AJC uses Open Records to see value-added scores for APS. Some surprises. Heads up, this is future for all schools.

The AJC has a great story up this morning on Atlanta’s measurement of how much value its schools are giving their students, with a list of the scores for all APS schools.

The value-added scores quantify how much learning students gain from attending the school, presented in terms of months.

On average, students learn nine months worth of material.

In Atlanta, the highest value-added was found at Early College High School at Carver where students gain 17 months of learning in a single school year. The lowest was posted by Therrell School of Health and Science where students only gain 4 months of learning in a full school year.

The next lowest score was found at Atlanta Neighborhood Charter Middle School where students gain 5.2 months of learning in a year. Here is an essay by the principal of Atlanta Neighborhood Charter on his concerns over value-added scores and what they don’t tell you about his school.

According to reporter Jaime Sarrio: Atlanta is one of the first districts in the state to use the data, but by the end of this year all public school parents in Georgia will be able to access similar information online. Atlanta’s results have never been available to the public and were obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an open records request.

Take a look at the story as this is the future of education. Do these scores make sense?

School Name and Average months of learning

Adamsville Elementary School 9.8

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter Elementary 10.6

Atlanta Neighborhood Charter Middle School 5.2

Atlanta Preparatory Academy Middle School 7.9

Atlanta Preparatory Academy Elementary School 6.9

Bazoline E. Usher/Collier Heights Elementary School 8.6

Beecher Hills Elementary School 7.9

Benteen Elementary School 7.6

Bethune Elementary School 6.2

Bolton Academy 6.6

Booker T. Washington – Early College Small School 12

Booker T. Washington High School — Banking, Finance and Investment Small School 10

