Saturday, November 2, 2013

GOV. BROWN AXES 2013-14 SCHOOL TESTING FOR K-12


 
I'm not prepared to write a post on the subject of MAPP so, in the interest of moving the discussion  forward,  I have copied an article from Calwatchdog.com.  Regarding the question of federal funding, whether the Feds would actually withhold funding as a result of AB484 is uncertain considering that they have never done so before (if you don't include RTTT, only Title), but the risk is great considering the amount at stake, anywhere from $1.5B to upward of $3B. It well may be that California blinks. In any case, the move to MAPP is certain with Common Core in effect. It is hard to comprehend why the Feds would require obsolete STAR testing in an era of the Common Core Curriculum. I don't get it given that the content and tests don't match. I suspect this is what happens when the Federal Government, which has no constitutional mandate in education, gets involved in the business of the states.


October 15, 2013
By Katy Grimes

Most California’s K-12 public schools will go through the 2013-14 school year without standardized testing after Gov. Jerry Brown just signed Assembly Bill 484 into law. The following school year, 2014-15, less rigorous federal Common Core tests will begin.

AB484 is by Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla, D-Contra Costa, and coauthored by Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento. The bill was sponsored and pushed hard by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, also a Democrat. Torlekson claimed AB484 would overhaul California’s assessment system “to address the deeper learning called for by the Common Core State Standards.”
 
AB484 authorizes new Common Core-aligned assessments known as the Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress – MAPP Testing.
 
Additionally, AB484 would suspend the public release of student data performance for 2013, and possibly in years to come.
 
“This legislation will continue to be guided by what’s right for California’s children — moving forward with instruction and assessments reflecting the deeper learning and critical thinking our students need to compete and win in a changing world,” Torlakson said. “Our goals for 21st century learning, and the road ahead, are clear. We won’t reach them by continuing to look in the rear-view mirror with outdated tests, no matter how it sits with officials in Washington.”
 
No love of testing

“Brown never liked testing, or research data,” Lance Izumi told me; he is the Senior Director of Education Studies at the Pacific Research Institute, CalWatchdog.com’s parent think tank. He’s also the author of “Not as good as you think: Why the Middle Class Needs School Choice,” Obama’s Education Takeover,” and “Short Circuited: The Challenges facing the Online Learning Revolution in California.”
 
California students had been tested once each year in math and English under the state’s K-12 Standardized Testing and Reporting system, known as STAR testing.

 Rather than waiting until the Common Core curriculum goes into effect in 2014, the governor saw this as an opportunity to rewrite state standards, and toss out STAR testing, Izumi said.

Bonilla’s bill now replaces the standardized testing with a system that has yet to be vetted, according to Izumi. Students will take field tests, and only be tested in math or English. Tests will no longer be given in both math and English.
 
“The MAPP testing program will be made up of assessments being designed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two multi-state organizations formed to create the next generation of assessments aligned to the Common Core,” a press statement from Torlakson explained. “Field tests of the new assessments, set for the spring of 2014, are designed as ‘tests of the tests.’”

Risking federal education funding

In addition to the disregard for the importance of standardized testing, the bill puts California at odds with the federal government’s education requirements, and the upcoming Common Core curriculum.
 
U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, opposed AB484, and warned state officials that if AB484 passed, California could lose $1.5 billion in federal funding for the current school year.

And California schools will no longer have to report students’ test scores to parents. “If you don’t respect individual student outcome data, parents and students don’t know how they are doing,” Izumi said. “And you can’t hold schools and teachers accountable.”

Common Core vs. STAR

Izumi said administering STAR testing costs California $25 million a year. During the committee process, Torlekson and Bonilla advocated dumping STAR testing, ostensibly to save the cost, and said the state should instead put the money toward Common Core.

 But according to Izumi, the governor has already allocated $1.25 billion for Common Core curriculum implementation and administration.

 The state also will spend an additional $2.1 billion on schools to implement the Local Control Funding Formula, Brown’s plan to spend more money on low-income school districts, minority and immigrant student populations, and non-English speaking students. To do that, Brown said he will take some of the current education funding from the better-performing schools.

I wrote about this in “Gov. Brown calls for redistribution of school funding,” when Brown cited a lack of civil rights and social inequities as what is wrong with California public schools.

Race to the bottom

According to Izumi, President Obama “strong-armed the states into adopting these Common Core standards through a number of devices, principally through the Race to the Top competition for federal grants.”

 The Race to the Top $4 billion grant scheme was awarded to states “leading coherent, compelling, and comprehensive education reform.” The grant was authorized under the federal “stimulus” program, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

According to Izumi, the federal and state Departments of Education had developed numerous experimental educational programs promising to be reform breakthroughs in education. But the reforms were later discarded as failures, wasting large amounts of the taxpayers’ money.

Not all schools can play

Izumi said all tests have to be given by computer. But not all schools districts will be able to participate in the new MAPP testing. And Torlekson’s California Department of Education has no idea how many school districts don’t have computer systems.

Izumi warned, “Some kids may not get any testing.”

 - See more at: http://calwatchdog.com/2013/10/15/gov-brown-axes-2013-14-school-testing-for-k-12/#sthash.xMp2g3ZP.dpuf

90 comments:

Don Krause said...

California schools could lose federal funding over STAR test suspension


By Sharon Noguchi



snoguchi@mercurynews.com

Posted: 09/10/2013 07:04:06 PM PDT

Updated: 09/11/2013 08:03:01 AM PDT






Related Stories

Oct 30:
•U.S. threatens to take $3.52 billion from California schools in testing dispute
•Document: Federal government letter to California education officials
Oct 2:
•STAR test dumped: Brown ignores federal threats, signs bill allowing new exams
Sep 3:
•Poll: California voters support more testing to assess students, teachers
Aug 29:
•California API scores fall, but Silicon Valley schools dominate state top tier
•Data Center: 2013 Growth API ratings for all California schools

Hesitating to fully embrace a nationwide campaign to bolster schools' accountability, California has turned up its nose at federal carrots and now wants a reprieve from Uncle Sam's stick -- an entreaty that has so infuriated the Obama administration that it is threatening to withhold federal money from the state's schools.

Despite ostensibly working toward the same goal to improve public education, especially for disadvantaged children, Sacramento has resisted the changes in school accountability and teacher evaluation sought by Washington.

On Tuesday, the state Senate overwhelmingly endorsed a bill that creates a new state testing regimen -- one supporters heralded as promoting more meaningful learning, and less drill and memorization. Known as MAPP, the exams will be field-tested by some schools in the spring.

But the bill -- expected to pass the Assembly and be signed into law -- will let California ditch its STAR tests, the mainstay of its school accountability system. For more than a decade, public schools each spring have administered the standardized tests, which generate scores widely used to judge the success of schools and districts.

Now that index may not be published for up to two years. And that puts the state in conflict with a federal requirement to test students and broadcast the results -- a requirement State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson would like to have waived for California.

But this week, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued a peremptory response: "A request from California to not measure the achievement of millions of students this year is not something we could approve in good conscience," it read. "Backing away entirely from accountability and transparency is not good for students, parents, schools and districts."

The reaction took state officials, who have been talking with Washington, aback. "I was a bit surprised at the timing," said state deputy superintendent Deb Sigman.

State officials argued that it's unfair and meaningless to use old tests to assess how students do on new material, or to publish results of the still-unrefined MAPP, or Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress.

If the dispute isn't resolved, it's not clear if or how much Uncle Sam could refuse to pay to California schools. While local and state taxpayers foot most of the K-12 bill, federal funds pay for key programs. For instance, of San Jose Unified's $286.8 million general fund, 5.3 percent comes from the federal government.

More than any of his predecessors, Duncan has pressed vigorously for states to hold schools accountable for student achievement and teacher improvement.




Don Krause said...


U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, center, answers students' questions during a tour of Emerson Elementary in Albuquerque, N.M., on Sept. 9, 2013. Duncan's back-to-school bus tour also includes stops in Texas, Arizona and California. (AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan) ( Susan Montoya Bryan )

But California has resisted, despite the No Child Left Behind law, which requires states to bring growing numbers of students to proficiency or suffer sometimes-drastic consequences like school closures and takeovers. While most states recently have sought and won a way out of those federal threats, California was among just a handful that refused to seek a waiver of the law.

That's because to win the waiver, states had to promise to base teacher evaluations at least in part on student test scores. California, swayed by powerful teachers unions, has resisted incorporating standardized test scores into teacher evaluations.

In general, as they begin teaching the new Common Core curriculum adopted by most of the 50 states, school officials welcome the reprieve from publishing test scores.

"We need this year and all of next year prior to the spring of 2015 to fully prepare for these changes," said John Porter, superintendent of the Franklin-McKinley School District in San Jose.

In the spring, schools may voluntarily take either the English or math portion of the new MAPP exams. The state will pay for one, but not both, of the online-only tests.

A district wanting to administer both English and math will have to pay for the extra test.

Some districts, like East Side Union High in San Jose, would prefer to take both portions. "You would think that Mr. Duncan would want a large sample piloted to be sure that the tests are reliable," Superintendent Chris Funk said.

California could end up with one of the largest pilot tests in the nation. Many states plan to test only 10 percent of students while using their current standardized exam for the test of their students.

