Why we can’t count dropouts or much else in Georgia

This in-depth news story on the long and tortured road to a student information system is depressing. Like many of you, I have been waiting for a fully functioning student tracking system for a long time in Georgia.

Estimates vary on how much money the state has wasted on false starts and wrong turns in its efforts, but I think we could have given top teachers bonuses with the money –. and bought every one of them a Lexus.

This story has more officials promising that the end is in sight and that the right people are finally on the job.

I don’t know. We’ve heard it before and many million later, the system is still not 100 percent.

According to reporter Heather Vogell:

Good student data systems help educators spot trends and help schools identify potential dropouts in time to reach them. Georgia has a limited ability to do either, and is instead consumed with more basic tasks of collecting and managing the data.

“We are drowning in data and starved for information,” lamented notes in a draft PowerPoint presentation by the Department of Education obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

A source of strife since the 1990s, the student information system has served as a bludgeon for politicians to beat up opponents. It has roiled business leaders puzzled by the state’s failure to accomplish what they say should be a straightforward task.

And the project has baffled one software provider who says the state pays $308,000 a year for software it barely uses that could solve some of its biggest problems.

The reasons for the failings are hard to pinpoint. Some speculate the system wasn’t made a priority, or given enough money.

What’s clear is the project passed through so many hands, it’s hard to know who is most to blame for its troubles. The effort has spanned two state superintendents and three governors, a revolving state board of education and a host of state officials. Cox has wrangled with it throughout her two terms.

At issue is Georgia’s ability to build a data system with “longitudinal” capabilities, which allow educators to track students and their test scores, among other things, from year to year and school to school. It is a simple idea that has been difficult to execute.

This summer, U.S. education officials proposed rules for states competing for key federal “Race to the Top” funds. The grants would stress the importance of a longitudinal system and require states to remove legal barriers to linking students’ test scores to classroom teachers. States’ capacity to measure teachers’ performance will likely be a priority for the awards, federal officials said.

Right now, Georgia’s data system cannot link the test scores of students below sixth grade with teachers.

The state also still loses track of thousands of students a year when they transfer out of their districts or drop out. The AJC reported in June that the state’s data system showed no further records for nearly 20,000 students who were coded as having simply switched school districts last year. The glitch could signal problems with the reported graduation rate, which relies on an accurate count of dropouts

Heather did a great job untangling this mess. I would love to hear what you have to say.

52 comments Add your comment

David S

September 26th, 2009
10:32 pm

The government can’t successfully teach. Why would you think they can count. These are the same folks who think that you can print your way to prosperity and that spending a trillion dollars of newly printed money can somehow permanently boost the economy.

Failure after failure after failure. Why do all of you keep supporting them?????

SteveR

September 27th, 2009
1:35 am

Same people that gave us those big satellite dishes behind the schools is now in charge of the student information system. Or at least is seems that way.
Bet the farm that we could get a group of computer literate Cobb (insert your school system) high school students and they could come up with a system to track the student population at 1% of the cost. How is it we’re so short of funds, yet there’s no program in place for qualified students to help with the network or classroom computers for Cobb schools? How important is it to foster the education of a qualified population of computer technicians going forward?

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

September 27th, 2009
2:02 am

Maureen, why should a state bureaucracy whose failures in educating our kids are numerous and debilitating expose in a timely manner their ineptitude to full public view?

Tony

September 27th, 2009
7:20 am

Too much data collection and too many trivial rules are tracked by our current and insatiable appetite for data. With so much required information it is no wonder we can’t come up with a system that helps us sort and analyze all this information to identify trends.

The article claims that data collections have been simplified. Hardly. Each year, we continue to report the same kinds of useless information as always. The processes have not been streamlined in any way that would allow users to eliminate all the redundant work. We also rely on archaic ideas of how the data should be organized.

Now, with this said, I think the real problem is more related to lack of expertise than mismanagment. I am quite technologically literate and understand the fundamentals of computer programming. Having this kind of knowledge helps me discern better ways of sorting and analyzing data collected within our school.