Booker T. Washington High School — Health, Sciences and Nutrition Small School 9

Boyd Elementary School 12.8

Brandon Elementary School 10.3

Brown Middle School 8.6

Bunche Middle School 8.1

Burgess-Peterson Elementary School 8.6

Cascade Elementary School 7.1

Centennial Place Elementary School 9.7

Charles R. Drew Charter Middle School 12

Charles R. Drew Charter Elementary School 10.6

Cleveland Elementary School 9.1

Coan Middle School 8.7

Connally Elementary School 8.9

Continental Colony Elementary School 7.7

Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Academy High School 9

Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Academy Middle School 7.4

Crim High School 6

D. H. Stanton Elementary School 8.9

Deerwood Academy School 9.6

Dobbs Elementary School 8.4

Douglass High School 8

Dunbar Elementary School 8

Early College High School at Carver 17

F. L. Stanton Elementary School 9.3

Fain Elementary School 10.4

Fickett Elementary School 8.5

Finch Elementary 9.5

Forest Hill Academy 8.9

Forest Hill Academy High School 6

Garden Hills Elementary School 9.9

Gideons Elementary School 10.4

Grady High School 9

Grove Park Elementary School 8.8

Harper-Archer Middle School 7.3

Heritage Academy Elementary 7.9

Humphries Elementary School 9.3

Hutchinson Elementary School 6.2

Inman Middle School 11.2

Intown Charter Academy 9.1

Jackson Elementary School 10.1

KIPP Atlanta Collegiate 12

KIPP Ways (Grade 5) 10.5

KIPP Ways Middle School 13.4

KIPP Vision (Grade 5) 8.1

KIPP Vision Middle School 12.9

Kimberly Elementary School 7.8

Kindezi Charter Elementary School 9.5

King Middle School 9.9

Kipp Strive Academy Middle School 12.9

Kipp Strive Academy 11.6

Lin Elementary School 9

Long Middle School 8.6

M. A. Jones Elementary School 9.2

“Maynard H. Jackson, Jr. High School” 7

Mays High School 8

Miles Elementary School 8.2

Morningside Elementary School 10.2

North Atlanta High School 10

Parkside Elementary School 9.7

Perkerson Elementary School 10.6

Peyton Forest Elementary School 6.4

Price Middle School 7.8

Rivers Elementary School 7.9

School of Health Sciences and Research at Carver 11

School of Technology at Carver 9

Scott Elementary School 8.3

Slater Elementary School 8.9

Smith Elementary School 8.4

South Atlanta Law and Social Justice School 11

South Atlanta School of Computer Animation and Design 10

South Atlanta School of Health and Medical Science 10

Springdale Park Elementary School 6.9

Sutton Middle School 10.4

Sylvan Hills Middle School 9.5

The Best Academy at Benjamin S. Carson High School 7

The Best Academy at Benjamin S. Carson 6.7

The John Hope-Charles Walter Hill Elementary Schools 9.3

The School of the Arts at Carver 7

Therrell School of Engineering, Math, and Science 10

Therrell School of Health and Science 4

Therrell School of Law, Government and Public Policy 7

Thomasville Heights Elementary School 6.4

Toomer Elementary School 6.7

Towns Elementary School 7 Venetian Hills Elementary School 10.2

Wesley International Academy 12.1

Wesley International Academy Middle 9.9

West Manor Elementary School 10.7

Woodson Elementary School 8.7

Young Middle School 8.2

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

88 comments Add your comment

Attentive Parent/Invisible Serfs Collar

October 12th, 2012
10:06 am

One aspect most people fail to appreciate is that Learning has been redefined to mean “changes in individual values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.” That is what is being measured. That is what Student Achievement now means. In states like Nevada or North Carolina where the measure is “Growth” there is a great deal of affective changing of the individual’s personality that is to now be going on at K-12 school. That is all the data being collected. That is what the former State Super, Kathy Cox, is up to nationally–this Data Quality Campaign that represents a motherlode of marketably useful info about each student and future voter.

That’s what Effective Teacher is measuring. It has ceased to be a matter of the transmission of knowledge because knowledge is not equally accessible to all students. It also fosters individualism and the real definitions of College and Career Ready are chock full of a communitarian the group must come first ideal.

I pity the parents who just assume all is well because of these different measures. Did you know under Georgia’s NCLB waiver an inability to read is no longer to be a barrier to promotion?

Maybe not but it is still an impediment in life. What a rude shock that will be in your 20s after USG bent over backwards to also get illiterates credentials anyway.

Are Georgia students then mostly conduits of money for adult jobs around the state?

Old timer

October 12th, 2012
10:21 am

With so much growth….Why are Atlanta students not performing better on tests…. SAT, CRCT, ITBS and so on…

Mortimer Collins

October 12th, 2012
10:22 am

Yep…just churn em out like cattle. Can they read or write? Who cares as long as the admins, para/pseudo pros, central office etc get their pay increase.

Nothing more than social promotion right over the cliff and into prison. GOOD JOB!!

Atlanta Mom

October 12th, 2012
10:22 am

I find it impossible to believe that CRCTs can give this type of information.

Cindy Lutenbacher

October 12th, 2012
10:22 am

When will we ever learn that these standardized test scores are meaningless? We have only to review the independent, valid research to understand this simple truth. The scores show nothing of use in terms of learning. Their correlation is with socioeconomic status and test prep. That’s it. Nothing more.

Centrist

October 12th, 2012
10:23 am

While I applaud the many pronged attempts at grading and improving APS, parents who value education in such districts are in a perpetual quandary: Move to suburbia where schools are generally much better (longer work commutes), pay for private education on top of Atlanta/ County school taxes, or intense extra effort to try to overcome the general malaise from other students and their families who don’t value education. Charter schools might become yet another option.

Maureen Downey

October 12th, 2012
10:23 am

@Old timer, I am assuming it is because of where some of these kids start out. It is interesting to me to see that many schools fall in the same range, raising the issue of whether there is a ceiling on how much value-added, as measured by test scores, can be achieved.

Maureen

Atlanta Mom

October 12th, 2012
10:31 am

Good question Maureen. My kids always scored at the top of the CRCT, every year. So does that mean they gained 9 months? Or were they ahead at the end of one year, and only really gaind 5 months the next year?

Ivan

October 12th, 2012
10:37 am

This is good but I’d like to be able to compare against some of the private schools in the area. Is 17 just the best in a bad system or is it truly remarkable?

[...] AJC has a great story up this morning on the new program with a list of the scores for all APS schools. In Atlanta, the highest value-added was the 17 months at Early College High [...]

Hillbilly D

October 12th, 2012
10:40 am

One aspect most people fail to appreciate is that Learning has been redefined to mean “changes in individual values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors.”

That’s not education; that’s social engineering.

bu2

October 12th, 2012
10:41 am

The question is what does this mean and what is measured.

Its just a number until you understand what it is actually saying. Is it tracking student by student change on a standardized test? If so, which standardized test?

RJ

October 12th, 2012
10:46 am

I’d like to know where Carver graduates are attending college. Are more of them accepted into top colleges since, based on the scores, they are learning more. Also, this is just a small part of the Carver campus. APS loves to boast about the Early College of Carver, but they don’t tell you that that’s only one of 4 small learning academies. What’s up with the rest of the school?

Maureen Downey

October 12th, 2012
10:49 am

Atlanta Mom

October 12th, 2012
10:51 am

I spoke with an educator in Dekalb County Schools last night. In the elementary schools, Dekalb will be testing the ENTIRE month of October.
This is testing gone mad.

JD

October 12th, 2012
10:53 am

The AJC article says the data is derived from CRCTs & select EOCTs. But those tests only come at the end of the course or end of school year. They don’t reveal the student’s starting point, do they? I’m intrigued by the scores for each school, but I don’t understand how they were calculated.

