of generations over centuries. Thirdly, your statement implies a disdain for memorization (rote learning) in favor of the ed-reformist “holy grail” of conceptual understanding. Conceptual understanding in any particular domain cannot be taught in the absence of the accumulation of knowledge in that same domain. In mathematics, conceptual understanding develops over time as we gradually learn to efficiently manipulate numbers in the abstract, and in turn apply those manipulations to the concrete. It is both counter-intuitive and false to believe that this gradual learning, which due to time constraints must be efficient, can best occur in an environment where students are required to construct or discover for themselves the accumulated knowledge of generations.

“The problem is that veteran teachers don't get it, which in turn leads to parents freaking out.”

Hmmm… So your education has not only led you to a philosophical allegiance to the anti-intellectualism of constructivism, but also to a disdain for the temperance of actual experience (veteran teachers), as well as a contempt for the legitimate concerns of parents. I don’t know how to respond, except to implore you to remember this once you’ve advanced to the position of parent or veteran teacher. Such reflection may enable you to respond to youthful arrogance with patience. Ironically though, your quip does touch on one of the practical problems of these reform curricula. Because the “veteran teachers don't get it”, the adoption of these reform curricula are usually accompanied by requests for enormous amounts of “professional development.” Have you ever wondered who benefits from creating an environment in public education where perpetual “professional development” is the norm? Have you ever questioned why the increase in professional development requirements has run coincident with the decline in American public education?

“However, this type of math curriculum, if taught correctly, pushes students beyond memorizing formulas towards developing into little math[e]maticians.”

I don’t believe there is enough time to teach this type of curriculum correctly. I also don’t believe in mandating the required homogenization of pedagogical techniques, which would be the implication of the first part of your statement. The last part of your statement, again, reflects a disdain for memorization as a tool of learning. Yet, you’ve memorized the talking points of proponents of reform mathematics quite well. Left to your own devises, I wonder if you’d have “developed into a little student teacher” by personally discovering or constructing the philosophical underpinnings of constructivism? No… you were taught, weren’t you?

“Too many students learn algorithms for testing without having true number sense.”

“Number sense” has been defined several different ways. The two most common interpretations have to do with “fluidity & competence” and the personal “dispositions” (confidence) that occur as a result of said competence. I assume, because of how you phrased your statement, that you’re applying the “personal dispositions” definition/interpretation to your use of “number sense.” These two interpretations must be addressed separately, because one is objective and the other subjective.

Fluidity & competence can be accurately & objectively measured (or tested, if you prefer) based on performance.

Personal disposition can only be subjectively assessed; it cannot be objectively measured. Additionally, any subjective assessment of personal disposition must be weighed against an objective measure of performance in order to gauge whether the personal disposition is warranted based upon the objective performance of the student. (It’s just as illegitimate for a student to think he’s good at something if he’s not, as it is for a student to lack confidence but exhibit superior performance.) Students must “learn algorithms for testing” because actual performance is the only objective measure we have to ascertain a student’s development.

In this way, this argument is related to the argument of procedural fluency versus conceptual understanding. Of the two, only procedural fluency can be objectively measured.

-- mike


Seattle adopted Everyday Math on May 30, 2007. EM was put into service September 2007 after professional development of most if not all elementary school teachers. In May 2007, CAO Carla Santorno told the Board that fidelity of implementation was necessary for the EM program to bring good results and said within four to five years the Achievement Gaps for groups of educationally disadvantaged learners would be gone as measured by annual OSPI testing at grade 4.

Such OSPI testing in Spring 2008 showed increased achievement GAPS for Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians, low income students, and limited English speaking students. Gaps became even larger in Spring 2009.

The Seattle School District since EM adoption required Math to be taught 75 minutes a day everyday. It seems that Mike is correct. Apparently, there is not enough time to teach Everyday Math correctly.

The District adopted Key Curriculum Press' "Discovering Algebra", "Discovering Geometry", and "Discovering Advanced Algebra", on May 6, 2009. Spending $800,000 on books and $400,000 on professional development. The Bethel School District had adopted "EM" and "Discovering" in Spring 2007 and has seen declining achievement. Seattle's grade 10 math OSPI HSPE results in Spring 2010 were disappointing.

"To improve a system requires the intelligent application of relevant data"
-- W. Edwards Deming (1900-1993)

The 2010 OSPI Math tests showed a pass rate for Black students in Seattle schools of

28.2% grade 4 (note the scores during the last three years and this after previous widespread use of TERC/Investigations)

12.5% grade 10 and Sophomore credit standing required to test.

4th Grade Math Black Students

Year ................. District : State
1997-98 WASL : 14.2% : 13.0%
1998-99 WASL : 12.0% : 15.3%
1999-00 WASL : 17.2% : 18.7%
2000-01 WASL : 15.0% : 19.5%
2001-02 WASL : 22.3% : 28.6%
2002-03 WASL : 31.1% : 35.5%
2003-04 WASL : 36.4% : 37.5%
2004-05 WASL : 33.1% : 37.7%
2005-06 WASL : 31.3% : 36.4%
2006-07 WASL : 32.0% : 35.1%
2007-08 WASL :27.6% : 31.3% <== EM begins in Seattle
2008-09 WASL :29.1% : 30.2%
2009-10 MSP .:28.2% : 32.5%

10th Grade Math Black Students

Year ................. District : State
1998-99 WASL .:. 5.4% : 9.5%
1999-00 WASL .:. 8.3% : 11.7%
2000-01 WASL .:. 6.1% : 11.9%
2001-02 WASL .:. 8.1% : 13.0%
2002-03 WASL .:. 7.0% : 14.2%
2003-04 WASL : 11.3% : 16.1%
2004-05 WASL : 12.9% : 20.4%
2005-06 WASL : 21.7% : 23.2% <= Seattle begins
2006-07 WASL : 19.6% : 22.5% .. requiring
2007-08 WASL : 16.0% : 22.2% .. Sophomore
2008-09 WASL : 16.3% : 20.9% .. Credits to Test
2009-10 HSPE : 12.5% : 19.0% <= "Discovering" begins