Many districts are still incorporating Common Core into the classroom. For example, Cupertino Union for a year and half has sent teams from each of its 26 schools to curriculum training, and to return to help train their colleagues.
continued

"We are giving the gift of time to teachers and students," said AB484's author, Susan Bonilla, D-Concord, a former English teacher, referring to the hiatus from releasing scores. "We want you to focus on classroom instruction. I understand the pressure a teacher feels when she knows an assessment is coming."

Don Krause said...

1. What is Assembly Bill (AB) 484?

Signed into law on October 2, 2013, AB 484 (Bonilla) External link opens in new window or tab. establishes the California Measurement of Academic Performance and Progress (CalMAPP) assessment system. The CalMAPP system replaces the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program. The primary purpose of the CalMAPP system is to assist teachers, administrators, and pupils and their parents by promoting high-quality teaching and learning through the use of a variety of assessment approaches and item types.

2. When does AB 484 take effect?

The provisions of AB 484 take effect on January 1, 2014.

3. Which subjects and grades are assessed in the CalMAPP system?

AB 484 calls for the transition to a system of assessments and assessment tools that cover the full breadth and depth of the curriculum and promote the teaching of the full curriculum. This transition will take several years to complete.

For the 2013–14 school year, CalMAPP is comprised of the following:
Field test of the consortium (i.e., Smarter Balanced*) summative assessment for English–language arts (ELA) and mathematics in grades three through eight and grade eleven. Each participating student will take either an ELA or mathematics field test. (Additional details about the field test can be found in the Smarter Balanced Field Test Questions and Answer page.)
Grade-level science assessments, including the California Standards Tests (CSTs), California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA), and the California Modified Assessment (CMA), in grades five, eight, and ten
California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) for ELA and mathematics in grades two through eleven
Voluntary for grade eleven students, the Early Assessment Program (EAP) in ELA and mathematics
Optional for local educational agencies (LEAs) to administer, the Standards-based Tests in Spanish (Further information about grade levels and subjects will be forthcoming.)

4. How does the passage of AB 484 affect the statewide testing of English learners? (added 24-Oct-2013)

AB 484 exempts English learners who have been attending school in the United States less than 12 months from taking the Smarter Balanced English–language arts assessments.

Cont.

Don Krause said...

5. What assessments will be used for the EAP Program? (updated 10-Oct-2013)

The current augmented CSTs for ELA and mathematics will continue to be used for the EAP Program in 2013–14. Beginning in the 2014–15 school year, the grade eleven Smarter Balanced computer adaptive assessments for ELA and mathematics will replace the augmented CSTs that are used for the EAP.

6. What tools will be provided to educators to assist them in implementing and assessing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS)?

AB 484 provides LEAs, at no cost, with formative tools and interim assessments for ELA and mathematics. Formative assessment tools are assessment tools and processes that are embedded in instruction and used by teachers and pupils to provide feedback for purposes of adjusting instruction to improve learning. Interim assessments are assessments that are designed to be given at regular intervals throughout the school year to evaluate a pupil’s knowledge and skills relative to a specific set of standards.

7. Will science be tested under CalMAPP?

The grade-level CST, CAPA, and CMA science assessments will continue to be administered in grades five, eight, and ten until new tests aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards, adopted in September 2013, are implemented.

8. Are previous STAR assessments available to LEAs? (updated 10-Oct-2013)
STAR assessments that are not a part of the CalMAPP system may be available for use by LEAs. Additional information on the process to order such assessments will be forthcoming. (Note that the STAR ELA and mathematics tests to be made available do not assess the CCSS.)
9. Can CalMAPP results be compared with results from STAR?

AB 484 prohibits the comparison of CalMAPP assessment results with results from STAR assessments that measure previously adopted content standards (e.g., CalMAPP ELA assessment and STAR ELA assessments). CalMAPP assessments that measure the same content standards as previously administered STAR assessments (e.g., science in grades five, eight, and ten) may be compared.

10. Does the passage of AB 484 affect the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) requirement? (added 24-Oct-2013)

No. The CAHSEE is not addressed in AB 484, so the passage of AB 484 has no impact on the CAHSEE requirement. Unless legislation is introduced and passed changing the existing requirement, LEAs are still required to administer the CAHSEE and it remains a high school graduation requirement.

11. Where should questions about AB 484 be directed?

Questions about AB 484 should be directed to the CDE Statewide Assessment Transition Office by phone at 916-445-8517 or by e-mail at AB484@cde.ca.gov.

Don Krause said...

For more in-depth info see the link below from California Legislative Information:

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB484

Anonymous said...

This focus on poverty is nonsense. Asians study 13.5 hours, whites 5.5, Latinos and African Americans under that. That's the reason for the achievement gap. Tutoring resources would help, but many exist and aren't being used. Parents need to put the time into their kids. Quoting Obama, "no family is so tired or poor that the only decision they can make with their evening is to watch TV." Asians achieve at 2-3 quintiles above their level, but no one follows them. They believe work determines achievement, that you control your destiny. Believing in things that are beyond your control leads to failure: poverty, society, genetics.

This is from an article, 16% of whites and 60% of Asians teach their kids basic reading, writing and math before Kindergarten. If 60% of blacks and Latinos did, the only gap we'd be talking about would be one with whites at the bottom. In fact the white/Asian gap is as big as the white/AA/Latino gap.

Transmitted down through the generations, this "moral mandate" for self-improvement "has tremendous motivational impact," the Brown psychologist says.
Such veneration of diligence helps account for the widespread Asian belief that when striving for academic success, effort counts more than innate ability.
American students of most ethnicities, other researchers have found, tend to believe the reverse, often arguing that gifted people are so smart they don't have to work as hard as others do. Americans also often think that we're born smart or not — with a fixed intelligence — while Asians more often believe that studying makes a person smarter. As one high-achieving Chinese-American student told Li, "Everybody in my family, all my aunts and uncles and cousins, they're all like, 'If you try harder, you'd be like a really smart person.'"
Li showed that even preschoolers value effort and ability differently according to their culture when she asked 95 white Americans and 93 mainland Chinese 4- to 6-year-olds to finish a story about a bird learning how to catch fish. The white children tended to mention the bird's ability and strategies ("She needs to know how to catch fish first," said one.)
The Chinese children, on the other hand, commented more on the bird's diligence, persistence and concentration. "Little Bear can never catch fish if she stays with three hearts and two minds," said one. "He fell, but he is not afraid, and starts all over again until the end," said another.
Both the Chinese and Japanese cultures also embrace the idea that children are like seedlings, and need parental shaping and trimming as they grow. (Japanese uses the same character for "cultivating" a plant and a person.)
Parents shouldn't start training children too young — the seedling has to sprout — but early habits will dominate, goes the common conviction. That's why 60 percent of Asian-American parents in one study by Michigan State University education professor Barbara Schneider taught their preschoolers basic reading, writing and math, hoping also to imbue them with perseverance, concentration and focus.
In contrast, 16 percent of whites surveyed taught their preschoolers those basic skills. Many explained that they didn't want to push academics on their preschoolers because they worried about "baby burnout" — squelching their toddlers' motivation with too-early teaching.

Anonymous said...

The below says it all. Truth is, the unions, Brown, who attended private school despite acting so radically far left in speeches, and all don't like what testing proves:

A. Teaching quality matters and seniority/tenure hurt kids.

B. Parenting and work ethic matter more than poverty.

C. There is a way to reduce inequality and help poor kids do better we are ignoring, and Asians are the leaders in this technique. It's not that some Asians are rich, it's a cultural phenomenon:

Below says it all:

That's why 60 percent of Asian-American parents in one study by Michigan State University education professor Barbara Schneider taught their preschoolers basic reading, writing and math, hoping also to imbue them with perseverance, concentration and focus.
In contrast, 16 percent of whites surveyed taught their preschoolers those basic skills. Many explained that they didn't want to push academics on their preschoolers because they worried about "baby burnout" — squelching their toddlers' motivation with too-early teaching.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

11:59am

What do you mean about not having any more testing? That isn't correct. The new MAPP tests trials are already scheduled for spring of 2014. Where do you get this bogus information and why does the moderator allow you to keep churning out your disinformation? Either you are stupid or so pig-headed you can see what's right in front of you.

Anonymous said...

Don, can you just delete her comments?

AB said...

reposted to this thread as it is more appropriate and on topic:

This is shaping up to be an interesting battle with, unfortunately, a generation of students being used as pawns in a political tug of war.

I know a few SFUSD schools that are worried about the new tests. They are concerned that they do not have adequate computers to administer the tests and that their students do not have the necessary computer skills to take the tests.

From what I observed on my thirty elementary school tours last year the availability and quality of computer labs/tech centers and emphasis on keyboarding skills/computer proficiency varies dramatically across SFUSD.

I have to believe that this is a significant issue that will take at least two years to work out once the resources are in place. Simply stated: Without a commitment of resources to every school in the district (technology, staff training, student computer classes) the MAPP tests cannot be properly administered and will not reflect actual student learning.

I have to agree with the State that first year or two of test scores need to be evaluated to ensure they are an accurate reflection of learning. In the business world we do extensive testing before, during, and even after a program rollout. Presumably these tests have been vetted and focus grouped or sample tested. The State should administer both tests over a period (two-three years?) to transition, establish some baseline comparisons, and work out the inevitable kinks.

Unfortunately this is shaping up to be another big-government boondoggle (much like the current ACA launch) - top down mandates without providing adequate guidance, support or resources to test and rollout correctly. (Note: This is not a judgement on ACA or MAPP, just on the pitiful execution.)

