Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Naep Scores Stagnant: Duncan Says Wait a Decade - DR - NAEP dashboards - report_card

NAEP dashboards - report_card:

Naep Scores Stagnant: Duncan Says Wait a Decade Diane Ravitch's blog

NEW RELEASE         NAEP dashboards - report_card:

2015 Mathematics and Reading Results              NAEP dashboards - report_card:

National average scores were lower than 2013 for eighth-grade students participating in the NAEP mathematics and reading assessments, and scores were higher than the first assessments in the early 1990s at both grades 4 and 8.​​

NAEP dashboards - report_card:




California districts moving to new ‘integrated’ high school math pathway | EdSource

California districts moving to new ‘integrated’ high school math pathway | EdSource:

California districts moving to new ‘integrated’ high school math pathway




This fall 9th-grade students in virtually all California high schools are taking math classes aligned with the Common Core standards. But for many of them there is an additional twist: they are embarking on a sequence of courses that represents a significant departure from how high school math has traditionally been taught in California and the nation.
Every district has had to decide whether to stick with a “traditional” sequence of courses in grades 9-11 (Algebra 1, followed by geometry, then Algebra 2, with some probability and statistics in each course) or adopt a new “integrated pathway” that combines and re-orders content from those courses in a three-year sequence.
That sequence is typically simply called Math I, Math II and Math III. Each course includes algebra, geometry, probability and statistics that are “integrated” with each other.
Regardless of which one they embrace, many teachers, schools and districts have been scrambling to find appropriate textbooks and supplemental materials, develop lesson plans, and provide professional development to teachers aligned with the new standards.
The state does not keep track of which approach districts are adopting. But an EdSource review of the state’s 30 districts with the largest high school enrollments shows that the traditional approach – Algebra 1, geometry, Algebra 2 – is still used in 15 of them. The remaining 15 have embraced the integrated Math I, II and III pathway.

(See end of this article for a list of which approach the surveyed districts adopted.)

Of the six public school districts and the Aspire charter school network EdSource has been closely tracking as they implement the Common Core, four districts (San Jose Unified, Fresno Unified, Santa Ana Unified and Garden Grove Unified) and Aspire have opted to continue teaching using the traditional pathway. The remaining two (Elk Grove Unified and Visalia Unified) are committed to the integrated pathway.
Which sequence a district adopts has implications for both students and teachers.
Proponents of the integrated pathway argue that it is academically more effective, and in line with how secondary California districts moving to new ‘integrated’ high school math pathway | EdSource:

Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities - The New York Times

Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities - The New York Times:

Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities




For the first time since 1990, the mathematical skills of American students have dropped, according to results of a nationwide test released by theEducation Department on Wednesday.
The decline appeared in both Grades 4 and 8 in an exam administered every two years as the National Assessment of Educational Progress and sometimes called “the nation’s report card.”
The dip in scores comes as the country’s employers demand workers with ever-stronger skills in mathematics to compete in a global economy. It also comes as states grapple with the new Common Core academic standards and a rebellion against them.
Progress in reading, which has been generally more muted than in math for decades, also stalled this year as scores among fourth graders flat-lined and eighth-grade scores decreased. The exams assess a representative sampling of students on math and reading skills in public and private schools.
“It’s obviously bad news,” said Michael J. Petrilli, the president of theThomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education policy group in Washington. “We don’t want to see scores going in this direction.”
“That doesn’t mean we should completely freak out,” he added. “This could be a one-time variation, and maybe we’ll see things come back next time. But if it were the beginning of a new trend, it would be quite disappointing and disturbing.”
Education officials said that the first-time decline in math scores was unexpected, but that it could be related to changes ushered in by the Common Core standards, which have been adopted by more than 40 states. For example, some of the fourth-grade math questions on data analysis, statistics and geometry are not part of that grade’s guidelines under the Common Core and so might not have been covered in class. The largest score drops on the fourth-grade math exams were on questions related to those topics.
The stagnating performance could also reflect the demographic changes sweeping America’s schools and the persistent achievement gap between white students and minorities, as well as between students from poor families and their more affluent peers.
“It’s not unusual when you see lots of different things happening in classrooms to first see a slight decline before you see improvement,” said William J. Bushaw, the executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policies and achievement levels for the tests.
About a quarter of public school students are Hispanic, compared with fewer than 10 percent in 1990. As a group, the scores of Hispanic students trail those of white students; this year, for example, 21 percent of Hispanic fourth graders scored at a level deemed proficient or above on reading tests, compared with 46 percent of white students.
The proportion of African-American students in public schools has remained fairly stable, but an achievement gap with white students remains. On the fourth-grade reading tests this year, just 18 percent of black students were deemed proficient.
America’s schoolchildren are also increasingly poor. Students from poor families often arrive at school with smaller vocabularies than students from middle-class or more affluent households, and are faced with challenges like hunger, homelessness and parents working several jobs, all of which can interfere with their learning in school and the academic support they receive at home — and ultimately their test scores.
Arne Duncan, the departing secretary of education, said schools should embrace the challenges of growing diversity. A study this week showed that student demographics can affect test scores. “We should be learning from each other and schools who are doing the best job with students with disabilities and English language learners and students living below the poverty line,” Mr. Duncan said.
The average fourth-grade math score this year was 240 on a scale of 500, down from 242 in 2013, the last time the federal assessment results were released. The average eighth-grade math score was 282, down from 285 two years ago.
In reading, the average fourth-grade score of 223, compared with 222 in 2013, was not a statistically significant difference. The average eighth-grade score fell to 265 from 268.
No state or any of the 21 urban school districts that participated in the tests raised scores in both subjects and grade levels. But the District of Columbia repeated some of the strength it showed in 2013 by raising fourth-grade Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities - The New York Times:

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Testing and the Problem With Grant-Driven Educational Projects | Rick Ayers

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Testing and the Problem With Grant-Driven Educational Projects | Rick Ayers:

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Testing and the Problem With Grant-Driven Educational Projects






President Obama has finally declared that the educational establishment's obsession with high-stakes testing has gone too far. It reminded me of a disagreement that broke out recently in a teacher professional development planning meeting. 
"The problem is," I ventured, "there is very little you can tell from a standardized test of students and then to tie evaluation of that teacher to performance of those students becomes even less valid, and finally trying to compare our professional development graduates to other teachers is just a fool's errand." That was my intervention in the discussion, a big dissension blurted out.
It was a meeting of a collaboration group for an innovative summer professional development teaching project -- I was a visiting professor in a medium-sized California city, Charles was from the professional development nonprofit and Greg was from the school district. We were discussing evaluation data to send to the granting agencies and Charles had suggested that we collect "Smarter Balance" test scores from our graduates and compare to other teachers. I was immediately doubtful -- not only that this measure would distort and narrow the teaching practices of our graduates, but that it would provide support and validation for the advocates of value added evaluation across the state.
Greg, the district guy, showed no interest in my comment. He did not even raise himself to disagree or debate me. He simply declared, "The superintendent wants these numbers (on the test) and we are collecting them so they can be used as data." The look in his eyes, the subtext of his dismissal, was essentially, "What is this pinhead talking about? It's irrelevant."
Charles actually agreed with me. He is a progressive educator who knows the debates and the game. Why, then, had he made this proposal? It was, of course, the pressure of the grant. Both foundation and federal grants for the professional development The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Testing and the Problem With Grant-Driven Educational Projects | Rick Ayers:

“Fund for Louisiana’s Future” is a DC Super PAC Devoted to David Vitter | deutsch29

“Fund for Louisiana’s Future” is a DC Super PAC Devoted to David Vitter | deutsch29:

“Fund for Louisiana’s Future” is a DC Super PAC Devoted to David Vitter

edwards-vitter
Edwards, Vitter.  WDSU-TV , 10-01-15




Somehow, I have ended up on the email list for “Fund for Louisiana’s Future” (FFLF).
It is a Washington, DC-based Super PAC that supports David Vitter by bashing his opponents.
This PAC apparently produces no ads telling voters why they should vote for Vitter, only ads trying to damage the reputations of anyone running against him.
For the October 24, 2015, Louisiana governor’s race, FFLF paid for ads against Vitter’s Republican competition, Scott Angelle and Jay Dardenne. (For excellent background on FFLF and its ads against Angelle and Dardenne, see this September 14, 2015, post by Louisiana blogger, Cenlamar.)
As might be expected, since Vitter is in a runoff against Democrat John Bel Edwards, FFLF has started running attack ads against Edwards.
That was the purpose of the email that FFLF sent to me today: Nothing to justify voting for Vitter.
However, the great advantage of having FFLF pay for these ads is that FFLF can say that it is “not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.” Thus, FFLF has “Fund for Louisiana’s Future” is a DC Super PAC Devoted to David Vitter | deutsch29:

Why Educators Need To Reflect On Spring Valley High

Why Educators Need To Reflect On Spring Valley High:

We’re Wrong [Reflecting on Spring Valley High]

face-painted-on-hands-e1361470447697-620x364


One more thing about the teachers of color panel went awry from a couple of weeks ago: we too embody white supremacy as agents of the state.
Yesterday, a cop assaulted a black girl in the middle of class for refusing to leave the class when a teacher, an administrator, then the school resource officer told her to step out. The easy part for my colleagues is to say that, if the student just complied, then none of this would have happened. If the student had simply gotten up on her own accord and done exactly as the overseers had told her, Spring Valley High School would not be a trending topic in all the worst ways.
But that’s not how students work. They’re not 100% complaint. Neither are adults. Our laws and their executors thrive on this.
That’s what shocked me most as the videos pan to who was in the room watching the incident take place. Unlike the plethora of videos on WorldStar or YouTube with black kids walloping each other Why Educators Need To Reflect On Spring Valley High:

Peg with Pen: Opt Out Revolution: The Next Wave

Peg with Pen: Opt Out Revolution: The Next Wave:

Opt Out Revolution: The Next Wave






I keep getting texts, phone messages and emails telling me how happy folks are that Obama is now listening to us - and that Opt Out has been heard. This is heartbreaking for me - because this tells me that mainstream media has done a stellar job of co-opting Opt Out. We saw it happening. We warned that it was happening - and it indeed did.

Now, the country embraces Opt Out and folks are listening to Obama's words and thinking that we have a clear victory here. We do not. We are on a very slippery slope - one in which Opt Out can continue to drain them of their precious data but also one in which Opt Out must be ready for the next wave of this revolution. It will be a hard fought win - and it will require stamina like never before.

The next wave involves the U.S. Dept. of Ed's recommendations for testing reduction which also comes with funds to support states in getting there. And the scariest part is this - the GROUNDWORK IS COMPLETE. The feds/corporations did exactly what they came to do - they dangled carrots. They got high stakes testing systems in place with longitudinal data bases to carry the seamless productivity of the data. They loosened privacy regulations.  They got common standards out there which are essential for easy data tagging. They pushed and pushed and pushed to support charters and alternative teacher certification. They set the groundwork for the STATES to now lead the way - and they (feds/corporations) have their people in place on school boards, schools of education, depts. of ed., district 
Peg with Pen: Opt Out Revolution: The Next Wave:


Dominant Education Policies

Dominant Education Policies:

How Dominant Education Policies Help Shrink Middle Class

Dominant Education Policies


The erosion of the American middle class and the relentless attack on the standard of living of the American work force is dramatized by two dominant tendencies in education policy:
  • The dependence on low wage adjunct instructors—many of whom are as qualified as tenured faculty—to do the bulk of the teaching in the nation’s colleges and universities.
  • The privatization of public education and the use of test based teacher evaluation, invasive management and charter school promotion to create a teacher work force which is unstable, non-unionized and not around long enough to collect pensions.
The net result is that our most talented college graduates can no longer realistically view university or public school teaching as careers which can provide stability, security, autonomy and high levels of job satisfaction.
Ironically, both of these trends in education policy and management are promoted and implemented by administrators who, following the CEO model in the private sector, compensate themselves extravagantly.Dominant Education Policies:
mak-naison-175This is not only our future, it is for all to many teachers and teachers in the making, our present.
If I were graduating from college today, there is no way someone with my personality and skills could imagine becoming a teacher, much less a professor. I could not accept the humiliating conditions of employment that most people entering the profession, at every level, are forced to accept.

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/27/15



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