Bethel School District All students:

10th Grade Math All Students

Year ................. District : State
1998-99 WASL : 21.1% : 33.0%
1999-00 WASL : 26.7% : 35.0%
2000-01 WASL : 26.3% : 38.9%
2001-02 WASL : 23.2% : 37.3%
2002-03 WASL : 28.9% : 39.4%
2003-04 WASL : 31.6% : 43.9%
2004-05 WASL : 39.9% : 47.5%
2005-06 WASL : 39.2% : 51.0%
2006-07 WASL : 36.1% : 50.4%
2007-08 WASL : 35.0% : 49.6% <= BSD adopts Discovering
2008-09 WASL : 30.3% : 45.4%
2009-10 HSPE : 26.5% : 41.7%

10th Grade Math Black Students

Year ................. District : State
1998-99 WASL : 10.1% : 9.5%
1999-00 WASL : 13.4% : 11.7%
2000-01 WASL : 10.2% : 11.9%
2001-02 WASL : 13.5% : 13.0%
2002-03 WASL : 17.8% : 14.2%
2003-04 WASL : 19.7% : 16.1%
2004-05 WASL : 21.4% : 20.4%
2005-06 WASL : 23.3% : 23.2%
2006-07 WASL : 26.6% : 22.5%
2007-08 WASL : 22.5% : 22.2% <= BSD adopts Discovering
2008-09 WASL : 17.6% : 20.9%
2009-10 HSPE : 15.8% : 19.0%

Data obtained from OSPI Report Cards

I have removed two comments below, which were abusive and contained NO Constructive thoughts.

I would like this blog to be not just a source for information but a place for constructive civilized discussion of issues. My thanks to Mr. McCall for his contributions. I apologize to him for the responses of several of those posting comments. Others might wish to read their own comments and consider if they contribute anything to the discussion.

Let me say that my opposition to EDM remains firm. Prior to the EDM adoption by Seattle in May 2007, I analyzed data from all districts using EDM at the time of the 2005 Spring ITBS. What I saw were reasonable scores on ITBS grade three that dropped by grade 6 in every district except 1.

The drops were of 10 points in districts with below 10% Black and Hispanic populations.
In districts between 10% and 20% Black and Hispanic populations the drop was the same 10 points from grades 3 to grade 6.
For Districts above 20% Black and Hispanic populations the drop was 15.5 points.

This is the highly standardized ITBS not the flaky WASL.

The first two years of EDM use in Seattle the math achievement Gaps increased for every subgroup of disadvantaged learner. At the African American Academy at grades 3rd and 4th the WASL math scores fell off the map those two years.


I've removed two comments.
If someone wishes to discuss avenues to improvement great, if not no name calling etc. just read but do not write.

I have always believed that a strong program includes some constructivist activities but delivered in moderation and in a guided way. I remain a strong proponent of Singapore Math.

As Mr. McCall points out below, arithmetic fluency is required for math success. I do not believe from what I have seen that the continual spiraling without emphasizing mastery is delivering the goods for most educationally disadvantaged learners. I have encountered no data to convince me otherwise. Perhaps Mr. McCall, who uses his name (unlike those who had their comments removed), could provide some.

Huff Post on VAM :
Value Added Growth Model
Gates' Evidence versus Gates' Spin

VAM : Value Added Growth Model

Hooray for the Huff Post !!!!

Gates' Evidence versus Gates' Spin

Having taught in an extremely wide variety of situations, I find the VAM to be total bunk.

Put a teacher in a high performing school with motivated kids and supportive parents and watch that VAM speedometer "Really Rock on Big Time."

Put that same teacher in inner city urban LA or on some Indian Reservations and watch that test driven speedo needle slow to at best a crawl.

VAM what a ridiculous idea. Unless of course you wish to see teachers exiting the hardest to teach students at an even faster rate.

VAM is another idea brought to you from the experts that enjoy philosophizing and pontificating about education but remain comfortably distant from the real work of teaching students.

If the Edu-Elite club would put as much energy into advocating for instructional materials and practices that are proven to work, rather than supporting faddish attempts to improve schools it would be a vast improvement.

The secret is to focus on improving each student's skills, knowledge, and performance. Unfortunately that takes effort and a certain amount of teacher autonomy, which most of these top down folks have no interest in.

Look at how technology has given us great research tools. In many work environments middle management is disappearing, as the people doing the work are more than capable of making a lot more decisions and usually better than the old middle managers.

Unfortunately this is NOT happening in the Seattle Schools, where $11 million were spent annually on Coaches for teachers (over 110 of them). Seattle is also big on Top Down management. They must use management books from 1957.

Get a clue, Seattle; that model never worked well and could hardly be worse in today's school environment. No wonder blaming teachers has become the new national scapegoat sport. The administration does not those guns aimed where they really belong, which is at them.

Central Administration focuses on tools and policies to implement VAM.
(Is VAM working anywhere to actually improve student learning?)

Hey what about focusing on student skills and the teaching and learning of core knowledge. --- Oh right that would require a greatly different model than the one desired by the Central Administrative oligarchs.


Update from LA on VAM :

L.A. teachers union won’t accept pay cuts, ‘value-added’ evaluations

The state’s largest teachers union Wednesday fired an early salvo in contract negotiations, serving notice that it wouldn’t accept pay cuts easily and that it won’t consider linking teacher evaluations to student test scores.