I shudder to think what is going to happen at less resourced schools and districts (those without large PTA fundraising programs).

Don Krause said...

This is a thread about testing, MAPP, STAR and Common Core.

The atrocities committed by your socialist comrades in China have nothing to do with Asians being admitted to Stanford. Should African Americans not go to college because African dictators and rebels slaughter their own people?

Last warning regarding acceptable commentary, Noteacher. If you want to continue to comment try not to act insane.

Don Krause said...

It is pretty clear that there are going to have to be some major changes to MAPPS before it is implemented for real. The computer issue alone cannot be solved without a massive statewide investment in technology in schools - money that we don't have. There are more than 6 million K-12 students. At 1,000 bucks a pop for computers that's 6 billion if technology is to be equitable. I think pencils would be cheaper, especially when you add on the cost of installation, infrastructure, software, networks, training and teaching.

What's wrong with this picture?

AB said...

The State is paying for schools to administer either Math or English (but not both). What exactly are they paying for? - If they pay for staff/teacher training and or tech lab we are at least going to have recurring benefit, If not these then what?

I am also curious as to the Federal rationale for isisting on keeping STAR tests after implementing Common Core curriculum. I understand the State's rationale for not publishing MAPP until they have properly tested and I understand the logic for no longer administering STAR.

Does anyone have links to articles that address either of these questions?

Don Krause said...

Last year the STAR test results went down for the first time since 2003. This result gives impetus to the Federal drive to revise curriculum, testing and employment practices - three goals of the Department of Education in its efforts to press Common Core, national testing and student achievement driven teacher evaluations (accountability). Failure for California, cynical as it may seem, supports federally-driven policy. Poor results do have the net effect of strengthening the Fed's case.

Following the money, the big technology push thatis MAPPS (a computer-only test - you can imagine what it would cost to implement) means untold billions to industry hardware and software makers. Content providers like Pearson, which has been under investigation for unlawfully influencing ed policy, also stands to profit handsomely by Common Core and MAPPS.

There is a separate discussion to be had regarding Federal meddling in education (three overlooked Federal laws prohibit nationalization of state curriculum standards), but a national revision of education is the gold rush for the education industry providers. Creating nationwide infrastructure and materials would be highly profitable for industry.

Eisenhower's warning of a military-industrial complex was prescient in 1961?, particularly from a deeply conservative Republican president, but until Obama's efforts to nationalize education, no one spoke of an education-industrial complex since education was state driven. It had been separate state and regional education-union mini-complexes that ruled and maintained the status-quo even while American education plummeted. National and state teacher unions contributed to defeat any reform at the ballot box through candidates or measures. But now the federal government has trumped union power in its alignment with reformers of the ilk of Gates, Broad, Walton, and Rhee to name a few. We seem to be faced with a choice between the union-dominated status quo or the more privatized and corporatist vision promoted by Obama and Duncan. While I support the temporary cancellation of STAR on principle, in the bigger picture California is a state with massive financial problems and it cannot hold out long against the Federal Government and its big industry patrons.

Anonymous said...

Pencil and paper tests are better, in principle. Studies have shown it's better to have your kids not watch TV, kids who make UCs watched under 10 hours of TV including video games in the '90s, average kids 40. Now there are YouTube videos and movies on the internet and shows every kid knows how to watch. This is a plot by the union-establishment to give homework and test prep to the computers, make it impossible to study without being on line, so they can save time correcting homework, demand more pay for the fraction of time saved it takes for them to use School Loop, and undermine Asian and other hard-working kids overachievement by getting them addicted to games (boys) and Facebook (girls) and movies and TV good parents try to keep them from (both). Then they can go back to saying, Asians don't achieve when poor, it's not our fault, it's not parents, it's poverty, if only we had a $25 minimum wage plus food stamps and public housing for everyone, test scores would be great, it has nothing to do with hours studied or discipline, all kids play games and watch TV, all homework is on the same machine and they know overworked parents can't sit right by their kids the whole time. This will defend seniority, tenure, status quo, anti-testing, etc. The union is behind all this online homework, online tests. Plus you know connected people will somehow get better test scores that get them into Lowell and troublemakers will get their tests back with random missed questions their kids didn't miss. There's something rotten in Denmark, and there's also something very rotten in San Francisco right now. It's just a disgusting conspiracy undermining the American work ethic. Let's dumb everyone down and get them in front of a TV. LIFO forever, it's only poverty, some vague unfixable problem, if only they had a little more cash, yeah yeay yeah, it's a bunch of crap!

Anonymous said...

Lady how the hell do you know how big my unit is? I could be in porno movies if I wanted to and I still think bad teachers should be fired and testing makes kids focus more and do better in school. This is a blog. I don't know if you're young or old, fat or thin, sexy or plain, flat or busty or anything else personal or sexual. I just think your view point is nuts and you are hurting children with your anti-testing attitude. You lionize those who don't study hard and criticize those who do when you should be doing the opposite. If every kid in California studied hard for 20 hours a week, worked hard and stayed married when they have kids, we'd have twice the GNP we have now and no one would be in poverty. Almost all poverty is due to single parents and not wanting to work hard and almost all bad test scores are due to low efforts in school. Focus on the reasons kids do bad in tests. Studies show TV hurts scores, yet dumb ass parents still let their kids watch tons of TV. Studies show kids without 2 parents do far worse on the tests, yet dumb ass parents abandon their kids and put their own sex lives ahead of their kids' academics all the time. These black guys you lionize as so wonderful, fewer than 15% of black 16-year olds in California have seen their father in the last month. Parents aren't putting kids' grades first. So keep your perverted thoughts to yourself and stop thinking about my penis size and address what will help children do better in school and have better lives, which is supposed to be the point of this blog.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don Krause said...

I only delete comments when I believe they are uncivil, uncouth, etc. And I never do so for political reasons or for differences in opinion. But one anonymous person continues to engage in sexual vulgarities and while I'm no prud, it is counterproductive to maintaining the integrity of the blog should I allow such commentary.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Why am I uncouth and crazy lady is not?

Don Krause said...

I'm just removing comments when people are talking about body parts and other childish vulgarities, whether they initiate the language or respond to it. I want it off the blog because no one is going to take it seriously if what they see is like a porn sex talk site.

Don Krause said...

Here is the report to the State BOE on the current status of implementation of Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in California. If you subscribe to the State BOE agendas, they send you all kinds of nifty information.

http://www.ccsesa.org/index/attachments/CCSS_Survey_Results_Final.pdf

AB said...

Interesting data - thanks Don.

Because this is district level data it does not reflect the student impact (53% of districts have under 2K students, 5% over 20K) skewing greater than 10:1 to students in small districts. I would love to see SFUSD response with school breakouts as many SFUSD schools are equal to a small district.

Lots of 'interesting' data to digest - seems like CA is not ready to go fully live for at least two more years.

I notice 2% of districts have opted to test using pencil-paper option and 'about three quarters' opted for computer only based testing. Q1: what about the other +/-23% of districts? Are they doing both - it will be interesting to see how the methods compare. Q2: Where does SFUSD fall given the $1B-$6B estimated cost to rollout computer based testing?

Anonymous said...

You don't understand Don there are reports and there is reality. What I can tell you is everyone close to it, with power, owes their position to donations from UE. We are at all these meetings, on speaker phone or in person. Everyone in there hates testing and wants to delay it as long as possible. It would have been easy to give the old tests until the new tests were ready. Part of the issue is, we all hate tests. You lose even when it seems obvious you'll win. Prop H was winning in our internal polls by 6%, but we count the votes and we turn out 100 for 100 and we get the paperwork to every door, just like we just defeated B and C. If they'd promised to use the right unions, we wouldn't have passed out the fliers and 8 Washington would be being built. Dennis Kelly has the power. He hates testing. Poverty is the problem unless you work so hard without dealing with your issues or having a life you destroy the ability to ever enjoy life as an adult, like the Asians you weirdos admire traumatizing themselves to placate the white power structure.

We all hate testing. We have an out this year. We'll have another next year and another after that. Lowell won't use testing for 2-3 years. Then it will drop in the rankings and we can make it a district school. There will be no rankings.

We want a world in which we can teach how we please and not be judged or fired and not have our students be judged, we can teach to the level of our class and we can teach what they really need, not how to pass some test with huge flaws based on an exploitative, violent and oppressive culture.

Imagine Arabs invented some new weapon, took over, and your kids had to take a test in Arabic or be considered dumb? You'd resist. Well we took over blacks, Mexicans and Native Americans, so giving them a culturally biased test is a slap in the face.

We control it all. We will find a reason to delay and eliminate this test just like we did the last one and the CTBS. The next one is dead on arrival or will at least be softened. Schools will be ranked by the principal on things like cleanliness, P.E., etc. It won't be the old nazi ranking before, and it will confuse things to the point where you can't judge a school by test scores. There will be other factors which enable us to add points to the schools with low test scores, such as poverty, we'll insist you base it on poverty, which will make Alamo and an elementary school like Bryant come up with the same test score, so you people can't say look you deserve it, you're lazy, and fire teachers.

It will go back to how it was under Clinton where we had a lot more freedom.

Anonymous said...