The understanding of data collection falls apart within school systems because many of the leaders have absolutely no clue how to organize data in a way that computers can better support the users. We are frequently required to fill out spreadsheets with various student data. These spreadsheets are nothing more than glorified chart-papers because they are so poorly put together. They also create redundant work for us at the school level. Nearly every spreadsheet we fill out for our county office could be obtained from our excellent student information system. This system gives a lot of power to the users to extract data elements into meaningful charts for analysis. BUT NOONE KNOWS HOW TO DO THIS!!!!!!!!! So, they resort to having each school fill out their charts. And we have to give the same information to different people in our main office because the next director down the hall wants their spreadsheet their way and can not share with the previous director that wanted the same information.

I could go on and on but it’s time to get dressed and do something constructive.

InAtlanta

September 27th, 2009
9:10 am

I remember talking with a Ph.D. from the state dept. of ed. in late 2002. Despite having an Oracle Data Base Admin. certification, a college degree in computer information systems, 18 years experience, 12 with Gwinnett Public schools in Information Tech., I was not considered for even a $14.00 per hour job with that department (the lower paying of two jobs). The educator/Ph.D. I interviewed with was more concerned that a street should be named after Jesse Helms. Even today, Schools sytems are hiring teachers from out of state rather than qualified, certified teachers living in the Atlanta area. Education is a racket in Georgia. Its all about who you are married to, play tennis with, your age, color of skin etc. etc.

catlady

September 27th, 2009
9:14 am

Amen to Tony.

In our county we can never, from day to day, count on the information in our data system being correct. I don’t know if it is from entries in error, or the basic data program itself has problems. Our county is big on hiring people for jobs for which they do not have the qualifications, based on breeding instead (who your mama was). In addition, many of our data entry people have too many other responsibilities, which leads to errors. But how do you explain the fact that the data does not seem to be linked–that you can input the correct data on one screen and it does not show up correct on another? And how do you explain checking a list of students that is correct today and then checking it a week later and a student who has exited the program SIX YEARS AGO shows up on the list as receiving services.

I just know, at our local level, the data management is a TOTAL MESS. And I imagine what we see is a microcosm of what is at the state level.

ScienceTeacher671

September 27th, 2009
9:15 am

Agree with Tony about the lack of expertise in school systems. We have plenty of data, it’s just that no one knows how to manipulate it or make it available for those who need it, and sometimes those who need it don’t know how to access it unless it’s printed out for them.

Maybe they should put a student in charge of creating the system – I say this only partly tongue in cheek, as the students always seem to know how to evade the “net nanny” software; only the teachers & administrators are blocked.

catlady

September 27th, 2009
9:17 am

Maureen, why don’t you do something on the hiring by breeding issue?

catlady

September 27th, 2009
9:24 am

InAtlanta: our system does the opposite–hires local folks who do not have the credentials, experience, etc, while not hiring “outsiders” who might actually bring improvement to the schools. If you did a relationship tree, most of our principals, CO staff, etc, are linked to one or more others.

lynn

September 27th, 2009
9:49 am

Many of long time observers (all outsiders) of the GA DOE believe that all these mishaps are intentional. There is absolutely no desire for the citizenry to be informed that the longer students stay in GA public schools the worse they do.

Does anyone know if Kathy Cox can run again? If so, does she plan to do so?

OvenBaked

September 27th, 2009
9:55 am

All these topics are distractions from the real issues. When is America going to wake up and demand answers about what really happened on 9/11/2001. The Bush administration, Taliban, and Enron were all tied together in business deals. When will people demand answers about this? Skilling resigned in 8/2001 leaving all their domestic and foreign investors who poured millions into the company out in the cold. Then here comes 9/11 trade center catastrophy. After 8 years, still not real answers. Do people not care anymore or is health care reform and tea parties the real misdirection and distraction?