Appeal of Board's TfA approval
filing at 11 am on Dec 17

Joan Sias and Cecilia Palao-Vargas, along with the two organizations the Seattle Shadow School Board (S3B) and Parents Across America - Seattle (PAA-S) will file an appeal of the Seattle School Board's Teach for America (TFA) approval.

This appeal filing will take place at the King County Courthouse at 11 am (barring unforeseen circumstances) on Friday December 17, 2010.

There is a possibility of legal action in Federal Court in regard to this matter in early 2011.

Financial contributions are needed and will be greatly appreciated.

Those who can chip in some money...any amount will help.

Please mail to: Cecilia Palao-Vargas

11260 37th Ave SW,
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

State Steals $208 million from local districts

From the Tacoma News Tribune comes ......

State snags money meant for school jobs

Congress threw school districts a lifeline. State government yanked it away.

Read more:

It was reported ==>

Sen. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma, who backed the deal, said schools would have to live without the windfall they had until recently thought was in hand.

The reality of the world today is, things change – that what was true last week may not be able to stand up today,” Regala said. She added that in trying economic times, “Lots of families certainly know that.

This was an interesting comment about "things change and what was true last week may not be true this week." This shows the planning and forethought of several legislators I guess or how they attempt to fool us.

I thought it was well known that finances were in a sorry condition at the time this vote for our $208 million. Do the legislators think that the public is so ignorant as not to be aware that in big down turns the effect on government revenues lags the overall economy by 18 months or more?

n0t_thatgirl is "spot on" in her analysis of this theft.

A number of school districts were counting on those funds.

Republics are characterized by a respect for laws and lawful actions. Welcome to the "State of Washington, an Oligarchy not a Republic.”

We’re pretty certain that this is allowable use,” House Majority Leader Pat Sullivan said of the transfer.


“Lots of families certainly know that.….” in times like these, local decision making maybe crushed by those in more powerful positions.

Two questions:
#1 Is the legislature planning on accepting or rejecting ESSB 6696 in January?

Acceptance means large financial obligations as acceptance of the Common Core Standards will commit WA State to large expenditures with the Dumping of the New 2008 State math standards and adoption of Big Brother's plans for us. The CCSS were largely funded by the Gates Foundation and other oligarchs with big plans for their minions. Race to the Top, was the extortion attempt to get states to sell the souls of their children. So NOW is the legislature stealing $208 million to fund grandiose plans beyond the control of local school boards and even state officials?

#2 What is happening with CORE 24?

The State Board of Education's pet project should be suspended for at least two years if not five years.

In a time of austerity is it advisable to increase graduation requirements to 24 credits when currently only about 70% of Washington students graduate from high schools requiring minimums of 19 to 22 credits? Clearly the state needs to fund effective interventions for struggling learners rather than producing more mandates. The SBE has no real need to expand its turf. There are many students today who graduate with more than 24 credits. In fact with running start some graduate from high school and receive an AA degree at the same time.

This does not seem to be a wise expenditure of funds when k-8 interventions, remediations, and accelerations, are far more pressing needs.

It is time to talk about where education funds are going and where they are not going.

Local districts need the money that had already been promised to them. Students need assistance and local school districts need the money to assist the students.

It looks like more mandates from others far distant from the children will be forced upon the locals and funded with the $208 million intended for them.

CORE 24 and ESSB 6696 funding will keep those employed, who prefer to pontificate about education while remaining removed from the real classroom work of educating children. That $208 million is needed at the school district level. It was intended to help students not keep bureaucrats employed.

SPS to work on Explaining Numbers

Today the School Board will have a work session with an emphasis on explaining numbers.

The way the numbers have manipulated by the Superintendent to manipulate the public as exposed in the Seattle Times and on the Seattle Schools Blog has certainly necessitated today's meeting.

I figured the directors might need a little help so I wrote and email with an attached letter. Here it is:

Dear Directors,

I have never cherry-picked numbers or attempted to mislead anyone, but I am not in Seattle school leadership either.

I am happy to see that there will be an emphasis on explaining numbers.

I have several questions that perhaps you or the Superintendent could answer today.

See attached letter, which contains numbers (accurate numbers from OSPI):

#1. What does it mean when 87% of 8th graders are ready for High School Math?

#2. How can the accuracy of that number be determined after two years in high school?

#3. At Denny why in the three years 2008, 2009, 2010 is there NO correlation between Readiness percentages and OSPI test results?

#4. What is going on with the UW's Math Education Project in Southeast High Schools?
If something worthwhile is happening, then why are the scores so abysmal?

#5. Given the:
A. Extreme lack of progress in math,

(except at middle school last year for many students)
(and especially for many educationally disadvantaged learners)
B. Dr. Deming's recommendations,
C. The top down structure of Seattle school management,
D. The disregard of relevant data, and
E. Craig Parsley's article in Crosscuts

What is the plan for improvement?

#6. Why does the Board allow the Superintendent to commit apparent criminal acts and not call for an investigation?


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

HERE is that attached letter

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Will the School Board continue to tolerate the Bad Acts of Seattle's Superintendent?

December 14, 2010

Dear Director Sherry Carr,

Thanks for the attachment and your prompt response.

What I am looking for are Directors who direct the Superintendent. I have seen preciously little of that from the School Board as a group over the entire duration of the Goodloe-Johnson administration. 

It is now apparent that not only does the Board fail to direct the Superintendent on far too many matters but apparently the Directors also sanction her illegal actions by failing to initiate appropriate investigations into her activities aimed at eventual prosecution for her significant violations of state laws. 

The question many in Seattle are currently asking is: Why are the Directors remiss in fulfilling their duties?