Ernest

October 12th, 2012
10:59 am

I agree that using the growth model as another measure provides value however I believe additional correlation is needed to specific targets help educators and the community. I also agree that knowing the starting point helps to put these scores into a proper perspective.

bootney farnsworth

October 12th, 2012
11:19 am

CRCT is a stinking joke.

as are these scores

bootney farnsworth

October 12th, 2012
11:24 am

a long time ago, in a system far away….

one of my kids was chugging thru a metro area middle school. all real learning took place before Christmas. after the first of the year, everything was geared towards passing CRCT. not learning.

I spoke to two different teachers, both said the same thing – hate it, but nothing I can do. the fear was if they pushed too hard they’d be professionally lobotomized and replaced with robots who will do what is required by admin, but not try to educate the kids at all.

bootney farnsworth

October 12th, 2012
11:26 am

what I do find interesting is that most of the judge teachers by tests scores complain about CRCT.
irony, table for tons….

banshee29

October 12th, 2012
12:00 pm

As unpopular as it may seem, CRCT is legitimate. Perhaps basing AYP or other school vital signs from these reults may not be a good idea, giving a student a test to see what they have learned is not a bad idea. Anyone who frames thier son or daughters poor performance ofn the facvt that they are poor test takers is a cop out. Here is material. Learn it. Tell me what you learned. This is not a difficult formula nor unreasonable.
Obviosuly there are many other attributes that students need to be successful besides bubbling, but knowing material is knowing material. Try expressing your feelings of how your last job review made you feel to your boss. These children are to be “better prepared to become active citizens in their society.” Knowing how to answer a question from a test is a good start.

Truth in Moderation

October 12th, 2012
12:00 pm

@Serf Collar
Your analysis is spot on. Specifically, “One aspect most people fail to appreciate is that Learning has been redefined to mean “changes in individual values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors….That’s what Effective Teacher is measuring.”

Yes, even the term “effective” is misleading. They are actually measuring Benjamin Bloom’s “Affective Domain”, all well documented in TAXONOMY OF EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: BOOK 2, AFFECTIVE DOMAIN:

“In fact, a large part of what we call “good teaching” is
the teacher’s ability to attain affective objectives through
challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and
getting them to discuss issues.”

David Krathwohl, Benjamin Bloom, etc.
Taxonomy of Educational Objective Book 2 Affective Domain page 54

Private Citizen

October 12th, 2012
12:04 pm

bootney, you tell it well re; intrusion into the school year. I think that is what is missing from this conversation, how many days of the school year are subsumed with the quantity of testing now. It really makes every body a nervous wreck. I have seen a classroom of otherwise smart, centered, going-somewhere kids during one of these excessive testing sessions and the kids looked crest fallen, just resigned like waiting out the noisy fight from the drunk neighbors next door, waiting for it to stop. It really interrupts the school year and is just super toxic. And hearing the administrators rant about it all the time with motivation is equally distressing, doing day count downs to the test, doing pep talks about the test, hell! doing PEP RALLIES for the test. It meets the definition of fetish, making something abnormally important. When I was a kid, we had one standardised comprehensive test at the end of the school year, sort of like having your teeth cleaned or something. No one liked it or disliked it and no big to-do was made of it. It certainly did not harangue everybody for the whole school year invading every month and most weeks. I really think the public has lost perspective on just weird all of this has gotten.

And there are plenty or managers and administrators who were raised with good schooling and taught well themselves and then as adults they go and do this to kids and teachers and force these nasty test-permeated school years on the kids. It is a complete buzzkill for the students. I think it is unconscionable for the adults who were raised in better and more organic school environments to rob the current generation of their quality time in school.

mathmom

October 12th, 2012
12:18 pm

I teach high school mathematics. There are NO tests given at the secondary level that could used to make this kind of analysis.

Truth in Moderation

October 12th, 2012
12:22 pm

“The affective domain may be the least understood, and in many ways, the most important of the learning domains. A similar system for specifying attitudinal objectives has been developed by D.R. Krathwohl. Like the Bloom taxonomy, Krathwohl’s hierarchy attempts to arrange these objectives in an order of difficulty.
Since the affective domain is concerned with a student’s attitudes, personal beliefs, and values, measuring educational objectives in this domain is not easy. For example, how is a positive attitude toward safety evaluated? Observable safety-related behavior indicates a positive attitude, but this is not like a simple pass/fail test that can be used to evaluate cognitive educational objective levels. Although a number of techniques are available for evaluation of achievement in the affective domain, most rely on indirect inferences.”
http://www.dynamicflight.com/avcfibook/learning_process/

To visually understand the what the Affective Domain measures, go to above website and scroll down to “Affective Domain.” There, you will find a nice diagram of it.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

October 12th, 2012
12:24 pm

I find the idea of quantifying the AMOUNT students learn to be a fascinating idea. I’d love to know more about how exactly the determinations were made.