Maureen Downey

September 27th, 2009
10:02 am

Catlady,
If you are talking about APS, I think there was a lot more nepotism in the past than there is today.
However, on the issue of people hiring known quantities, such as a friend’s son or a neighbor’s daughter, I think that happens across professions and is not limited to education.
I found more nepotism in rural systems where reform superintendents often complained that trying to get rid of someone meant more than just dealing with that single employee. There was the sister who was the school counselor, the brother who ran the buses and the father on the school board. It was taking on a family dynasty. Often, school systems are the biggest employers in rural areas so it is not unusual to see so many members of a single family on the payroll.
On the other hand, lots of kids follow their parents’ career footsteps so it is probably not so unusual to find several generations of teachers in a family tree.

William Casey

September 27th, 2009
10:17 am

An improved data system would reveal the REAL dropout rate in Georgia and create a political fire storm. That’s why it hasn’t happened. Of course, I believe that some teens SHOULD drop out and be put to work. There are many teens (for whatever reason) who neither benefit from nor contribute to the educational process.

d

September 27th, 2009
10:26 am

Just one note to all those who complain about “government” schools…. just remember, we have government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” in the United States. If you don’t like what it’s doing, vote the bozos out and get somebody competent to run things, not somebody who only cares about a fishing pond in his native Houston County because he had a little “R” next to his name on the ballot.

catlady

September 27th, 2009
10:59 am

Ms.Downey, I teach in a rural system. The kinship ties are very strong, and result in an inordinate amount of waste and questionable hiring. I imagine it is the same in many areas, but it does not make it right. It is a long-running, sad joke in my area.

Jim Miller

September 27th, 2009
10:59 am

One of the many problems with tracking students that drop out starts with the definition of a drop out. When I retired in 2005 I had spent the last ten years as a school administrator in two different systems dealing with attendance, among other things. As of 2005, there were three ways to leave a Georgia public school without being considered a drop out-you could graduate, you could transfer to another school, or you could die. Any other choices made you a dropout. What we couldn’t keep up with were those students who left our system without formally withdrawing. They were labled withdrawn for lack of attendance, and that was that-unless some school systems thought they would end up somewhere else, and listed them as transferred. If a student went on to receive a GED, he was still considered a dropout. Withdrawal for health reasons?-dropout. Withdrawl for economic reasons?dropout. I was never sure anyone ever went back and changed/updated the data when we received more information about the student. I know of one student who was hospitalized while in a coma, and she became a dropout. I know it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Until we can agree to a definition, tracking dropouts will be like counting sand at the beach.

d

September 27th, 2009
11:11 am

Think I got filtered….
Just one note to all those who complain about “government” schools…. just remember, we have government “of the people, by the people, and for the people” in the United States. If you don’t like what it’s doing, vote the bozos out and get somebody competent to run things, not somebody who only cares about a fishing pond in his native Houston County because he had a little “R” next to his name on the ballot.

Carla

September 27th, 2009
12:29 pm

Nepotism exists in most school systems. That is why there are so many incompetent people in high positions. Education in Georgia is a joke. Principals constantly drive data down your throat and threatenyou with losing your job when students don’t performs. I believe that most teachers work tirelessly to ensure that their students are academically successful. However, it is very disheartening that there are no incentives offered to teachers who do exceed in the classroom. I do hold advanced degrees, but I do not believe that teachers should receive thousands of dollars for obtaining one. I work with teachers who hold only Bachelor’s degrees, yet their students outperform the students of the teachers who hold several degrees. I expect to receive backlash from my comments because my views are unpopular among these teachers. For example, I work with a teacher who constantly complains that she is not able to study the curriculum because she is working on a Doctorate degree, and she has a part-time job. Well, excuse me for thinking that her job as a teacher supersedes her obtaining a doctorate degree and her part-time job. Of course she is not physically attending class. Not many teachers in Georgia actually earn their degrees from universities in Georgia. Obtaining advanced degrees is a personal goal. Teachers are getting paid for earning advanced degrees in areas that they are not working in. That is unfair. That money should be used for teachers’ bonuses. I have personally witnessed teachers working on their degrees during instructional time, and they are not concerned about the children. I do not agree with Gov. Perdue on many issues, but I do support his stance on rewarding teachers for student performance, not degrees.

