Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Testimony on
New Student Assignment Plan
producing increasingly unequal schools

Directors, I am Dan Dempsey, 1-5-2011

The Transition for the New Student Assignment Plan is an introduction item.

The NSAP is based on making every school into a quality school, but “Quality Schools” are not mentioned in the transition plan tonight and that “quality school” thought is painfully absent from any thinking lately.

The Southeast Education Initiative results from Aki Kurose, Cleveland, and Rainier Beach showed increased spending produced no improvement, yet increased spending to produce quality is the basis for the NSAP.

To have a quality school requires (1) coherence of instructional planning and (2) execution in the delivery of that instruction. Neither occurs often enough in many schools, largely because of the failing preferences of central leaders.

Does ideology trump data?

IS SEATTLE close to every school a quality school?

(1) Close enough to stop the quality discussion?
(2) Close enough to divert carryover funds from 31 low-income schools to Cleveland STEM?
(3) Close enough to continue using “Discovering Math” in high schools?
(4) Close enough to assign students to separate and increasingly unequal schools?

Seattle widened math achievement gaps with Everyday Math, then “Discovering Math” for the high school. The Black 10th grade OSPI Math test pass rate is now 12.5% at grade 10 …. {White = 68.1%} That achievement gap is 55.6%

Glancing at school report cards for “8th graders ready for high school math,” gives false hope; as further investigation of the school reports reveals shallow statistical coverage disguising serious learning and “grade inflation” problems.

“Ready for high school math” is determined solely from transcripts. In 2009 100% of Madrona 8th graders were ready for high school math, but only 15% passed the math WASL.

Consider Aki Kurose’s 2008 8th graders; 64% were ready for high school math and 24% passed the WASL. Many of that cohort went to Cleveland or Rainier Beach, which in 2010 each had OSPI math pass rates in the teens. 64% ready for high school math, yet only one fourth of them could pass the OSPI high school math test two years later.

Blaine k-8 is the only school where ready for High School math closely matches the OSPI pass rate, where 67% “are ready” aligns with 69% “passing the test”. Aki Kurose in 2010 was less than half way reliable as 73% are supposedly ready but only 35% pass the test.

Not surprisingly for Seattle Math, the schools with the largest mismatches between OSPI pass rates and HS readiness were often Low-Income High Minority schools.

The NSAP transition is not going well unless producing separate and increasingly unequal schools is its goal.

The NSAP in its current form is ethically and academically unacceptable.


Anonymous said...

Compound poor math and science programs with no child left behind, TFA, and Common Core Standards and you have a perfect storm - nearly everything that could go wrong for public education - has gone wrong.

dan dempsey said...

Terrorists must be at work. Hattie is absolutely correct there is no evidence used in decision making.

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

Well there is no improvement coming .. that is for sure.

We have the perfect storm for no improvement ever.

kprugman said...

I know of one union currently striking. The district refused to come to the bargaining table. And instead has resorted to paying substitutes $250 per day to break the strike.

We're asking our substitutes to respect teachers and not cross the picket. Brace yourselves, this is going to be quite an interesting year. The rumor is the district is recruiting subs from as far away as the Phillipines.

As far as I am concerned education reform be damned, this is about busting unions, not about kids or academics ...Obama and the Governors Roundtable are going to regret this fight in the next election.

Where the district found their stockpile of cash raises another red flag concerning this reform movement's questionable ethics.

Some Americans have forgotten their Democratic roots - their arrogance and indifference toward serving this country is downright embarrassing. What type of government disconnects itself from its voters?

dan dempsey said...

Oh yes a fine mess is being forced upon us.

Got Dough? How Billionaires rule our Schools.

From Winter 2011 - Dissent Magazine

By Joanne Barkan