I'm a teacher and I agree very strongly. Teaching was much more enjoyable, and paid better compared to inflation, before 2000. I feel this recent obsession with testing and metrics has really been a detriment to our children. The first report that we were not comparing well to Norway and South Korea and Germany should have not been published in the news and been used as toilet paper. Who cares? We're the richest, greatest country on earth! We were doing fine in the '90s before there were any tests anyone focused on and we had our own State test. Then they want to compare to other countries, other states, pit races against each other in an effort to induce racial jealousy or inferiority complexes. You want to take a nice profession which serves children and turn it into a hypercompetitive Boiler Room Vin Diesel type situation where everyone is fighting over bonuses, scared of being fired and pressuring young children to do well on tests they are not prepared for and which may not fit their personalities and dispositions, not to mention the racism in such tests.

Governor Brown understands this deeply and wants to help us return to a kinder, gentler era. Is it any coincidence that there is a huge upsurge in school violence and bullying since these tests have been introduced, not to mention twerking and STDs? It's making our children basket cases. Brown is on the right track and I agree, from what I hear it will be a long time before we have the computers and training and actually do a test.

The good news is that gives us an extra week to actually teach kids so they will probably actually be smarter even though you won't be able to bean-count it.

Don Krause said...

If what I think you are saying, Noteacher, is what you in intended to say which is that SFUSD is done with testing - then you must be smoking something, not that it would make much difference with you.

If the implementation of CCSS was something for the ballots, the unions might be able to have some impact. But what you are missing, among everything else, is that CCSS is already a reality. It is a done deal since the Democratic legislature in Sac passed it 3 years ago. It's already well into the implementation phase and the testing naturally lags behind the teaching of content, hence the interruption in STAR before MAPPS.

Regarding your ridiculous prognostications about Lowell, even if the testing issues in California were to cause Lowell to default on national ranking which I doubt, it would have no effect on it being magnet school.

The union has a lot of power, but standardized testing is one area where it has little control. If CTA wanted to stop MAPPS it would have done so before now. The game is over.

Without implementation of CCSS and MAPPS a California school district cannot complete a Consolidated Application (CONAPP)which is a requirement for its apportionment -its life blood.

You need to stop letting your dogmatic views cloud your perception of the facts. Opine all you like, but that does not change the fact that a new testing regimen is happening.

You should take some consolation in the fact that MAPPS is a kinder, gentler test relative to STAR. Lowell is likely to increase in its ranking nationwide since California's old curriculum was, along with Massechusetts', tops in difficulty. CCSS is an easier rode and that will lead to even higher ranking for Lowell and California in general.

Better luck next time. No, scratch that.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of that nutjob!

AB said...

NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) results are out: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2014451

California remains near the bottom:
4th grade Math-#47
4th grade Reading-#47
8th grade Math-#45
8th grade Reading-#42

Interesting to see how the Mercury News and Chronicle chose very different headlines to tell the story:

http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_24475260/california-students-score-at-bottom-nation-reading-math

http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/California-students-post-top-test-score-gains-4966042.php

What I find most distressing is grade level proficiency across subjects in California ranges between 27% and 32%. Nationally, grade level proficiency is better, but still deplorable, ranging between 34% and 42%.

We have a long way to go with education reform.

Don Krause said...

I want to thank you AB for your contribution on this blog. I've been very busy lately and I'm glad to see other people posting useful information and insightful commentary. I'll get a chance later tonight to look at those articles and the different spins.

Anonymous said...

The Chronicle is union-controlled and wants to spin it. If California didn't have 14% Asians, slightly higher for kids, we'd be dead last.

Angola's economy grew faster than the U.S. last year, so did Sudan's, but we have over 100 times the income per person.

Growth is a meaningless statistic when compared with other states. It's easier to grow when you start from a lousy place.

I do fear noteacher might be right. I agree on paper, they are instituting a new test, but no one believes in it. I think we should have kept the old test going until the new one is ready and should never have skipped a year of testing. There's no reason to. The old tests were accurate. If you have something you think is better, great, but wait till you have it in place. I fear the union and Dennis Kelly and all their power will be used to delay this, which hurts kids a lot.

Don Krause said...

CCSS is a new curriculum. How can you teach one thing and test another? It would be no different than asking students to study from one book for a test but using the questions in a different book with different content for that test.

Don Krause said...


California students among worst performers on national assessment of reading and math

November 7th, 2013 | 7 Comments |
By Lillian Mongeau

California students performed about the same in reading and math on this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress as they did in 2011, ranking among the 10 lowest performing states in the country.

Results from this year’s assessment show that only 33 percent of California 4th grade students and 28 percent of 8th graders are proficient or better in math. In reading, 27 percent of 4th graders and 29 percent of 8th graders are proficient or better.

Explore how California students performed on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The national assessment is delivered to a representative sample of children in all 50 states and the District of Columbia every other year; the skills tested and form of the test differ from California’s standardized tests.

Overall, California students continue to rank near the bottom on the national assessment: Fourth graders scored 46th in the nation in math, and 47th in the nation in reading; eighth graders ranked 43rd in the nation in math and 42nd in reading.

Student scores did not change significantly from two years ago in any area except 8th grade reading, where students made a 7 point gain – the largest in the country.

California was one of 13 states, the Department of Defense schools and the District of Columbia, that made gains in 8th grade reading between 2011 and 2013. Source: NationsReportCard.gov
California was one of 13 states, the Department of Defense schools and the District of Columbia, that made gains in 8th grade reading between 2011 and 2013. Source: NationsReportCard.gov

“These scores are another sign that we are moving in the right direction to prepare students for college and career, but we still have a lot of work to do to make sure every student graduates equipped to succeed,” California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in the statement.

The department declined to comment further on the mostly flat performance of California students on the national test.

Students in all 50 states, including California, have improved steadily, if slowly, in math and reading since the test was first administered in 1970. That improvement holds true across ethnic groups, though a gap in performance between white students and their black and Hispanic peers has persisted. The gap between white and black students in California continues to mirror the national gap, while the gap between white and Latino students is slightly larger in California than in other states on all measures except 8th grade reading.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called the disparity between the performance of white students and students of color “extremely concerning” in a news conference on the new test data Wednesday. The solution, he said, is expanded public programs for young children as proposed by President Barack Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address.

In the seven months since the national assessment was administered here, California has adopted two major policy changes in school funding and curriculum. State money will now be distributed to school districts according to a Local Control

Don Krause said...

continued (reprinted from ED Source)

Funding Formula that provides extra funding for low-income students and students still learning English. And the state’s academic standards have been replaced with the new national Common Core standards, which require teachers to go into greater depth in the subjects they teach.

Read EdSource’s short guide to California’s new Local Control Funding Formula for schools.

Champions of the new policies are hopeful that they will lead to an uptick in student performance on the national assessment in coming years, said David Plank, executive director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), a non-partisan research center based at Stanford University, the University of California – Berkeley, and the University of Southern California.

“Those of us who are supportive of (the new funding formula, known as) LCFF, and additional flexibility for local decision makers are optimistic that those changes will allow local educators to adapt their programs to the needs of their own students and that will lead to better circumstances for their own students,” Plank said.

As the Common Core curriculum rolls out, there has been speculation that student scores on the new standardized tests, meant to assess students on the new standards, will be worse than they were on the old STAR tests, which were based on the now defunct California state standards. Plank said that might happen because the test is changing, not because the curriculum is changing, and he does not expect to see a dip in performance on the national assessment.

In fact, Plank said, the National Assessment of Educational Progress will be the only consistent measure of student performance delivered before and after the major policy changes now being implemented. Progress will likely continue to be slow and steady, he said.

“It’s unrealistic to expect dramatic changes and probably needless to worry about dramatic deterioration” on the next national test, which will be administered in 2015, Plank said.

Plank does expect to see improvement in student performance in 2015 and hopes to see performance gains accelerate over time. How big those gains might be depends entirely on how well the new policies are implemented, he said.

“At this point, I’m optimistic,” Plank said. “We’ve made changes that should lead to significant improvement in student performance but there are way too many variables in between for us to make strong judgments about that.”

Anonymous said...

Don, who cares about growth? Angola's economy grew faster than Switzerland's and Japan's last year, but where would you rather live? Hispanics are only making slow gains as they marry whites and assimilate, not the rapid gains they could make and surpass whites if they adopted typical Asian cultural and study practices. This growth you tout will take 100 years, maybe 200.

Anonymous said...

Lilian Mongeau is a stooge of the ruling class and a sellout! She has no idea what she is talking about. You will never buy enough computers to give this test. And if you do, what if a child doesn't get into a school because their computer malfunctions? This will eventually lead to NO TESTING of anyone, ever! You may have a common core, but no more racist tests! Guess what, if you stop administering racist tests, no achievement gap to whine about, no teachers to fire, no testing, problem solved.

Don Krause said...

What growth are you referring to? What is it you say I'm touting? I wasn't aware I was touting anything.

I'm not in favor of CCSS because I don't believe in national standards. The feds are using Title money to strong arm the states. Since it is a really small portion of the state ed budget, it almost like the feds are buying influence on margin. I'm against nationalization of education not only on the principle of Federalism because I don't believe education should be a Federal enterprise, but also because the national government is more corrupt than the state governments. Competition between states is essential to American strength and progress. Besides, what experience does the Department of Education have with schooling? Now they want to tell us what we should study and how to assess it? No thanks.

Anonymous said...

We need national standards!

Don Krause said...

"Lilian Mongeau is a stooge of the ruling class and a sellout"

Please stop with all the insults. If you have some problem with her article tell us what it is.