Cobb County

September 27th, 2009
1:49 pm

I agree, the state doens’t want anyone to know how bad things really are. Try and get the cut scores for the CRCT. They don’t want you to know that they continue to massage the data so the CRCT scores go up. And when you question why ITBS scores go down you hear, it doesn’t align to the GPS.

Old School

September 27th, 2009
1:59 pm

Tracking student status, on a state-wide basis, is probably a task somewhat tantamount to standing on the beach, broom in hand, and attempting to sweep the ocean back to European shores…a seemingly impossible, and extremely frustrating job. I don’t have the answers, however, I’m sure this is not a new challenge for educators; this is, in all likelihood, a challenge faced by the education elite since the beginning of time, or at least, since mankind began packing the younguns off to school. So the big question is…has anyone in the education circles bothered to gain some insight on how this task was affected in past years/centuries? Surely that kid buldge, known as the Post War Baby Boom, presented problems of equal, if not greater magnitude. On a broader scale, if we could get away from the habit of re-inventing the wheel every few years and identify what worked in the past, it just might yield positive results. But, Hey! All those people, hired to serve the public, would have nothing to do…perhaps we should just continue stumbling around in the dark. What’s the Georgia motto…WORK HARDER, NOT SMARTER.

ScienceTeacher671

September 27th, 2009
2:14 pm

You know, the ITBS is the Iowa Test of BASIC SKILLS. I wonder which “basic skills” are taught in Iowa (or other states) that aren’t included in the GPS? And why don’t Georgia students need these “basic skills”?

ScienceTeacher671

September 27th, 2009
2:26 pm

Mr. Smith teaches honor students, and 100% of Mr. Smith’s students pass the CRCT.

Ms. Jones teaches special education, and 60% of Ms. Jones’ students pass the CRCT.

If both have equal educational degrees and years of experience, who should make more money?

catlady

September 27th, 2009
2:26 pm

I have LOL that we have dropped the ITBS for 3rd graders this year, after it consistently shows year after year that kids are NOt making the miraculous gains that we have claimed they were making with Reading First; that, in fact, most of our kids who “pass” the CRCT score very very low on the test of BASIC skills. (For example, knowing that the state bird of GA is the brown thrasher is really NOT THAT IMPORTANT, yet it appears on EVERY version of the 3rd grade CRCT I have ever seen.)

If we had an independent researcher, with no ties to the GA DOE or the test manufacturers or school supply companies, we might get some competent statistical analysis that might actually inform instruction. AS IF the state DOE would allow us to follow the findings from that data.

catlady

September 27th, 2009
2:33 pm

Scienceteacher671: To answer your question, because knowing the brown thrasher is the state bird of GA is more important than being able to correctly puntuate a sentence. Or, put another way, finding out your children cannot do the math an average student in the rest of the US can do at that grade really hurts!

catlady

September 27th, 2009
2:33 pm

Spelling is also important; ie, “punctuate”.

Cobb County

September 27th, 2009
3:18 pm

Do other states do a better job of tracking students? If they do then why not ask for assistance.

concerned

September 27th, 2009
6:36 pm

Did you know the state counts those students that graduate in four and half or five years as dropouts! Strange but true. Do you think those that took more than 4 years to graduate college think of themselves as college dropouts?
If someone gets a GED why are they considered a dropout? A GED can get a person into college or a job just like a diploma.
This new diploma requirements in Georgia for this years 10th graders is damagin to thos students that have good technical hands on skills but don’t care for liberal arts education. We will go backwards and push more kids out of school.

Lee

September 27th, 2009
8:29 pm

Our government cannot account for hundreds of Billions of dollars that they handed out a few short months ago, are we really surprised that they cannot track a few wayward students?

At the end of the day, if one database says that you have a 20% dropout rate and another says that you have a 25% dropout rate, does it really matter?

I find it ironic that the government is so worried about the rate of dropouts, but then pays these loafers welfare and other assorted benefits to lay around and do nothing.

When I have to pay taxes to support public schools and then pay private school in order for my children to receive a decent education, then I have no real concern when the cronic troublemakers drop out. Let them. Maybe the schools will improve without them.