Thanks for the attachment. I hope you send it to all directors to read. It seems to me that the kind of actions that Charlie Mas, many others, and I have been asking for is again loudly proclaimed in the attachment, which you sent.

The results from the Positive Deviance Projects persuade me that we might be better off looking for and funding interventions that explore “positive deviance” within a community and within a school.

All of which was why I was so excited when Tofi’a followed up on our snatched lunchtime exchange by sending me a copy of a recent Masters Research Thesis from Massey University written by Sione Tu’itahi.

Langa Fonua: In Search of Success. How a Tongan Kainga Strived to be Socially and Economically Successful in New Zealand by Sione Tu’itahi is a description of intergenerational positive deviance and what I have long been looking for. You can get a copy from The Directorate Pasifika@Massey Office, Albany Campus, Auckland.

The thesis “Langa Fonua” argues that “to find solutions to the low socio-economic status of Tongans in New Zealand, research should focus on their demonstrated strengths and positive achievements, rather than their deficits.” {Dr. Goodloe-Johnson seems far to focused on teacher deficits both real and imaginary} p82 Tu'itahi uses the Tongan model of fonua – ongoing inter-connected relationship between people and environment (reciprocity) as the framework for understanding the successful progress of the Tongan Tahi kainga over the last 30 years.

I have advocated for longer than the entire time you have been a director that:

1. “Project Follow Through” results be used rather than ignored.
The Board and the Superintendent have continued to ignore the situation and despite lots of achievement gaps talk the situation has grown worse.

2. Effective and efficient interventions are urgently needed. This situation remains the same or worse than it was four years ago.

More recently I advised the following:

3. John Hattie’s “Visible Learning” should be used as a guide in decision-making, which has not happened.

4. The work of cognitive scientists David C. Geary, Paul A. Kirschner, and John Sweller needs to be used to evaluate and correct the continuing failures of "Minimally Guided Instruction." Dr. Geary was instrumental in helping to end the "Whole Language" debacle. It seems that the Board wants to continue the similar "Whole Math" debacle of the last decade as if proclaiming a decade of failure is not enough to change direction in Seattle.

5. “Foundations for Success” from the NMAP in 2008 needs to be used for something more than cherry-picking statements in support of actions it does not recommend. The same could be said for the Great Lakes study document you cherry-picked or someone else cherry-picked for you in support of TfA.

Note: In Nashville and most other places TfA participant’s retention as teachers is abysmal. It seems that as Pam Hook feared TfA is producing more folks to tell teachers what to do as they distance themselves from the actual doing of teaching. Given the results from listening to the "experts" in Seattle, we have no need of more experts.

6. RCW 28A 645.020 needs to be followed rather than ignored. It certainly seems that Dr. Goodloe-Johnson as Board Secretary and Superintendent is not only responsible for ignoring a legally required duty to submit a filing within 20 days of an appeal of a Board decision, a filing that is certified to be correct, but she is also in direct violation of this law through evidence tampering. She or Dr. Enfield, or someone submitted the memo Dr. Goodloe-Johnson and/or Dr. Enfield used in constructing the 3-12-10 NTN Action Report. This fraudulent submission in place of the original memo that the superintendent claimed to be using was apparently done to cover the forgery used in the construction of the NTN action report.

I could continue with this list making it much longer, but the Board has heard and read it all before and failed to do anything of substance.

It has now reached the point where many Directors appear to enable the Superintendent's illegal actions or are accomplices in her wrongdoing. It is just really difficult to see anything other than that. The Superintendent produces few positive results anywhere; the community has "NO Confidence" in her and not much confidence in the Board that fails to direct her.

The Board’s and the Superintendent’s actions laud those "supposed educators" that tell others how to teach. TfA is a fine model of this, although some TfA participants continue in education past two years most prefer not to continue as teachers.

The Board's actions proclaim an acceptance of the tenants of the "Value Added Model" for teacher evaluation, while giving itself, and its Superintendent a pass for their hands in the creation of the currently proclaimed no results stagnation.

It is apparent that nationally instructional materials and practices are largely deficient. The following of advice from UW experts and from the stream of paid consultants selected by the Superintendent will assure Seattle of more of the same deficiencies or perhaps new deficiencies.

There are practices and materials, which are known to work successfully, but the Board has no interest in those as the Board focuses on supporting the every action of its Superintendent. Whether her actions are legal or illegal is apparently of no concern in the Board's continual support of Dr. Goodloe-Johnson.

Now each director has a currently lengthening list of the Superintendent's bad acts; to do nothing to bring the Superintendent to justice will certainly be an intentional failure to fulfill the duties of the office of school director.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

Will Seattle School Directors Ever Act?
or is it more Lessons in:
Oligarchy v. the Republic

December 14, 2010

Dear Seattle School Director,

It has come to my attention that you will meet to discuss the evaluation of the Superintendent on December 15, 2010.

This would be an excellent time for you to determine what course of action you will pursue in regard to the Superintendent's likely violation of state laws on several occasions.

Her role as Board secretary and yet failing to comply with RCW 28A 645.020 on several occasions is very troublesome. It his her actions in regard to the NTN contract in which I believe she tampered with evidence and forged the 3-12-2010 NTN Action Report, that should have each of you and the Board as a body calling for an investigation by authorities into possible prosecution for misdemeanors and felonies.

If you fail to act on Wednesday, it will be apparent that you are intentionally not fulfilling your oath of office and need to be recalled.

I look forward to being informed of any action that you decide to pursue in this regard. I would also like to be informed if you decide against investigation of the Superintendent's frequent and sometimes very serious violations of state laws.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.


My letter to KIRO's Dori Monson


This is just incredible. It has now become:

Will Seattle School Directors Ever Act?
or is it more Lessons in:
Oligarchy v. the Republic

It seems that public service in some respects has become doing a real number on the public.