As to DeKalb’s assessment-crazed autumn…my kindergartener just finally stopped testing this week. Nine weeks into the school year…with over 22 students per class and no assistant…and 4 different types of assessments given, some 1-on-1, one computerized…and here it is, mid-October, and teachers finally are going to teach. This isn’t education. I wonder what Dr. Atkinson has to say about all of this testing…

I guess a balanced calendar will mitigate all the lost instructional time this year.

Private Citizen

October 12th, 2012
12:24 pm

And if I get another official email from Joe Biden or Barack Obama that starts with the word “Hey” I am going to throw things. These men are putting their names on marketing targeted toward peasants. Here, without premeditation, let me summon the first sentence of the most recent arrival from my in-box.

email subject line: “Hey”

email first sentence: (insert your first name) “I did my best to make you proud tonight.”

signed: “Joe”
_______________________

message title: “Joe”

first sentence: “(insert first name), Let’s get Joe’s back, and say thanks:

signed: “Barack”
______________________________

Isn’t it interesting how informal they are? Well the Barack Obama RTTT 360 degree evaluations are not informal where they require 3rd graders to fill out 20 question evaluations of their teachers.

Poor Boy from Alabama

October 12th, 2012
12:41 pm

The data seems to be questionable.

How likely is it that the kids at Early College at Carver High School can average 17 months of learning during a 9 month school year if the benchmark is realistic? Is anybody comfortable that an entire school can learn at almost twice the rate of a typical high school student? An explanation is needed for any school that’s this much of an outlier. Maybe they’re doing something really wonderful. If so, they should share it with the rest of the district and the public.

Why did Superintendent Davis take such dramatic steps at North Atlanta High School if the students there are learning 10 months worth of material in a 9 month school year? The data certainly doesn’t seem to correlate with a school that has a low graduation rate and was supposedly teetering on the verge of a state takeover. .

I’m just a poor boy from Alabama, but these results don’t seem to paint a full picture of what’s happening within each school. Some form of a Balanced Scorecard for each school would make more sense. Value added is only one component of what’s required to do an honest performance evaluation.

Another comment

October 12th, 2012
12:46 pm

So on thiis basis my daughter took honors English in 10 th grade. She was the only child who tested at the 12 th grade reading level. My daughter came home and said mommy it was so sad their were kids in the class that could only read between the 2 nd and the 6 th grade level. This is at Cambell Cobbs IB school. But you must reach requirements to enter.

At open house another white mother and I were waiting patiently to introduce ourselves to the teacher. meanwhile we couldn’t, help but over here several black parent scream at the teaching want their child’s reading assessment changed. She told them she coul not, and her recommendation was they not be in Honors’ English. She would never have supported them to enter Honor’s English. She told them that the only way their child woluld so better would be by read read read. The mother said my child doesn’t like to read. The teacher said she needs to read read read that is the only was she is going to get better and it is your responsibility to make sureness she reads. Then the mother asks what books, the t. Teacher says start at the level shown on the report an go up. The mother is like those are children’s books. I looked up and said you could tried Chelsa Handler’s books, they have a more mature topic but are written at an easier level. I said I used them to help a girl at wheeler this summer. The teacher said she will fail the class and I will definitely not recommend her taking honors.

My daughter told me 1/2 the class failed the class. The other class got A’s. The teacher was not racist she had to adopted black children.

The next year my daughter took AP and got. An A. The school did not offer Honor’s in 11th grade. But instead of taking AP for a second girl my daughter is taking Dual Enrollment and taking Freshmen English at GPC. She said the first thing the Prof. Said was I love my dual enrollment high school students.

My daughter is an example of how the value added does not work. She went into 10 th. grade honors English class and on the benchmark testing, she is found to read at the end oth the 12 th grade. She received an A. She received an exceeded the highest level in the 11 th grade fall State writing test. An A in AP 11 grade lit. Now she has not received below an A. On any writing assignment at GPC., so she will receive a A. But the fact is their is no Value add withi her because she was past high school. At 10th grade.

I suspect this is the case at North AtLanta too. If students. Start out at the top how do you value add ?

Where if a kid improves from Reading at a 2nd grade level to a 6th by the end of a year that is a huge value add. I can do that by taking a friends Nanny’s daughter to the beach with me for the week and installing in her a culturing of reading. We read books in the car on the way to the beach, and back. We. Read on the. Each at the. Beach. We read books in the rental house. When she told my daughter she wanted to date and marry a white guy, then my daughter, said you are going to have to get I. The water, get your hair wet and let my mom finish the swim lessons. Because, white guys will just throw you in the pool or in the ocean. She learned to have fun at the beach, the watermark. Braids and ponytails and reading are cool. So is nursing school,now that reading is easier.

d

October 12th, 2012
12:54 pm

The nice thing about doing the tests online is that I can immediately see the student results….. so I asked a student today what happened and why he thought he did so poorly. His response…. I didn’t care, I just put anything down. I asked him if he is trying to get me fired.