Besides, I’d rather see a kid drop out and get his GED than for another to stay in school and graduate while performing on a 7th grade level. Y’all might want to work on that little item first.

sped teacher

September 27th, 2009
8:39 pm

Some facts:
1) A student who receives a special education diploma is counted as a drop out.
2) A student who passes all required courses, passes all sections of the GHSGT, except ONE, receives a certificate of attendance (counted as a dropout).
3) New ruling: students with significant cognitive disabilities if they are steered correctly by administration can now receive a regular diploma, while the student above will not!

So how can you find the real statistics in all this???

concerned in Gwinnett

September 27th, 2009
9:22 pm

I agree with others here and believe there are some who had rather keep the truth hidden. Where’s the transparency and why does it cost so much to do an open records request from the public school system? Why wouldn’t Georgia want to have a better data tracking system to improve the dismal graduation rates. It all starts with good clean data. And yes, why doesn’t Georgia consult with other states who don’t appear to be having the same problems?

Rosie

September 27th, 2009
10:59 pm

Typical government—spend, spend, spend and no results. Now Obama wants to extend the school year and school day so kids will have a safe place. Google it to find out more.

Do They Feel Impotent Or What?

September 28th, 2009
2:18 am

I see that we, the poor employees of the Fayette County School System, are getting bludgeoned by our school board. Of our salaries and benefits hit the hardest. It appeared that PAGE and GAE have the lionshare of the employees as their members. Teachers are so happy to be teaching here instead of Fulton, Atlanta, or Clayton. But, PAGE’s local president, Joseph Jarrell, and GAE’s local leader, Dana Camp, teachers at McIntosh and Fayette County high schools respectively, seem to be so impotent and helpless at doing anything for their member-employees. Why did we pay dues to these organizations if they won’t even stage a simple protest. They walk to the gallows willingly, just muttering moans like this, “Well, I wish it were better.” The teachers are suffering with a nine percent decrease in pay (after factoring the loss in benefits). It could rise as high as 11%! Hey Joseph Jarrell and Dana Camp, what are you going to do? Just sit there and take it? As a teacher in Fayette for the last three years (having left Clayton), I am shocked that my PAGE membership is going for naught. What has it gotten us? Nothing. Pure shame. Come on, Joseph Jarrell, do something besides looking dour. PAGE is a joke. Oh, now I remember, the administrators at the Fayette Central Office are members of PAGE and/or GAE. Hmm.

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

September 28th, 2009
2:37 am

Caught between the self-serving ways of the Georgia educational bureaucracies and the gross apathy of a majority of our state’s adult population, the futures of legions of our children don’t look very bright.

Ernest

September 28th, 2009
5:45 am

concerned in Gwinnett said,

why doesn’t Georgia consult with other states who don’t appear to be having the same problems?

What information do you have to show that other states are NOT having the same problems? When you consider the definitions of ‘drop out’ that sped teacher mentions, one can see some of the difficulties with this measure. Heck, I understand a student is considered a drop out if they transfer to a neighboring school district in the same state. Assuming this is true, what do you think happens if they transfer to another state?

It seems a ‘national standard’ is needed so that measures are handled consistently across the country. You’d also need a national database that can ‘track’ students, regardless of where they move. You’d also need to determine the appropriate way to handle special needs students. If this is handled consistently across the board, when can then say we are making an ‘apples to apples’ comparison.