Lying and forgery are just not a big deal when one is a public school official.

The reason for this is there are no apparent mechanisms to prosecute school officials that only lie and forge things.

You see the Attorney General usually defends the public officials against complaints.

HELP!!!! Apparently we are only the tax paying public and can be ignored by the rulers (pardon me I meant to say public servants).

-- Dan

Monday, December 13, 2010

Dan Willingham's Big Whiff

From the Washington Post:

Willingham: What Causes Performance Decline Across Grades?

By Valerie Strauss

My guest today is cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham,
a psychology professor at the University of Virginia and author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?”

Willingham, who is one of my favorites, had an absolute Whiff. It was like he swung at a wild pitch as it headed into the screen with the following statement:

"A parallel phenomenon is happening in math. In the early grades U.S. kids are not very strong on conceptual understanding, but they are pretty good at learning math facts and algorithms.That’s sufficient to produce good test scores in the early grades. Kids can recognize problem types and know which algorithms to apply.But once you start algebra, the absent conceptual knowledge really starts to hurt you."

I am now wondering if a Randy Johnson fast ball hit Dr. Willingham in the head as he swung at the pitch. It is hard to be further off the mark than his analysis of the Algebra difficulty above.

Note if he was correct then recent high school graduates from Seattle's High Schools would not be placing into their first Community College Math class at Seattle Central C.C. with 50% unable to place into a class above the equivalent of High School Math 1. Note 20% of recent high school graduates get a math placement into the equivalent of middle school math or lower. This is clearly not because these students have arithmetic fluency; again these are recent high school graduates' placements into a first math course.

Is Virginia that much different than Seattle?

"US students in the early grades are certainly not facile with math facts and algorithms and it is precisely their lack of fluency in both that causes them to hit a wall when they start algebra." -- Elizabeth Carson

Willingham's assertion seems to indicate we only need to better teach conceptual understanding in the early grades. This will play right into the hands of the those who promote ideology instead of reality: NCTM and TERC and Everyday Math and Trailblazers et al. For those are the pushers of fantasy who ignore results.

Note: Teachers and coaches of Band, Orchestra, Football, Basketball, Chess, etc. are focused on results and see a necessity for sound instruction and practice.

"An “absolute wake up call” is what Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the latest results of the the PISA test, which measures 10th grader’s achievement in reading, math, and science.

"Willingham needs to wake up - and fast" says Elizabeth Carson of NYC HOLD

Longer School Year ... why?
Trailblazers math ... why?
says the public

Longer School Year? Longer School Day?

Offhand, I don't see how more time to make posters or watch movies would produce more learning - ?!

I agree absolutely that students need more practice, but public schools like ours aren't going to use extra time to give students practice because public schools don't believe in practice.

Education schools, which train all public school teachers & administrators, believe that memorization and drill are bad. Drill and kill.

U.S. education schools believe in 'conceptual understanding' and 'problem solving,' and they believe that understanding and problem solving are separate from memory, memorization, and practice.

Absence of memorization and practice are a major selling point of Math Trailblazers, by the way. Trailblazers promotional material promises students will achieve 'fluency' in the math facts & the standard algorithms without memorization, worksheets, and drill.

-- parent in New York state

Gender and 2010 SAT Math Results
Adding Up the Differences between
Boys and Girls

Adding Up the Differences between Boys and Girls

By Mark Perry Friday, December 10, 2010

Despite claims that there are no gender differences in math performance, the data tell a different story.

The College Board recently released 2010 SAT test results for college-bound high school seniors, and here are some highlights.

1. Boys scored significantly higher on the 2010 SAT math test than their female counterparts, by a difference of 34 points. This 30-point-plus male advantage on the SAT math test follows a pattern that has persisted since at least 1972.

2. For all SAT math scores of 580 and above (70th percentile and higher), male students outnumbered female students. As test scores increased by 10-point intervals from 580 to 800, the male-female ratio steadily increased, reaching a peak of 2.08 males per female for perfect scores of 800 (8,072 males vs. 3,887 females).

3. More females (827,197) than males (720,793) took the test in 2010. Adjusting for those differences in sample sizes, 1.12 percent of males scored a perfect 800 compared to 0.47 percent of females who did so, for an adjusted male-female ratio of 2.38 to 1.

A New Zealand Analysis of Seattle Schools Leadership

December 13, 2010


As I look over the last four years and particularly Dr. Goodloe Johnson's 3.5 years, I think of what I read at Pam Hook's Artichoke Blog in New Zealand:
I have looked out for a conversation about positive deviance – one that could be used to make a difference in educational policy and programmes. I am certain you can knock out an edu_ground hog day list, most of us can. Those issues/outcomes that despite numerous initiatives/ projects/ contestable funding etc we consistently fail to change in classrooms and schools. Indeed the enduring nature of things we never seem to fix when “doing school” makes even the most enthusiast educator cynical in time – or else sees them prone to “this too will pass thinking” behaviour like becoming educational facilitators or consultants - or adopting other escapology tactics like applying for study awards – anything that allows them to keep thinking about school but at a safe distance from the doing of it. If you don't believe me check out the Twitter stream balance of tweets from educators who have just made “a presentation” to show someone else “how to do teaching” against those “who are doing the teaching” and tweet about their classroom planning. I am always fearful that one day we will run out of the people prepared to keep doing school and be left with those who want to tell us all how to do it.

{The above is from Potalanoa (talking into the night) and conversational transience}

Characteristics of the MGJ administration:

(1).. Employing lots of consultants and creating additional positions for educators that allows them to keep thinking about school but at a safe distance from the doing of it.

(2).. Astonishing lack of positive results ... but lots of edu_jargon and fairy-tales.