This logic of yours - "no test no achievement gap" - is beyond ridiculous. That's like saying there is no such thing as aptitude if you don't have a standard. What the hell are you saying? That we shouldn't have tests in class, no grading of papers, etc. Unbelieveable!

Anonymous said...

We need a national standard. We all need to learn national history and a little about each state. We don't need Californians knowing all about the Missions and the Earthquake and Texans obsessed with the details of avenging the Alamo and Massachussetts people obsessed with the Tea Party and the Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks and Hawaiians obsessed with some Queen and Utahns the history of polygamy and Mississippi people focused on we should have won the Civil War and 'The South Will Rise Again' and Minnesota obsessed with something that happened in Sweden in 1842 and Rhode Islanders obsessed with some random guy on an island and something unfair religiously that Massachussetts did and Marylanders bowing to the pope and New Hampshire people whining about not having enough beach land and Maine people mad about Massachussetts people and Nevadans focused on gambling and prostitution history and Oregonians with the trail and Oklahomans with the trail of tears and the song Okie from Muskogee and every state with their own weird history and obsessions.

We need a national culture to compete with Japan's, China's, the European Union's in which they are all unified and study it as a whole, no one is mad at Germany's sins anymore, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, England, Italy, Poland, Netherlands, Ireland, Greece and others all functioning as one unified nation.

We need to unify, not divide. We need to all learn the same history!

Don Krause said...


The Biggest Fallacy of the Common Core Standards


Boosters of the Common Core national standards have acclaimed them as the most revolutionary advance in the history of American education.

As a historian of American education, I do not agree.

Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core national standards, and they are being implemented this year.

Why did 45 states agree to do this? Because the Obama administration had $4.35 billion of Race to the Top federal funds, and states had to adopt "college-and-career ready standards" if they wanted to be eligible to compete for those funds. Some states, like Massachusetts, dropped their own well-tested and successful standards and replaced them with the Common Core, in order to win millions in new federal funds.

Is this a good development or not?

If you listen to the promoters of the Common Core standards, you will hear them say that the Common Core is absolutely necessary to prepare students for careers and college.

They say, if we don't have the Common Core, students won't be college-ready or career-ready.

Major corporations have published full-page advertisements in the New York Times and paid for television commercials, warning that our economy will be in serious trouble unless every school and every district and every state adopts the Common Core standards.

A report from the Council on Foreign Relations last year (chaired by Joel Klein and Condoleeza Rice) warned that our national security was at risk unless we adopt the Common Core standards.

The Common Core standards, its boosters insist, are all that stand between us and economic and military catastrophe.

All of this is simply nonsense.

How does anyone know that the Common Core standards will prepare everyone for college and careers since they are now being adopted for the very first time?

How can anyone predict that they will do what their boosters claim?

There is no evidence for any of these claims.

There is no evidence that the Common Core standards will enhance equity. Indeed, the Common Core tests in New York caused a collapse in test scores, causing test scores across the state to plummet. Only 31 percent "passed" the Common Core tests. The failure rates were dramatic among the neediest students. Only 3.2 percent of English language learners were able to pass the new tests, along with only 5 percent of students with disabilities, and 17 percent of black students. Faced with tests that are so far beyond their reach, many of these students may give up instead of trying harder.

There is no evidence that those who study these standards will be prepared for careers, because there is nothing in them that bears any relationship to careers.

There is no evidence that the Common Core standards will enhance our national security.

How do we know that it will cause many more students to study math and science? With the collapse in test scores that Common Core brings, maybe students will doubt their ability and opt for less demanding courses.

Why so many promises and ungrounded predictions? It is a mystery.

Even more mysterious is why the nation's major corporations and chambers of commerce now swear by standards that they have very likely never read.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for high standards. I am opposed to standards that are beyond reach. They discourage, they do not encourage.

But the odd thing about these standards is that they seem to be written in stone. Who is in charge of revising them? No one knows.

Don Krause said...


When I testified by Skype to the Michigan legislative committee debating the Common Core a couple of weeks ago, I told them to listen to their teachers and be prepared to revise the standards to make them better. Someone asked if states were "allowed" to change the standards. I asked, why not? Michigan is a sovereign state. If they rewrite the standards to fit the needs of their students, who can stop them? The federal government says it doesn't "own" the standards. And that is true. The federal government is forbidden by law from interfering with curriculum and instruction.

States should do what works best for them. I also urged Michigan legislators to delay any Common Core testing until they were confident that teachers had the professional development and resources to teach them and students had had adequate time to learn what would be tested.

Do we need national standards to compare the performance of children in Mississippi to children in New York and Iowa? We already have the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has been making these comparisons for 20 years.

Maybe I am missing something. Can anyone explain how the nation can adopt national standards without any evidence whatever that they will improve achievement, enrich education, and actually help to prepare young people -- not for the jobs of the future, which are unknown and unknowable -- but for the challenges of citizenship and life? Thebiggest fallacy of the Common Core standards is that they have been sold to the nation without any evidence that they will accomplish what their boosters claim.

Across the nation, our schools are suffering from budget cuts.

Because of budget cuts, there are larger class sizes and fewer guidance counselors, social workers, teachers' assistants, and librarians.

Because of budget cuts, many schools have less time and resources for the arts, physical education, foreign languages, and other subjects crucial for a real education.

As more money is allocated to testing and accountability, less money is available for the essential programs and services that all schools should provide.

Our priorities are confused.

Don Krause said...

The above 2 posts were from Diane Ravitch. She's makes some goo points.

Common core and MAPP have never been field tested over any reasonable length of time, yet we are adopting them nationwide (with a few states excepted) as if they are some magic bullet? It is a widely known fact that CCSS is less rigorous than the previous Cal curriculum, not to say that is better or worse.

What will make a difference is better teaching, end of LIFO and more time in school, tutoring, homework help, etc. The curriculum and the testing of it are only marginally related to the pedagogy. The quality of a curriculum is secondary to good teaching and that's why Vergara is far more important than Common Core.

We have two conflicting reforms simultaneously. LCFF means more local control, but CCSS means more national control. In other words, we pay for it and Washington is going to tell California what to do. Good luck with that!

Anonymous said...

I am deeply offended by your comments!

How in the hell is this impossible and beyond reach? How she can say this baffles me!

Almost all Asians are passing, excelling. What are you saying they're genetic? It's "impossibly beyond reach" for a black boy or girl to pass? So some magical mystical and invisible monster is physically preventing black and Latino kids from watching under 10 hours a week of TV and games and studying 15-20 hours a week, which most Asians do? It's deeply impossible? It's way beyond reach to suggest black kids do what most immigrants from Africa and Obama's kids do? It's impossible for Mexican immigrants to do what most Cubans do in Florida?

Just shut up and quit whining already. If you want to pass, study and organize your life around passing. If you don't, watch TV 40 hours a week, the average for American kids, don't organize a quiet place to study for your kids, don't make sure they do 2-3 hours a week and a full day every weekend, don't make sure they study in the Summers to avoid summer learning loss, don't make sure they read novels.

This impossible talk has got to stoop. For any child, do or do not, there is no try!

It's like Al Pacino said in 'Any Given Sunday':

If there's any life in me, it's because I'm willing to fight and die to get that inch, and in any fight, it's the guy who's willing to fight and die, who's gonna get that inch. Look at the guy next to you and I think you're going to find a guy who will fight and go that inch with you because he knows when it comes down to it, you're going to do the same for him. On this team, we fight for that inch. On this team we tear ourselves apart and everything and everyone else around us to pieces for that inch. WE CLAW WITH OUR FINGERNAILS for that inch! Because we know when we add up all those inches, that's gonna make the *********** difference between winning and losing, between living and dying!

That's it, if you make it your absolute highest priority you're going to win! If you whine and make excuses, you're going to lose!

If you want it, make your kids work as hard as the kids who are passing are, tell them nothing is more important than studying and fighting to get that answer! It's that simple.

As Al Pacino would say: that's education boys and girls...that's all it is...now...what are you gonna do about it?

Don Krause said...

I've deleted your comment because I will not allow you to use this education blog as a means to push your socialist credo. We have a public education system for the purpose of providing opportunity for all. It is a joint enterprise between the state and the student. If a student doesn't work to excel, nothing the state can do will make a difference. You don't believe the individual has responsibility. How can anyone can get an education without it?

Anonymous said...

Everyone deserves equal income for equal time and effort at work. That's just basic common sense. If you're a little less smart than another, you should still be paid for your efforts. I don't agree with a CEO making $20 million a year and a barista $20,000. That's wrong. He's not a thousand times as productive.

Anonymous said...

This whole testing thing is just a sinister plot to try to justify increasing inequality. It's like raping a woman and blaming her for wearing a skirt, blame the victim. What a surprise, someone who was sold from their family and oppressed for hundreds of years can't do as well on a test the victors created which fits their culture, let's give the white man $20 million a year and every bit of wealth and the black man $20,000 if he's lucky and if he can't make rent, he's out on the street. And let's bring in a bunch of obsequious Asians to make it worse and blame them more. I ain't buying what you're selling Sir Lord Krause.

Anonymous said...

If everyone gets equal income per hour, you get a problem with people pretending to work and being lazy. I agree it's way too unequal now and the CEOs and ruling class are risking drastic action by going way too far, but equal income for everyone wouldn't work and testing is important.

Anonymous said...