Disgusted

September 28th, 2009
8:29 am

Because then we couldn’t pull off garbage like this:

Let’s take a closer look at AYP in our high schools. Graduation rates and the graduation tests are the big deal here as mentioned in the article. http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/news/article/21112/
It seems that there is now a practice (last 2 years or so) where the students who may be graduating without an actual diploma, but with a Certificate of Performance, (these students would count against the graduation rate and passing rates for the graduation tests and therefore AYP for the schools) are systematically being transferred to the Lanier Career Academy right before graduation (a matter of days in some cases).
This increases all the other 6 high school’s graduation rates artificially. The Career Academy is small and is never expected to do all that well any way so no biggie on AYP there. In fact on the State AYP site it reads “There are not enough students in this school for the AYP determination to be
statistically reliable, therefore an AYP determination has not been made for this
school.  These students are included in the District and State AYP reports.” in reference to the Career Academy. (http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ayp2008/overview.asp?SchoolID=669-0105-a-1-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0)
Interesting. Let’s look at some numbers found on the Governor’s Office of  Student Achievement site regarding Hall County students receiving Certificates of Performance over the past few years now (  http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=111&PID=62&PTID=69&CountyId=669&T=0&FY=2008 )  (look under the Report card tab for each school and then under the “Indicators” tab for information on High School Completers).
Numbers for the 2005-06 school year for the Lanier Career Academy show 12 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2006-07 The Career Academy had 16 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2007-08 (the same year Hall County finally made AYP in all High Schools I believe) The Career Academy has a whopping 47 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. Wow! What is that – something like a 48% increase from 2006-07? HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?!
Good question. Let’s look at the other 6 High Schools now.
If you look at the 6 combined (excluding the Career Academy) in 2005-06 they had 97 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2006-07 the 6 reported 91 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance. In 2007-08 they reported 28, about a 48% decrease from the year before. Oh I see now. Tricky tricky!! It seems like they are transferring the kids that will hurt their scores to the Career Academy between the taking of the Graduation tests and actual graduation. Neat trick! Really helps to make that pass on AYP.
So in 2006-07 the Career Academy had 16 students out of the Hall County District’s 107 students receiving a Certificate of Performance. In 2007-08 The Career Academy had 47 out of the Hall County District’s 75 students receiving a Certificate of Performance. Unreal! Any statisticians out there want to compute those odds?
All schools were fairly consistent in their Certificate of Performance numbers between 2005-06 to 2006-07. However, from 2006-07 to 2007-08, West Hall High went from 17 students graduating with a Certificates of Performance down to 0. Johnson High went from 23 to 8. North Hall High stayed at 8 for both years (not going to pull that up there I guess). Chestatee High went from 17 to 2. Flowery Branch High went from 12 to 10 (after being at 19 the year prior) and East Hall High went from 14 to 0.
Haven’t looked at the numbers for 2008-09 yet, but I will bet quite a bit that they are low again at the 6 high schools and higher at the Career Academy as it seems they did the same thing.
Have to wonder how ethical this is? Is it cheating? Is it fraud?  You be the judge.
Also have to wonder if a disproportionate number of these students are economically disadvantaged, special needs or of a certain minority status.

Now there’s a story for you.

jim d

September 28th, 2009
9:31 am

Perhaps it is something as simple as the new math confusing the counters?

jim d

September 28th, 2009
9:35 am

Dr. Spinks,

The bright spot is that some children will excell in spite of the system. The future isn’t really all that bleak.

jim d

September 28th, 2009
9:41 am

Concerned in Gwinnett,

“Where’s the transparency and why does it cost so much to do an open records request from the public school system?”

The answers to those questions is contained in the name you post by here. Open records in GWINNETT are about as existant as their open meetings. I suggest you contact your A/G for answers to your questions. I’m confident that Mr. Baker would love to hear from you.

Old School

September 28th, 2009
9:44 am

Old School
September 27th, 2009
1:59 pm
The above post was NOT by me (the original Old School). Just wanted to take back my online name and clear up any confusion (especially for jimdear).

I’m actually more concerned with the continuing quest to fix things in our schools from the top down instead of giving ANY mandated changes a chance to either work or be tossed out. The shotgun approach hasn’t worked; cures du jour aren’t given a chance; teachers often get cursory training in those researched-based cures; vocational education has been gutted, skinned, and devalued; and everyone is fussing but nobody is listening.

Yet, if you go into any school in any county of our fair state, I guarantee you will find some dedicated teachers, some students who are thirsty enough for knowlege that they are learning, some administrators who have their priorities straight, and some methods that are actually working. Not all but some. It’s the stuff that isn’t working that gets the spotlight.