(3).. Deception in reporting results

(4).. Complete failure to use information intelligently and apply it to make decisions.

(5).. Extremely poor management.

(6).. Pam's request to: check out the Twitter stream balance of tweets from educators who have just made “a presentation” to show someone else “how to do teaching” against those “who are doing the teaching” and tweet about their classroom planning.

The Goodloe Johnson-Administration is characterized by a failure to listen to those who do the teaching. MGJ is equally poor at listening to most parents and actual community members as well.

Here is where the SPS are now:
The District uses data improperly. About four years ago I began submitting data and items from relevant studies, which were ignored at the Everyday Math adoption in May 2007, as Directors chose to trust their hired professionals instead of intelligently applying the relevant data. The results from EDM mirror exactly what I spent months testifying would happen.

"To improve a System requires the intelligent application of relevant data."

We have just seen the damage from the 17% lie and now we are on to the 66% lie.

The saddest part of this for me is that the data shows that the UW and the Central Administration are completely clueless as to how to bring about improvement. But from Page 9 of MGJ's Quarterly Update on "Listening and Responding":

"We also feel strongly that our principals need ongoing support and training and so we provide them with ongoing opportunities to learn and grow as well. We established a new program, Superintendent Initiative for Leadership Development (SILD), which pairs central office leaders with principals in professional development sessions. As central office leaders we must find innovative ways to ensure all our schools, specifically struggling schools, have meaningful partnerships and support for high-quality teaching and learning.

(I am not so sure SILD is "New" as it is more than a year old.)

It seems far more likely that solutions will be coming from those on learning's front lines than those at JSCEE.

These JSCEE folks need to give up on finding new innovative ways and try listening to parents and teachers. MGJ does not listen and does not intelligently and successfully apply either data or research. (In addition to being a very poor manager.)

TEAM MGJ has exhibited no feel for much of anything.

The Superintendent regularly violates laws and policies.

The decisions, which would produce positive results, would be based on peer reviewed research and a knowledge of a school's community and students. Team MGJ does neither of these things and as a result we see from OSPI 2009 to 2010 MSP and HSPE results:

Limited English Students doing poorly, Special Education Students doing poorly. I could go on but I've sent you all the data and Blog posted it and rarely get a response from any of you.

The Board and the Superintendent are thus far oblivious.

It often seems that any success at schools occurs in spite of those at the JSCEE.

The best comment on this is from Dr. Eric Anderson's original memo sent to you School Director's on 2-2-2010 in regard to the New Tech Network contract for Cleveland:

"Since the data is mixed, the primary question is whether Seattle Public Schools believes strongly in the research-based NTN learning model. Success will more than likely depend on the quality of the program implementation. Knowing ahead of time that the NTN model does not guarantee strong results only enhances the degree to which the burden falls on the district and the schools to achieve success."

Of course MGJ never sent that message as evidence to the Superior Court nor is that the message she used in constructing the 3-12-2010 NTN action report. She said she used that memo sent to the Board but instead she used a draft memo from an earlier time. (More lies)

That means she committed forgery. MGJ is filled with jargon and completely devoid of recommendations that are based on sound and thoughtful research.

Are you aware the TfA Teachers in Nashville had only 10% of them teaching in year three.

MGJ and her team have NO ability to intelligently apply relevant data in the making of thoughtful decisions.

This is so sad. The Attorney General should have already been investigating the Superintendent but clearly none of you seem to have any interest in making such a request.

Joy Anderson et al. dropped the NTN lawsuit filed in regard to the Board's 4-7-10 decision so that (1) You directors can talk openly about what happened as there is no litigation happening and (2) the Attorney General can investigate as there is no longer legal action filed in regard to the case that involved forgery and the submission of tampered evidence.

Will any of the seven director's contact the Governor and have her get the AG on this important task?

When $800,000 goes to NTN, millions for MAP, and tens of millions to close schools and reopen them, it is no wonder that there is little money left for interventions for struggling learners ... Oh right, Dr. Enfield said the SPS are looking for outside funds for interventions. Interventions would be a core item in any instructional plan, yet the SPS are hopeful of maybe finding outside funding for interventions.

Good Luck to struggling learners and families with this crew entrenched at the JSCEE.

It seems the BOARD is assisting the Superintendent in insulting and attacking those “who are doing the teaching” and tweeting about their classroom planning.

Hard to forget Bob Murphy, Mike Rice, and Glenda Madison testifying about what the math kids in SE high schools need (more practice and increases in explicit instruction) and then the Board excluding evidence submitted by the public in making another pathetic decision based on no data and no thinking. Oh but Greta from OSPI testified anything might work ... right Greta who is another one who gets to keep thinking about school but at a safe distance from the doing of it.

I sure would appreciate a response. Peter Maier has never written me anything.
Steve Sundquist ceased all substantive communications after I informed him that he missed vital evidence on pg xxiii paragraph #27 of the NMAP report.

It seems that the evidence is continually presented to push a pre-made decision.

Sherry Carr's TfA study half sentence that seemed to say the exact opposite of the report she was using.

Do Directors consciously go looking for things to support administration or does the administration feed the Directors these cherry-picked sound-bites?

Well you Directors certainly have a mess. Are you going to doing anything about the clearly illegal acts of the Superintendent or does the public just keep on filing recall and discharge actions against the directors?

This current situation looks like a clear conscious violation of oath of office. If any director chooses to ignore the repeated illegal actions of the Superintendent, how can this not be intentional?

Are Directors planning on adopting other escapology tactics?

Pam Hook looked out for a conversation about positive deviance – one that could be used to make a difference in educational policy and programmes. Its a good thing she was not in Seattle because she would find nothing here.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.