Janet

October 12th, 2012
12:57 pm

This “growth” system is B.S. !! It is simply catering to the lowest common denominator. This may help low performing students but will only hurt high achievers in the end. I personally, want my daughter to earn an A. PERIOD….not get an A because she moved her grade from C- to B. Just another way to inflate grades.

Try again Georgia. This program blows.

dc

October 12th, 2012
1:18 pm

From those who complain about value added testing, us parents and taxpayers are anxiously awaiting your suggested alternative, for proving that an individual teacher is effectively teaching our children….chirp, chirp, crickets….. and it isn’t “we get evaluated in class once a semester by our buddy, the asst. principal”……

If the education Eduacreaucy doesn’t come up with an effective approach, then don’t complain when others do. We are tired of watching our massive investment in public education produce NO noticeable results…other than inflating the size of the education admin staff.

Once again…you that teach KNOW who the best teachers are, and you know the ones that should be run out of the classroom immediately. come up with some ideas on how to reward the best, and get rid of the worst. If you don’t, then others will for you.

d

October 12th, 2012
2:01 pm

@dc….. is your child a raw product that can really have value added to it? If so, value added measurements are great. That being said, I would argue that we need to do away with 1) grade levels based on age; 2) Making sure we are playing fair and telling teachers to “differentiate.” It really does little for those who are on the higher end of the spectrum….. My “smarter” (for lack of a better term) students often are also lazy and don’t want to stretch themselves when they see their peers in the same room doing work that is appropriate to their level; 3) Stop telling students that they meet our expectations if they accomplish 70% of the task; 4) Begin to add standards-based grading in addition to straight numeric grades. Probably not the answer you are looking for, but it is a start.

Carlos

October 12th, 2012
2:08 pm

To evaluate how a school is doing, more data must be supplied concerning precisely who goes to the school. The monthly statistic, by itself, is insufficient.

Richard E. Nisbett, Distinguished University Prof (of Psychology) at U Michigan, wrote a book in 2009 entitled “Intelligence and How to Get it; Why Schools and Cultures Count.” It deals with the effects of culture in the home as it affects IQ and academic achievement as well as what works and what doesn’t in schools.

The message, essentially, is that behaviors, effort and attitude have far more importance than heredity when it comes to raising children who will perform well in school, particularly when it comes to disadvantaged children. He follows with lots of statistics on what works and what doesn’t.

My guess is that Superintendent Davis has also read this book or books containing similar data and have come to similar conclusions. If he has, then he is certainly getting frustrated at performance, generally, within APS. He converses regularly with great kids who leave the impression that they’re doing much better academically than they actually are by objective measures. We’re sitting on a potential powerhouse of talent that just isn’t developing the way that we would like, at this point. When one considers the graduation rate at NAHS by racial group, it’s not surprising that he got REALLY exercised.

The NAHS reorganizations may have been an overreaction to one too many unacceptable statistics. I think the Superintendent is well positioned to build a team across the entire that can help him do what he wants to do. However, my guess is that this will require building an actual team in the district to replace the existing top-down bureaucratic style, which is become more and more of a hindrance.

The Superintendent has a reasonable chance to get his new “APS change machine” kicking over nicely before he wants to retire IF he asks school principals, their staffs and their teachers to work with him to design it and put it together. If APS can and achieves breakout progress, then it will have national significance.

kkg

October 12th, 2012
2:12 pm

It is very interesting that North Atlanta High School seems to have the highest value-added average of any comprehensive high school. The only higher high school scores are for selected subsets (such as early college) of larger schools, where they can drop students who aren’t succeeding.

I guess APS doesn’t put much faith in this new system if they prefer to use old and discredited AYP data to make drastic decisions.

Old timer

October 12th, 2012
2:20 pm

Maureen, I used to think, the ITBS would give a pretty good measure of achievement. We gave on in September and one in April. Many times some of the lower achieving students made the most growth…and they needed too. We would have a pretty good picture of what children needed. I am not so sure of this value added stuff.

KIM

October 12th, 2012
2:21 pm

APS, you have a credibility problem, no doubt. I wouild ho-hum this info. But if I were a NAHS administrator I would appreciate having this public information….go for it.

William Casey

October 12th, 2012
2:35 pm

@dc: I would have no problem with a “before and after” model testing system for teacher evaluation if it were combined with the following:

What’s the SOLUTION? Intense observation by people who are expert in their subject, teaching methods and the psychology of learning would be an excellent start. Even the best teachers need a lot of feedback and they don’t currently receive much. Having a parent visiting every single class (or as many as possible) as an observer would be a good second step. It’s amazing what having a second adult in a classroom does for the learning environment. This would not be as expensive as one might think. The number of administrators could be reduced and staff development largely eliminated. Also, every teacher would not need to be evaluated every year, maybe once every three years. Student standardized test scores could be part of the evaluation process but not the core of it. Testing is a much too blunt instrument.