David S

September 28th, 2009
12:16 pm

d

The constitution was supposed to protect the minority from the majority and was supposed to limit the activities of government. I can vote all I want for decent candidates that know and respect the limits of the constitution and government authority, but the bozos in office and the ones who continue to get elected do not either respect the constitution or the rule of law.

As someone who probably enjoys the benefits of our government violating the rights of others and the constitution, what do you think freedom and constitution loving americans like myself should do about folks like you and the current crop of elected officials??

At least with business, I can withdraw my support by withdrawing my money. Hopefully they will go out of business and a better competitor will replace them. With the government, my withdraw of financial support means jail time. I have no freedom of choice.

Enjoy your educational monopoly and the receipt of stolen goods that your children enjoy courtesy of property taxation and school taxation.

Project tracking team

September 28th, 2009
1:27 pm

The Career Academy had 47 out of the Hall County District’s 75 students receiving a Certificate of Performance. This is really great.

John Dewey

September 28th, 2009
2:20 pm

A confession first…I am not a number cruncher, but…
Every GA student has a student ID number. How hard could it possibly be to track every assessment, every withdrawal, or admission using the student ID number? State assessments are reported by student ID numbers not student names.

Every teacher has a similar number. You should be able to code the teacher number with the student number and track student success and teacher success using these numbers.

If we can keep track of car tags you’d think we could keep track of students as they move around the state.

Hall Co FYI

September 28th, 2009
2:43 pm

53.2% were Hispanic regarding those 2008 Hall County Certificate of Performances.

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&SchoolId=44068&T=1&FY=2008

Terry

September 28th, 2009
8:38 pm

Hey Maureen– I am still trying to find out why the State DOE collects the stats on ‘corporal punishments’ in each county. It baffles me, because I have no clue what they are doing with that information.. But what do I know?

ScienceTeacher671

September 28th, 2009
8:44 pm

David S: The federal constitution says that all powers not given to the federal government are left to the states. The Georgia constitution (have you ever read it?) says that a free and adequate public education is a PRIMARY OBLIGATION of the state, and will be paid for by tax dollars.

I’m not sure what your problem is, but it appears to me that you have three choices: live with it, try to get the state constitution changed, or move to a state that doesn’t have public education enumerated in its constitution.

Terry

September 28th, 2009
9:29 pm

@catlady… new legislation was passed if I am not mistaken on nepotism.. don’t know if it will wholly address your issues in your area, but check out Rep Alisha Morgan’s website.

just browsing

September 28th, 2009
10:29 pm

When Georgia realizes that it must stop politicizing education and treating it as some lab experiment, maybe we will begin to see the changes they spend millions of dollars on to make happen. Part of this improvement includes the reduction of state bureaucracy. Too many people, too many opinions, too many directions, and a desire to reinvent the educational sector under a business model. I am so saddened by what Georgia education has become. Schools are not, and will never be, companies- I do not care how data driven they desire to be.

Dr. Craig Spinks /Augusta

September 29th, 2009
2:42 am

(J)im D, let me show you the kids I’m talking about.

Data for whom?

September 29th, 2009
7:39 am

Ask yourself this question…who is this “SSIS” data for? The State has continued to provide data tools for districts over the past couple of years. Talk to district data personnel and I believe most would tell you that they process and the data they receive back are better than ever. What what can’t be done currently? Track drop outs…sure it can. Calculate a cohort grad rate…sure it can. Don’t trust the data, well that’s a different issue. Ask for the calculation…it’s out there. Bottom line is that the SSIS was ill conceived. It didn’t have defined measurements and was never properly scoped. So who’s complaining? Reporters and politicians…all with an election coming up…shocker! Go to the State website. Click on the map, there is a lot of data already there. Don’t see what you want? Ask. More than likely the data is available.

Data for whom?

September 29th, 2009
7:43 am

More more thing…most district student systems don’t collect the data accurately either. Since the State is a consumer of that data, why would you expect it to be different? If you don’t track students into segments below the sixth grade at the district why would you expect it in the State system?