You can't do most modern jobs well if you can't read well, write well, think and do math.

AB said...

Testing is a vital and necessary tool to identify students who need help in order to move on the next academic level.

Love it or hate it, Common Core is the new program and NAEP will bear out over time whether it improved scores or not.

The equality agenda that is part of the SFUSD guiding vision, while noble, has become a race to the bottom. By definition, if even one student cannot make the grade to advance then no-one advances or everyone is given a merit-less advance as everyone must be treated equally.

By advancing kids that are not academically proficient we further discourage those teetering on the edge and push them to dropout and we end up with highschool graduates who are illiterate or cannot balance a checkbook.

How does SFUSD plan to implement LCFF? Will they focus a disproportionate amount on top achievers (least likely) or bottom non-achievers (most likely), or will they focus on the middle and try to increase overall District proficiency numbers (highly unlikely)? The only 'equitable' way to spend these funds is to allocate an equal amount per student, and we know that is not going to happen.

We need to hold students and teachers accountable for academic success and need to allocate funding to programs that help students learn the basic skills they need to succeed in life. Testing and evaluations are integral tools to achieving higher quality public education.

Anonymous said...

Teachers don't deserve to make more than an illiterate who scrubs out the toilet. It is their problem if they chose to go to college and go into debt when they could work for the same money or more doing menial labor.

Don Krause said...

AB

Included below is a brief summary of the LCFF grants copied from the CDE. The districts are supposed to use the extra funding,(non-base grant) towards student achievement in the identified groups - ELL, Free and reduced ( FRPL) and foster youth. There is a big fight now at the State BOE over the accountability for spending those monies. Check out Ed Source for this.

If the state hands over the grants w/o strict spending provisions districts can use the money however they wish. But the law was passed not only to simplify an arcane school finance system, but also and more significantly to put more money towards the achievement gap.

As you can see, the supplemental and concentration grants are huge. In order to provide that kind of money, the per pupil base grant must be lower. This raises a question: Is this equal opportunity under the state Constitution? In the past some equal opportunity cases were decided based upon unequal distribution of resources - like Serrano. Now they want to institutionalize unequal resources and call that equitable. It sounds to me like a formula for mediocrity, even if it lowers the achievement gap. And more funding is not a reform. Plenty of funding has been flushed this way when it wasn't tied strictly to known beneficial reforms. The more I know about LCFF the less I like it and many problems are starting to surface including issues that relate to the simultaneous implementation of CCSS and MAPP. The one year test delay makes no sense b/c full implementation of CCSS isn't expected to take place until 2018.

Copied from CDE

Funding Provisions

The 2013–14 budget package replaces the previous K–12 finance system with a new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). For school districts and charter schools, the LCFF creates base, supplemental, and concentration grants in place of most previously existing K–12 funding streams, including revenue limits and most state categorical programs. For county offices of education (COEs), the LCFF creates separate funding streams for oversight activities and instructional programs.

The 2013–14 Budget Act provides $2.1 billion for school districts and charter schools and $32 million for COEs to support the first-year implementation of the LCFF. Until full implementation, however, local educational agencies (LEAs) will receive roughly the same amount of funding they received in 2012–13 plus an additional amount each year to bridge the gap between current funding levels and the new LCFF target levels. The budget projects the time frame for full implementation of the LCFF to be eight years.

The LCFF includes the following components for school districts and charter schools:
Provides a base grant for each LEA equivalent to $7,643 per average daily attendance (ADA). The actual base grants would vary based on grade span.
Provides an adjustment of 10.4 percent on the base grant amount for kindergarten through grade three (K–3). As a condition of receiving these funds, the LEA shall progress toward an average class enrollment of no more than 24 pupils in kindergarten through grade three, unless the LEA has collectively bargained an annual alternative average class enrollment in those grades for each school site.
Provides an adjustment of 2.6 percent on the base grant amount for grades nine through twelve.
Provides a supplemental grant equal to 20 percent of the adjusted base grant for targeted disadvantaged students. Targeted students are those classified as English learners (EL), eligible to receive a free or reduced-price meal (FRPM), foster youth, or any combination of these factors (unduplicated count).
Provides a concentration grant equal to 50 percent of the adjusted base grant for targeted students exceeding 55 percent of an LEA’s enrollment.
Provides for additional funding based on an “economic recovery target” to ensure that virtually all districts are at least restored to their 2007–08 state funding levels (adjusted for inflation) and also guarantees a minimum amount of state aid to LEAs.

AB said...

Thanks Don. Lot's of data to digest. Yes, there is much to be concerned about.

If unequal distribution of resources is successfully institutionalized and the State does not place appropriate and stringent spending provisions I can see the SFUSD spending all non-base grant funds ($70M-$95M annually by my calculation) on pet 'equity' projects at select schools with no academic achievement accountability.

This will only exacerbate enrollment issues as families with means continue to flee SFUSD to private school or the burbs.

Anonymous said...

SFUSD has it backwards. It offers the most to families who have only options of mediocre suburban (Hayward, Daly City, Concord, San Bruno) or Central Valley schools to keep them in SF and offers the least to families with options, including private and affluent suburbs (Marin, Orinda, Palo Alto, Belmont) with good schools. Lowell and SOTA keep a lot of families in SF, for there are no better academic or arts schools, public or private, in Northern California. But they need to offer more to people with options. When the poor leave, they help our City, reduce crime, raise average test scores. When the well off lead, they don't donate to PTAs, their kids don't set a good example and raise our test score. Policy should try to attract those with options, not try to attract those without options who even if they do leave help SF rather than hurt it.

This is misguided policy.

These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

Anonymous said...

AB, families are increasing in SFUSD recently. The white percentage was down to 9% and is up to 12, and the real number is higher with some putting DS and ONW. I agree it's not what it should be and too many are lost to private and burbs, belying our reputation as a liberal City, but the numbers are increasing. Most suburban schools aren't as good as they were. The truth is, Asians have 3.8 x the odds of making it into a UC, so if you are white, you're smart to go for heavily Asian schools, it's far better than heavily white schools. Lowell, Fremont Union, Cupertino, Palo Alto, Gunderson, Saratoga-Los GAtos, and other mostly Asian schools are way better than richer public schools in Orinda, Mill Valley, etc. Private schools are a problem, reduce integration, but more of the middle class are looking at public schools lately.

AB said...

8:45 - thank you for that. I know that public school enrollment ticked up during the recession and the 2013-14 KG application cycle seemed heavily subscribed. I recognize there are many drivers that make San Francisco skew away from families and that the quality concerns of the school district are only one of a myriad of factors. Can't tell if the enrollment swing is a sustaining trend just yet.

I'm not sure I understand you argument for white kids to go to a heavily Asian school - is it because they will be motivated to study, because they will be a minority, or something else?

The enrollment trend you reference brings up an interesting point: Having more achievement oriented students enter SFUSD may improve proficiency ratios but it does not increase the quality of the curriculum. As an SFUSD parent I have to make choices that are in the best interest of my child and I am hard pressed to justify SFUSD on it merits. A common refrain I hear from many frustrated SFUSD parents (that I echo) is that by choosing public school we can afford to pay for vacations and extra curricular activities and put money away for college versus just paying tuition. It's a financial resources argument, not an endorsement for public school.

Anonymous said...

AB, I just bought a book on Amazon and am reading it now, and will include the link below. It essentially proves there is absolutely zero academic advantage to private school if you adjust for family income, proves it statistically beyond the shadow of a doubt. It's the income that causes the achievement.

However, I believe it hurts Latino and black students as white parents donate the most to the PTAs and are very involved. Asians are not as involved even though they perform better on tests. The argument of Brown v. Topeka is, separate but equal makes you feel unequal. A black kid taking the 24 Fillmore from the projects in Western Addition down Fillmore, past Hamlin and other nearly all-white middle schools and arriving at Marina Middle, 10% white in a 97% white neighborhood, seeing that almost every white there moves or sends their kids private and believes Marina Middle is beneath consideration for their child because of the AA percentage, cannot feel equal. James Lick is now about 20% white, but used to be 9%, so it's increasing. It is nearly all Latino, about 5% black and a surprisingly low 2% Asian. White kids there get the same average test score as white kids at Hoover, Presidio, Gianninni, etc.

Anonymous said...

Many parents will make a vocal liberal cause of their child, speak in outrage at the idea they go to a public school. I would never send so and so, but the real victim is the black and Latino and poor kid in those school, and statistically their child would do fine if they went there, far, far better than the kids there now and just as good as the same income, white kids at the top schools.

It's a statistical fact, there is no academic advantage to private school. The reason many parents feel it's better is marketing from these schools is very manipulative and they pay pre-schools for referrals, so often in pre-school the owners start working the parents. There is also a desire to ensure white daughter do not associate with black or Latino culture and potentially marry a poor person of another race. It is more to make contacts, business deals, and perpetuate a white-advantaged caste society on the model of old England than for any perceived or actual academic performance.

This is why Lowell's test scores do not move many of the Pacific Heights/Sea Cliff Elite. Pelosis, Feinsteins, Ghetty's, Rees, these people are not moved by the fact that Lowell's average hours studied per week, extracurricular participation, average SAT Scores and AP scores are higher than even the most elite private schools. They want connections and the corruption that goes with such connections. They want an oligarchy where it's not what you know, it's who you know.