Truth in Moderation

October 12th, 2012
2:39 pm

Here’s how they statistically measure “growth” for teachers. These are the kinds of documents you need to pay attention to. Again, if you measure “growth”, it penalizes the high achievers.

http://usny.nysed.gov/rttt/docs/nysed-2011-beta-growth-tech-report.pdf

bootney farnsworth

October 12th, 2012
3:06 pm

attaching to Williams comments:

there is a huge misconception we oppose evaluations, standards, ect. as a whole, we do not.
like the general public, we want the dead wood gone as well.

what we have and continue to object to is these standards being set without our input. to have
standards which matter, we need to help set them so the data complied has genuine meaning.

thing is, right now the mood of the legislators and the Fran Mohr red meat crowd is for scapegoats,
not for quailified educators.

bootney farnsworth

October 12th, 2012
3:08 pm

apologies to Fran Mohr, a former colleague at GPC. you’re not the issue, I just had a brain fart.
I was intending to to reference fork tongued Fran of the legislature

bootney farnsworth

October 12th, 2012
3:11 pm

@ William & Dr. John if he’s around

in a utopian fantasy where APS, DCSS, and the USG actually wanted real outside input on making real and lasting cultural and structural change, who would be out there which all sides could accept as legitimate.

TheGoldenRam

October 12th, 2012
3:31 pm

In an earlier blog post it was stated,

“At the meeting Tuesday, Davis said North Atlanta High added 10 months of learning to its students in a single year. The average is nine months.
In contrast, Davis said Early College High School at Carver added 17 months with a much higher population of students, 80 percent, receiving free and reduced lunch than North Atlanta.”

Here is my question. What is the admissions criteria and application process for attending North Atlanta? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. There doesn’t appear to be any process other than zoning/assignment.

I did find information on Carver Early College. From the GSU website,

“Early College at Carver primarily serves students living in the area surrounding the school in southeast Atlanta. Students must apply to attend the program; however, students from the immediate neighborhood are given first choice of attendance with any extra seats open to the district. A student’s Criterion Reference Competency Test scores, grade-point averages, teacher recommendations and panel interview are factors in admittance.”
http://www.gsu.edu/35601.html

Hmmmmm…It would seem that APS is playing with the numbers again. Except this time, instead of faking grades and changing test scores, they are creating a false narrative by using illegitimate comparisons to cover for an underlying political agenda.

Some day when the postmortem is done on what was once Public Education(the system we’ve grown up with), I believe the diagnosis will be listed as suicide. People stopped trusting the system. They stopped believing in the system. They wanted honesty and legitimacy in academics, but were given politics, fraud and agendas divergent from the true educational opportunities they sought for their children. Charters breached the levee and the second wave comprised of voucher initiatives washed away what was left.

TheGoldenRam

October 12th, 2012
3:57 pm

Education observers in my county have been bemused by very recent events related to charter schools in our community. It seems the county school board is angry about having to work with some of these new schools. The hyperbole is at an all-time high. Board members are “taken aback”, “appalled”, “incensed”, “offended”, etc, etc.. What could have possibly raised the ire of this normally docile group? Apparently the marketing materials for the charter schools point out the dismal performance and academic results of the traditional public schools in the areas from which they are seeking students.
How ironic. Yet, so sadly predictable. Some of these traditional public schools have been at the bottom of the rankings not just for years, or even decades, but for GENERATIONS. Parents in some communities are sending their own children to a very low performing school today, that was a very low performing school when they themselves attended 20 years ago.
Why was there an absence of school board outrage over all those years of disenfranchisement and educational disservice? Because it is/was what is expected. It is the worst kind of institutional bigotry. It’s what your Superintendent alluded to at that forum. They have different expectations for different groups. It’s just not that often they slip up and give so public an example of “the soft bigotry of low expectations”.

Ole Guy

October 12th, 2012
4:16 pm

Does anyone (you to, Maureen) realize how foolish; how rediculously foolish this entire value-added stuff casts upon the entire educational circus. I realize, by now, that the vast bulk of my comments reflect a rather dismal view of the whole damn thing, but come on now folks (and you to, Maureen).

If I belly up to the bar for A beer, that’s exactly what I will walk away with…A beer…not two (unless I choose); not a six pack (unless I also choose). By the same token, if I send my kid to school for one year, I expect one year’s worth of “reedin’ ratin’ an’ rithmitic”…no more, and certainly no less, unless, of course, I choose to keep the kid in that particular school for an additional year.