It seems that many TfA folks put in the two years at the school level and then choose to join "those who want to tell us all how to do it."

That is hardly the solution to closing achievement gaps.

On Wednesday the Board members will be having a meeting to evaluate the Superintendent. If they continue to let the Superintendent's gross misdemeanors and felonies like fraud and forgery go unreported to proper authorities look for yet another filing for the recall and discharge of School Directors.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No Trespass Orders issued against members of the public
another inadequate policy from the Seattle School District

Dear Mr. Cerqui and Mr. Treat,

There appears to be a problem with Seattle Schools Board Policy F44.01. This policy - which concerns, in part, No Trespass Orders issued against members of the public - does NOT inform the public of their right to appeal a Notice of Trespass to the King County Superior Court. This appears to violate the Division 1 Court of Appeals ruling in Green vs. State of Washington (Sept. 27,2010; attached).

From page 14 of the Green Ruling:

"The bare right to a judicial appeal, without being informed of that right, was insufficient to protect Green from arbitrary action by the school district."

In the email that is copied below, Joy Stevens addresses this problem with F44.01 by asserting that persons who avail themselves of the appeal process described in F44.01 will be told, in the District's response to their appeal, of their right, per RCW 28A.645.010, to a judicial appeal.

Notwithstanding Joy Stevens' assurance, it appears to me that Board Policy F44.01 does not provide sufficient assurance that every person who is issued a No Trespass order will be told in a timely way of their bare right to a judicial appeal.

F44.01 does not inform people of their bare right to judicial appeal. F44.01 makes no reference to the law that creates this right.

* Under current policy, as elaborated by Joy Stevens, people served Notices of Trespass will NOT be told of their right to judicial appeal unless both of these happen: The person decides to appeal. The person exhausts the appeal process, and is not happy with the outcome. This creates a situation where at best only a SUBSET of individuals served Notices of Trespass will be told, eventually, of their right to judicial appeal.

* Joy Stevens' assurance notwithstanding, there exists considerable risk that even persons who do avail themselves of the F44.01 appeal process will never learn of their right to judicial appeal. There are no structures in place to assure that District officials who respond to the person's appeal will remember to inform the person of this right.

* Furthermore, the timing of when a person receives notice of their bare right to judicial appeal may influence whether that person decides to avail themselves of the F44.01 appeal process in the first place. The District's failure to inform served people of this right contemporaneous to time of service very probably increases the probability that the served person will NOT avail themselves of the appeal process.

* Finally, in my view, the Green ruling makes clear that "at minimum" a school district must tell the excluded person of their right to judicial appeal to superior court. If the District fails to tell the person of this right in a timely way, then the Green Ruling makes clear that the thirty day limitation on filing an appeal is not binding on the served person. By failing to mention the judicial appeal right in the appeal section of F44.01, it seems to me that the Seattle Public School Board of Directors is not meeting this "minimum" due process requirement.

* In so far as case law is "law," it seems that F44.01 is legally invalid, due to the fact that both of these are true: 1. Board policy may not violate law (RCW 28A.320.015). 2. this policy violates the Green Ruling. It would seem to be a solemn responsibility of lawyers in the employ of the District, and serving at the pleasure of the board, to inform the Board when such situation exists.

The District can eliminate all risk of a person not learning of this right if the Board would amend policy F44.01 to provide the following:

1.The standard Notice of trespass form in use by the District must refer a person to the District website pages where they can learn of the appeal process. (It would be even better if the appeal process were attached to the Notice of Trespass.)
2. Each and every Notice of Trespass issued by any school official must be submitted in writing, using the most current District-adopted Notice of Trespass Form.
3. F44.01 states very clearly that the person has the right to appeal to the Superior Court of King County.

It seems that it is clearly in the District's interest to rectify this problem with F44.01.

* The Green Ruling makes clear that the district has violated and excluded a person's due process rights if they do not inform that person of their "bare right to a judicial appeal." The Green Ruling makes clear that failure of a school district to fully address a person's due process rights in a timely way renders a Notice of Trespass unlawful, and therefore subject to judicial appeal, for all time.

* It is in the District's interest that when Notices of Trespass are issued for lawful reasons, that these Notice not be rendered unlawful, due to failure of the District to fully, timely, correctly address the served person's procedural due process rights.

* It is in the District's interest to avoid violating the civil rights of members of the public, through allowing principals to issue, and then enforcing, de fact unwritten Notices of Trespass.

It is clearly in the public's interest that the district fully, timely, correctly address procedural due process rights of individuals who are issued Notices of Trespass for lawful reasons.

This email does not address certain other problems with F44.01:

* Under current policy there is considerable risk that issued Notices of Trespass are unlawful for reason that either

o the person did not in fact engage in any adequately documented behavior that is deemed by RCW 28A.635.020 to be unlawful.

o the person was a parent of an enrolled student, and was lawfully exercising the right provided by RCW 28A.605.020

* Under current policy, there is considerable risk of a person having their name posted publicly on the basis of a factually or legally unlawful Notice of Trespass.

* District does not provide literature to notified persons of the valid (statutory) reasons for a school official to order a person to leave school grounds, and to issue Notices of Trespass.

These additional problems will be addressed in a School Board Action Report that will be submitted by Seattle Shadow School Board at a future date.

Please indicate if you will be making a recommendation to the board that they amend F44.01 according to the recommendation in this communication.

Thank you,

Joan Sias,

authorized to speak for, and to serve as
Seattle Shadow School Board (S3B) contact on this matter.

Next Letter:

Mr. Noel Treat, General Counsel, Seattle Public Schools
Mr. John Cerqui, Assistant General Counsel, Seattle Public Schools

Dear Mr. Treat and Mr. Cerqui,

An article posted on the Seattle Times website last night at 10:12 pm, authored by Lauren Williams, underscores the email sent to you earlier yesterday evening. The Williams article reported on a proposed change in Seattle Police's trespass policy. The email was about Seattle Public School's trespass policy (F44.01).