My argument for the Asian schools is that yes, it will push you to work harder. Presidio and Hoover and Giannini have norms that kids need to study 15 hours a week to do well. At Lowell, 20 hours a week is below average, 25 maybe average. In theory you can work the same and get a higher GPA at another school, but in reality, most kids won't be driven to do so at another school, but at Lowell they will get the homework and feel the pressure and be around others doing so and thus work harder and become smarter. It also makes you more open to other cultures and the future growing power of China and, to a lesser degree, Japan and Korea, will make such an education beneficial, but the main reason is it drives you to push yourself. Education is simple, input in, education out. If you work harder, you'll turn 18 a better person. I have no doubt the kids at Lowell turn 18 a better person than anywhere else, on average. Your intelligence, knowledge, extracurriculars, social skills, will be very high. Plus you go to a school 40% plus reduced or free lunch to which is open to the rich and the poor who work hard, so your child is thriving without you doing anything to exacerbate unfairness or separate children by parental income and race.

I agree that's a bad argument, but those going to public will save money for good things without in any way compromising their child's education. Please buy and read the book below. It is very thorough and you will be convinced. Private schools do not increase performance, they only increase segregation and immorality and apartheid in our time. There is no academic benefit. Also, I believe as a parent you have to consider your children but as a citizen, not only your children, you should make decisions which don't inadvertently hurt other children in our community.


http://www.amazon.com/Public-School-Advantage-Schools-Outperform-ebook/dp/B00G9V8OL6/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1384242445&sr=1-1&keywords=public+school+advantage

Anonymous said...

The proof that private schools are more about white supremacy and apartheid is the failure of Lowell's statistics to motivate many of these elite parents. Many say Lowell is "too Asian." Simply put, for these people, the ruling class, it's simply wrong to not be white and upper class. They have been avoiding black and Latino kids going to school with theirs for decades on the premise they are violent, will mix their children's bloodlines, will teach their kids bad language and behavior and will reduce their children's academic achievement. This has been disproven, but they still claim it all the time.

However, when a group overachieves them, they do not say, wow, I admit it, Asians do have a better way than whites. They will openly corruptly try to get their child into Ivy League and elite colleges using legacy and outright bribe donations, as proven in 'The Price of Admission' by Daniel Golden. They admit their kids have lower SAT Scores but say they are more well-rounded because they wrote a better essay they paid someone $8500 to help them write, played sports 99% of Americans can't (polo, gold, lacrosse, crew) afford, volunteered in 3d world nations with their parents money, etc. It's a plot to perpetuate the rich staying rich. They want a world about caste and connections, and a group of poor kids, Asians, overachieving, breaks that ideal. They used to have a Jewish Quota, now they have an Asian Quota. These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

Don Krause said...

The last two comments are completely off-topic. Please, stick to the subject post.

AB said...

Thanks for the explanation and book referral. You make an interesting argument for school selection criteria that I know drives many people, and SFUSD administration, crazy. Your point about viewing your child as a citizen is well taken - thus the public/private struggle.

Don Krause said...

As I said, you are way off the topic of testing. This is not your private blog to speak on the subject of your choosing. Please submit a well-reasoned article to post on SF EdBlog. But it would have to be better reasoned than the comments above. I've heard this point of view from you about a thousand times which is that private schools are bad for public schools. Many people say that of charters, but you're in favor of them. At least privates don't suck tax dollars out of the system. You seem to be inferring the same kind of total state takeover of education that Noteacher is fond of.


You are all about statistics as the measure of a school and studying as the end all to be all when it comes to student success. That is an extreme simplification that does a disservice to the quality issues currently the subject of reform efforts. In any case, Stanford found not a single Lowell student last year that measures up to their standard. By the way, I've never heard you bad mouth private universities other than to complain about the Asian quota, which applies as well to UC as well.

Submit a post and stay on the topic.

Anonymous said...

Don, not everyone goes to college, I felt Brown v. Topeka was something which could integrate society, cause different people to know each other. We are more separate by class as well as race than most of the advanced world. The truly disadvantaged are sadly mostly gone by college. I do think public high school, elementary and middle schools should be integrated and diverse. There is no Asian quota in the UC System, it was outlawed by prop 209. There used to be affirmative action, but the quota issue is Asians being held to a higher standard than whites, not blacks/Latinos/Native Americans. This issue confuses everyone, people bring up affirmative action every time you mention the quota, and it's not about that, it's about half-white, half-Asian kids changing their name, knowing their odds go down if they click Asian.

Stanford is as bad as the Ivies in this. Duke and Brown got the most attention in Daniel Golden's book, but Stanford is at fault. I guarantee you they are rejecting a lot of people from Lowell who are superior to a lot they are accepting. For one, they should track school difficulty and performance of those admitted. Students from Lowell do better than others at each school which has measured this, including UC Berkeley. Asians outperform whites at the Ivy League Schools, which proves they are not being held to a higher standard due to performance questions.

As far as privates not taking money, I've heard forever that privates add money to the publics but it's not true at all, San Francisco basically just pays the state minimum while many suburbs significantly supplement education with their own general fund, something San Francisco chooses not to do, or to only do to the tune of $30 million. Pleasanton puts over $30 million into their schools over and above the formula/state minimum, and they have a tenth our population. It's pathetic and a low priority in SF. Private schools decrease what we spend as the people whose money controls elections vote against school funding, which I know you are generally against any more money going into SFUSD as well so you are happy with this. I feel we deserve the same teacher/police pay ratio as other cities and we have the lowest. Every other profession gets paid more because it's San Francisco, and teachers are paid more in rich suburbs than poor ones, but in SF, we are rich but we can't spare a penny.

Don Krause said...

What is your problem? This isn't a free for all. The subject is testing. Any more way off topic comments will be deleted. I don't care what point your making. I'll trying to run a coherent blog and I can't do it if you rant endlessly about Asians, Apartheid and Ivies and Noteacher rants on and on about poverty and hopelessness.

I find it extremely hard to keep up with the constant flow of new information coming out daily on the subject of CCSS,MAPP and LCFF. I try to post some of that here so we can have a reasonably informed conversation and when I log on I just see another rant from you or her about the same old tired subjects presenting exactly the same information you've already said repeatedly.

Go somewhere else if you can't follow the standard rules. You have your own blog.

Anonymous said...

Testing, well my opinion on testing is there should be more of it. I am strongly in favor of it. I don't think we should skip a year. I think we should test this year, even if it isn't the curriculum. I am afraid Noteacher is right that it's a plot, which she's in favor of, to end testing. It is going to be confusing for Lowell and bad for parents. Parents will get used to there not being tests. I don't think they're going to skip it for a year any more than Ed Lee's pledge not to run for Mayor. It's a convenient thing to say so people like us don't protest. By the time they announce the new delays we'll be used to it. They'll plant stories in the paper that not testing helped the kids learn more. I shudder to imagine a world without testing. I believe testing is the best test of a child's character. Grades can be manipulated, essays written for someone. Testing is pure and forever. It's a morally neutral measure of human goodness.

Don Krause said...

What is the point of testing when the content and the test are not aligned? The California tests will be discounted as invalid and the tests will have been a gigantic waste of resources and class time. I know you like testing kind of like wanting more cheese on your burger. But I hope to run an intelligent blog and that is impossible when people have opinions in the mold of - all teachers are good or the more tests the better. I hope to get some more informed voices, but when people go to this site and see this kind of commentary they run for the hills.

Anonymous said...

I'm a vegetarian. I want cheese on my veggie burger. I do eat fish. I think it's idiotic that they delayed. They should have switched the teaching the same year they switched the test. It's gross negligence and incompetence. It's like the time they had feeders and delayed it for one year and for that year, gave no preference for middle school. So many good people were driven out of the schools that year, people who lived a block away. They had the info, could have done it right away, and they destroyed lives by delaying for a year. They are damaging children's lives now because they can't get their act together. Good people are suffering. And you are falling for the whole we're going to buy 56,000 good computers soon argument. It's a ploy Don. They are going to delay multiple years on this. They will destroy Lowell. They are in meetings now and there are people proposing admitting by grades only and by grades and the same test and there is a third group in the meetings saying make Lowell a lottery school like all the others. That will destroy Lowell's reputation and quality very quickly. Then after the 5-6 years they delay testing because the teachers' union is demanding across the board unconditional raises of 20% over 3 years and 30% over 5 years and the janitorial union is demanding an even bigger raise, so they have no money for the computers, they will say Lowell works better this way, let's leave it as a random lottery school, and pretty soon there will be no reason for anyone to want to go there over any other school. You're falling for it hook line and sinker. They'll delay one year, then delay another, then delay another. Noteacher lady has an in with the people who make all the decisions and she knows the truth. They didn't mistakenly not have the computers ready, they don't like common core and argued for ending testing for years, now they are arguing they don't have the computers and aren't ready, but they aren't working hard to get ready. In a year, maybe 10 months, we'll start hearing noise that they are still nowhere near ready, then we'll be used to it. They may teach common core, but they won't test it. Even you think it's a waste of resources an class time, but you think it's a mistake, a goof, a one-year problem. It will happen again and again. Once you break the pattern, anything goes.

Anonymous said...

Also, if there are no tests, then all teachers can be claimed to be good. That's a key part of evaluating and differentiating teachers, which is why the union is working hard to make sure the raise is so big that it takes up all the new money coming in and reluctant to challenge the city to contribute money, so it crowds out any ability to judge teachers by objective criteria.

Anonymous said...