By posting some of these (subjective) numbers, it would seem that the APS (and any other system which may choose to ascribe to such cheap tactics) is simply attempting to masage a few numbers in order that the system might appear a whole lot better…or worse…than it really is. How bout you stop with the gamemanship; the razzle-dazzle bull _hit, fix your gd problems and get on with it. By wasting YOUR time and TAXPAYER dollars on such mickey mouse, all you’re doing is ducking the issues, avoiding the problems, and, in the end, achieving absolutely nothing.

Start earning your (inflated) salaries; do your jobs and start educating these kids. Pumping them up with false achievements, like having them believe they acquired more than a school year’s worth of education is just as bad as convincing the kid that his…accomplishments…throughout the school year may have counted for next to nothing.

SMOKE AN’ MIRRORS, GAMES, AND BS…

Jerry Eads

October 12th, 2012
4:29 pm

I suspect that people will mistake the reported metric – “months growth” as something that actually has something remotely related to learning that takes place in one month in school.

Although of course none of the technical data are reported, nor is even the test identified, the data are (yes ARE, not “is”) still (we presume) based on the CRCT and EOCT MINIMUM COMPETENCY testing. These tests were not developed to measure anything consistent across or within grades or over time. In the first place, unless you’ve dumped many more millions of dollars into them, the tests ONLY (somewhat) accurately measure the “Pass” and “Exceeds” points in each grade. Two points on the ruler. Period. Let’s say on this mythical ruler that the 3″ and 4″ points are marked. The rest of it is BLANK. AND, even worse, 3″ in one grade doesn’t have the same meaning as 3″ in the next. Is “17″ greater than “4″? Probably. Is it “13″? You KNOW it’s not, yet you’re willing to let the public think that it is.

Does “4 months’ growth” actually mean something akin to what you’d expect the average student to experience in 4 months? What about 17 months’ growth? You and I both know they don’t, but the rest of the public doesn’t.

Now, to be sure, there were outside experts who developed the statistical mumbo-jumbo to create these “months growth” out of tests that were not built to measure such, and it is indeed good work, but the tests are still just minimum competency tests, and you just can’t make a silk purse out of the proverbial sow’s ear.

John, I’d absolutely LOVE to be wrong, and be convinced that your tests are actually measuring something meaningful. If so, it’s time to get up to the plate and make the technical data available to the rest of us. Just about everyone is P.T. Barnum’s sucker born every minute when it comes to testing. They actually think you’re creating something meaningful. They’ve been duped for decades. Heck, I did it myself for fifteen years. I have absolutely no doubt you can keep getting away with it. But as the ad said, “Where’s the beef?” Show the public – and those of us who actually know something about testing – you actually have something worth reporting – and, infinitely more importantly, changing kids’ lives with.

ALL that said, Errol has to make some tough calls based on what he has to work with. Won’t be the last time he makes some folks angry. But he’s a (very, very) smart guy. Four may not be thirteen less than seventeen, but I too would bet with you and he that it’s still less.

WhiteWolf of the Bones

October 12th, 2012
4:43 pm

The ‘dumbing down’ of the American people, and its educational system is on schedule, and all is working as planned. Some people are beginning to catch on, but they will not make any difference, because there aren’t enough of them. The majority will follow right along, led through the nose, and will abide by whatever “we” bring down the pike. “Let them talk, nobody is really listening anyway”.

kkg

October 12th, 2012
4:58 pm

@thegoldenram
Yes, it is entirely inappropriate for Davis to compare the carefully selected Carver Early College students with the total NAHS population. NAHS must take everyone in the zone (many of whom are not affluent, as is indicated by the 52% free and reduced lunch figure). Further, Carver can drop students from its selective programs. It would be much more appropriate to compare the TOTAL Carver population with NAHS. Or the IB program at NAHS (which is not as selective as Carver early college) could be compared with the Carver selective programs. I have no doubt that NAHS would look great in this comparison unless there is a major ceiling effect on the tests.

Davis must think we are really stupid.

Private Citizen

October 12th, 2012
5:02 pm

dc asks “awaiting your suggested alternative, for proving that an individual teacher is effectively teaching our children”

You know, that’s disrespectful. Do you go harass the doctors at the hospital? Do you go to restaurants and insist on going in the kitchen and inspecting the chefs? There’s a reason there’s a door to the kitchen, because it everybody feels compelled to bother the chef, they won’t get anything done. And they leave for a better environment, be assured of that. I’ll make some listed points, it is the easiest form of organization for me.

1. I have seen a school full of teachers and every teacher in the building was experienced, capable, and doing their job with dedication. Some were good at playing “mom” and being general helpers. Some were the sharpies who used advanced methods. Everyone showed up each day and worked long hours and did their very best for the kids, even with the excessive stress and testing intrusion – which is considerable and is a distraction and burden + the wagon load of politic speak to go with it – over and over and over.