In this article, William's reports that under a proposed revision to its trespass policy, Seattle Police will no longer issue what in effect are restraining orders for public access to private commercial property. Only judges can issue restraining orders. The proposed policy will be implemented in a pilot program beginning Jan 1, 2011.

Khandelwal [*] said the pilot program will call for officers to warn offenders orally or in writing before further action....The key difference from the current program would be that those who had violated the rules in the past would not be banned from the property in the future, as long as they abide by the code of conduct. That means even if a person were loitering in a convenience-store parking lot one night, the person still could go to the store during the day as a legitimate customer, police said.

We urge you, as District lawyers, to review policy F44.01 in light of the following, and to recommend to the Board such changes as will bring this policy into alignment with recent judicial decisions:

* District Court 1 Ruling in Green v. State of Washington (attached)
* Court settlement referred to in the Lauren Williams' Seattle Times article
* Proposed revised Seattle Police trespass policy

Members of the public have requested copies of all written and unwritten Notices of Trespass issued by SPS in the past five years. The SPS Public Information officer has indicated that she was able to locate about sixty four notices.

We urge you, as District lawyers, to review the legality of all written and unwritten exclusions as are currently in force, dismiss bans that are unlawful, and issue letters of apology to unlawfully banned persons.

Thank you,

Joan Sias,
authorized to speak, in this matter, for Seattle Shadow School Board

Friday, December 10, 2010

Attorney General needs to investigate Seattle Schools Superintendent

December 10, 2010

Dear Seattle Schools Director Michael DeBell,

Given a significant number of revelations about Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson’s actions, it is clearly time for the Seattle School Board to request that the Governor ask the Washington State Attorney General to investigate the Seattle Schools Superintendent in regard to a series of violations of state laws. I believe that the AG will find “gross misdemeanors” and at least one “felony”. Please request the Governor to have the Attorney General investigate.

Joy Anderson et al. have notified Superior Court Judge Gregory Canova that they are dropping the appeal of the Board’s NTN contract decision of April 7, 2010. This is being done so that the Board can publicly discuss what happened in the making of that decision. On October 25, 2010 I left a copy of the initial brief and all the exhibits in this case for you at the JSCEE.

Among the actions that we wish to have you bring to the attention of the Governor to request the Attorney General to investigate are:

(1).. Misleading public officials by providing them with oral and written information that she knew was incorrect.
The June 4, 2008 Strategic Plan statement on page 11 that 17% of SPS graduates meet the minimum credit requirements to enter a four-year college is a prime example of her work. The fact you and others asked:
“How this figure could possibly be correct?”
Yet she failed to clarify this lie for more than two years. This speaks volumes about the Superintendent’s mode of operation.

(2).. As recently as this week’s article in the Seattle Times, I find deception continuing with:

“the district wanted to make it clear that, in its new school reports, it measured test-score gains based on students' performance compared with their academic peers, not their past performance”.

Yet when viewed on the whole district level the reports say absolutely nothing of value because comparing a cohort against the bottom third of a cohort will always produce 66% of the students making gains regardless of the performance of the students. This fallacy has been repeatedly pointed-out; in fact, I did so in my testimony before the Board and Superintendent at the Board meeting on Wednesday December 8. You have my written testimony in regard to 66% of the District’s English Language Learners making progress on the State Reading test. I included the test performance gauges for that group of students from grade 6 in 2008 to grade 8 in 2010, which reveals and entirely different picture. This is another example of the Superintendent’s desire to produce misleading statistics for the School Directors and others in the public, which makes things appear far better than they are.

(3).. The Superintendent is the Secretary of the School Board as such she bears a lot of responsibility for the Board’s failure to fulfill RCW 28A 645.020 in failing to provide the filing of a complete certified correct transcript of evidence to the court in the appeal of the April 7, 2010 New Tech Network contract. Not only was the filing not certified correct, it was incorrect. The filing shows that the memo used in the preparation of the New Tech Network contract was not the original memo sent to the Board but rather a draft version of that memo masquerading as the original. The Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer were responsible for the production of the Action Report. In the evidence submitted to the court the draft version of the memo was placed into evidence and the memo sent to the Board was missing. The Superintendent in my opinion is guilty of the class C felony of forgery in the production of the 3-12-2010 NTN Action Report.

It is time to get the Attorney General to investigate the actions of the Superintendent.

The oath of office you took as director states I:

“Will to the best of my judgment, skill and ability, truly, faithfully, diligently and impartially perform the duties of the office of Seattle School Director.”

A diligent and impartial performance of the duties of the office of Seattle School Director given the knowledge you have in regard to the actions of the Superintendent would require you to contact the Governor to get the Attorney General to investigate the Seattle Schools Superintendent for multiple violations of state laws. Your duty calls for this action.


Danaher M. Dempsey, Jr.

To our faithful blog readers:

Do NOT miss the Fabulous Meg Diaz with:

Sunday, December 5, 2010
Crappy! Chart! Thursday! Simple Cons: Beating the Last 17% Out of a Dead Horse.

Which includes my comment:

Note on page 11 of the plan it states:
17% of students satisfied Minimum credit requirements to enter a four-year college.

It seems only reasonable to put forth a figure that actually applied to the students graduating. The students and their counselors were not trying to meet 2012 or 2013 standards for admission but rather 2007 standards.

This is just another example of the Superintendent failing to report the relevant data and preferring to submit something less relevant in a deceptive way. That has become her hallmark in Seattle. Her title of "Dr. No Confidence" is definitely merited by her actions and words.