2. If a teacher is not dedicated, the bosses in the building know how to deal with it, honestly confront the situation, and do not need outside help with the same. Having outside “efficiency experts” is demeaning, takes authority away from the building managers. It perverts defocuses the organizational structure. (yes I know its a loaded word, but it is accurate: “to divert to a wrong end or purpose”)

3. How else to do it? The first thing that comes to my mind is schools without grades. This has been done before and is not a new idea. On the micro-level grading is a false concept. If you set the bar at one point, kids will be below and kids will be above. Every one is beat over the head now with test scoring, which is a form of grading. Grading is not learning and is not teaching.

4. Overt grading creates an opportunity for rebellion. There will be a subset of students who do not want to be grades and therefore will abandon study or interaction with course material. I’ve seen it. “You can’t make me” etc. and so on. Kids who have no structure and are quick to rebel as a form of defending and expressing themselves. Same with drug prohibition laws. When drugs are illegal, there is a subset of the populace who will take and sell as many drugs as possible so they can rebel and demonstrate they are clever and can beat the system. Places where drugs are decriminalized has less drug abuse. So go figure that out.

5. There is so much official conflict and hypocrisy in place. Demand differentiated instruction from the worker caste (students / teachers / administrators in the school) and use strictly non-differentiated testing from the manager caste (higher administration outside the school).

6. It is probably a good idea to do ability grouping. Currently the high-fliers are being punished. Now for example, when I went out for little league baseball and on the first day instead of catching the ball with my glove, the ball passed the glove and smashed me on the face, did I then go and resent the professional baseball players? No, I did not. This harassment of high performance school programs needs to stop. And the real teeth grinder is the coming shortage of doctors in the state of Georgia. I will withhold my string of expletives concerning the delusional nature of these higher managers who are determined to destroy and insult high achievement learners – you know, the ones who have the wits to go to medical school. I’ll be thinking of you when I need the doctor and their calendar is full.

7. Something no one is talking about is the disorganization of supply materials. The only thing teachers are guaranteed are “guidelines” from the Common Core of GPS or whatever. The truth is that in every building I have seen, every teacher is using different materials and having to spend huge amounts of time struggling to make or find basic materials to teach with. Ever seen a teacher at the photocopier trying to make materials for their students? It shames me to think of the frequency of this. There is no structure, nothing, zero, for supplying materials to teachers.

8. Conclusion: Everything is bad and nothing is working and the politicians harass and misdirect at every opportunity. The very fact that “leadership” degrees exist pretty much spells the bitter end.

Lastly, have any parents thought of showing up to meeting with headdresses and ceremonial feathers, trying to get some testing exemption based on that their kids are Native American?

How to fix it:
1. Stop being a 2nd world country and have universal healthcare for every citizen, you know? like the rest of the 1st world? This is will do a lot to bring down education costs and also make for less of a caste system that makes for struggling homes, high debt, destroyed credit, etc.

2. Do not ever have a requirement, guideline, or test unless you have support materials to go with it. And not the thin version, the full version with the work books, pre-manufactured consumables, and / or software for 1-to-1 computer environments.

3. Test kids once a year at the end of the year and otherwise, gets your testing and propaganda out of the school house.

4. Stop giving money to testing companies, aside from the once a year test.

5. Ability group students so they can focus and learn at where they are developmentally. Stop harassing high performing kids.

6. Kids who are insane of repeatedly disruptive to the point that disruption is their hobby and fulfilment need to be in an alternative environment. There is no shame in this. Teachers should not have to teach students who declare they do not want to be in class and daily make disruption to prove it. The joke gets old after a couple of weeks. It is a nightmare after a couple of months. Mom sincerely can do nothing about, states that she needs help, and can not come to the school due to being infirmed, has no car, and more times than not the minutes are used up on the telephone. This type student is not getting their needs met in the general classroom. Currently in Georgia, teachers are blamed for the behavior of children. It is an impossible and unreasonable situation for the teacher. It is destructive to learning of students who come to class ready to learn. There is pressure to keep repeat disruption children in the classroom maybe because things are run so thin that there are no other environments suited to them to meet their needs. Building administration is unable to do anything about it. Politically, it is more of that “Hey Let’s Smoke Some Utopia Crack and Force Everyone to Be Dysfunctional” and “Daydream Your Way to Success While Ignoring What These Children Need.” Believe it or not, kids need firm organizational hierarchy and need to work to get somewhere, or maybe stay somewhere. Otherwise they need to be in the place with the concrete floor and the picnic tables. It used to be called Reform School. Go view a James Dean movie for the California version: leather jackets and motorcycles.

7. There’s no trade schools. FACT: 60% of the kids DO NOT WANT to go to college.

Private Citizen

October 12th, 2012
5:07 pm

Where’s the three W’s welding, wiring and woodshop? (Thank you, Lee, Oct 7, 9:18 AM)