I'll be retired by the time you get another test. Hah! LIFO forever! Last in, first out! You people can't even agree amongst yourselves let alone fire us en masse. You can't even sync up the curriculum with the test! There should be no common core. Teachers are on the ground, closest to the children. We know what kids need in terms of their education. Some have no hope of being an engineer or accountant, they've suffered too much damage. The best they can hope for is that we drastically increase minimum wage and provide jobs they can't be fired from, union jobs, and teach them a trade. Not everyone fits these jobs, some need an equal income to support a family based on their own hard work, not math and reading and science. Not to mention that doing what it takes to do well on these tests is often an affront to one's family and culture and creates a chasm. Let teachers decide if kids need to memorize verb conjugations and multiplication tables or just learn how to respect themselves, vote, be at peace and survive in a racist world. Some kids need a hug. Your single solution fits all is leading to a huge achievement gap. Let's end all testing and let teachers and children decide, not bureaucrats in Washington and Sacramento. All teachers have something to give but they must do it as they are comfortable with. All this common core is a distraction from racism and CIA drugs destroying the communities. Testing is over! No judgement of teachers and yes, the raises should be across the board we haven't had a raise in years and we deserve it!

Don Krause said...

"I think it's idiotic that they delayed. They should have switched the teaching the same year they switched the test. It's gross negligence and incompetence."

That statement is intellectual gross negligence. You can't be bothered to read a few articles from above, but THEY are the idiots and negligent? It's funny when someone as ill-informed as you thinks others are naïve. Your comments are the paranoid fantasy of a conspiratorial mindset. It doesn't matter how much information I give you to help you digest all the changes taking place, all you see is the delay and you incorrectly construe that to mean the end of all testing in California - an absolutely appalling misrepresentation of the facts. Having pulled your own daughter out of an honors class in order get her better grades to get into Lowell, you should understand grading and testing is very subjective at best and that to do it right requires some effort. It is literally impossible to implement a new curriculum and test it accurately without performing trials first.

The new curriculum and testing is strengthening the power and role of assessment in K-12 education and its funding, not decreasing it as you maintain. California is not backing out of testing and to think that it is doing so is to have your head way up your ass.

In any case, I just got off the phone with a guy named John Burke at the testing division at SFUSD. He said that grades 3-8 will take the MAPPS test based upon the Smarter Balanced Consortium's content (you will know what that is if you have kept up with this issue), but as it will be a first year field test (trial) the results will not be published. That test will be given in either in math or ELA.

Grades 5,8 and 19 will take a pencil and paper test in Science. Grade 9 and 10 will have 5% sample take a MAPP version of ELA or math.

Next year they will have full testing in ELA, math and science by MAPP with a pencil and paper version if needed, but they only expect 2 school to possibly need it.

As for Common Core, in short, it has been implemented this year in ELA and next year in math. I there are any shortcomings, a third year will be required for full implementation.

Trying to deliver a new curriculum with an accurate test of it and to do it statewide is a major endeavor. Your personal preference for more testing clouds your judgment, but fortunately there are clearer minds involved in actually rolling out these reforms. You may not have the mind for all the technical difficulties surrounding such a huge project, but you should try to understand that certain delays are to be expected before test results for 6 million plus kids can be verifiable, regardless of the fact that you, Jeff Scalini (pseudonym), think otherwise.

Why don't you take your bullshit and spread it around on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's fair to bring up personal history and put it in public, as some people on here know who I am, and you know I met those teachers and said she would do whatever it took after a couple weeks and asked for advice and they told me I was wrong to try for Lowell and should just encourage her to go to another school and not try for an A, just do the minimum and see what happens. It was the opposite of a challenge really, they were trying to encourage us to not try, trying to dumb her down because they personally don't think Lowell should exist. The idea of Lowell is to encourage hard work in middle school and provide a challenging high school. They undermined that, they wanted it to be a district school and wouldn't help or advise students on how to put time in. I have never had a teacher like those 2 for any of my kids, before or since.

I read the article, but am concerned with what the woman you refer to as Noteacher is saying. I have seen things like this in the past.

I've heard some good things about the new test. It is more challenging, more based on what you really know, and adjusts in the middle. I just worry about Noteacher's comments.

Anonymous said...

Don, what do you think Lowell should do for the next couple years? What is your solution?

Don Krause said...

Look, if you are going to call me naïve and falling for (something) hook line and sinker, you are getting personal. But you're not even making sense because I don't know what it is 'm supposed to be falling for. So if you don't want to get personal, don't be personal.

Regarding my reference to your child, it is a perfect parallel. (And by the way, no one know who you are.) You couldn't trust the grade of the teacher because you didn't believe in the integrity of that teacher. Same thing with a test. You have to believe that the test has integrity and that requires, at a minimum, some trials. If she took a test and failed it and as a result failed to make it into your preferred school, Lowell, and then you subsequently found out that the incipient test was not accurate, you would be crying foul and ranting about the unfairness of it all.

As for my proving a solution about what to do about Lowell, I have no idea what the question is.

Anonymous said...

You have a point about the test. I'm worried because I won't be able to study for it with my youngest. It's just I'd prefer if you'd change the way you phrase it because it looks like I was doing an end around or making it easier. My daughter's test scores were above the average and I simply wasn't going to let 2 teachers who refuse to advise her on what she needs to do to get in and discourage her from working harder keep her out. She's very proud to be a part of the tradition.

I am worried about the test, and I know a couple teachers are working on the test now. The idea sounds good, but the implementation is a question.

You're right, I would be upset if my child didn't make it in. However, with a 60/40 ratio, I feel girls will be under a lot of pressure to do things they aren't ready for as the competition for a boyfriend is too harsh, and if it's all grades, it will go to 65-35 for a year.

As for the problem at Lowell, it is this. They have to try to get the best in, to maintain their quality. How do you do so without testing? What if a kid has a 4.00 but easy teachers and a bad school? The test score in the past could still knock a kid with a 4.00 out, but now anyone with a 4.00 will get in. Quieter kids will get in, kids at bad schools who don't rock the boat and do their homework but are not as academically sound as a kid with maybe a B or two at a better school but who have more knowledge.

Lowell would probably be best if it did what Boston Latin and the 5 schools in NYC do, just base it all on a test, which can be studied for. This would take the stress out of 7th and the first half of 8th grade and make life easier on students and teachers, but still reflect the cumulative work ethic over an entire childhood. It wouldn't just be did the kid get an A- or a B+ on science in 8th grade, but do they read novels in the Summer, did they study for the test in the Summer, did they read more than watch TV in 3d, 4th and 5th grade, and taking extra classes at Kumon, C2C, and the various Russian tutoring centers around the Richmond, Math Counts, etc. would help as much as that extra 2 hours studying for a Science final in 8th grade.

Not only that, but more boys would go which would reduce the social stress on girls.

The attempted end around on Prop 209 is also failing. I don't know the solution, but test scores would be better for that as well. Kids at Hamlin and Burke have a leg up simply because most prefer private high schools, as the school is in the intended underpriveleged category, so Visitacion Valley and Everett and KIPP are in the same category as Burke and Hamlin and Marin Day, kids from the latter are getting in on attempted affirmative action, and most of the kids from underrepresented schools, almost all, are white or Asian, Asians from Visitacion Valley and whites from James Lick get in in huge numbers. Over 200 now come from private schools out of 660.

Just having a test with offers for free help to study for it to anyone who shows would be more accurate and more gender-balanced. And it would encourage holistic parenting, not just an obsessive focus on 3 semesters and one year's test.

Don Krause said...

Everything you just said you've said about a thousand times before.

This is off-topic but I'm responding in the hope you will allow us to get back on topic if you get an answer. What I heard through the grapevine is that Lowell will provide its own test to students who want to apply. This is very easy for them to do. The test doesn't need to be an accurate reflection of the curriculum. Many test takers don't use the California curriculum anyway. It only has to separate students on a curve. That is not to say that the test questions don't matter, but far less so than when you are trying to accurately determine achievement relative to a specific curriculum.

I don't have any problem with private schools getting underrepresented status. Diversity is about having all groups represented not just underperforming groups... Or it should be.

Anonymous said...

I've heard it being debated. I hope you're right, that's a good solution. I guess it makes it more diverse in that it increases the white percentage, as the white percentage has gone up significantly in the past 5-6 years, which probably increases donations. Personally I have no problem wiht kids from private school getting in but feel they should get in on merit. Parents often claim spending on privates increases their kids' education, but a book recently proved no result from it, and I know friends who chose this and their kids are way behind mine, though I know some who did whose kids are doing very well in private. I just feel they shouldn't get a leg up, if private is better, prove it on the test, don't expect a leg up. A kid at Burke deserves no leg up on a kid at Presidio. I'm not asking for the opposite, just a free and open competition. Just like I oppose Legacy for private colleges.

The common core tests, from everything I've heard, will be significantly better and more accurate. For instance, on the current test, if a kid goofs or spaces, one math question missed can lower you from the 97th to the 94th percentile, 2 down to 91, as there are only about 80 and everyone decent gets at least 65.

Under the new test, if you get questions right, you get a harder one, and if you get them wrong, you get an easier one, on the model of the graduate school tests in existence now (GMAT, LSAT, GRE, etc.). So if you make a mistake, then get the next several right, it will re-direct you to the higher level. I believe these tests will be a more accurate reflection of work ethic, knowledge and intelligence and the more accurate they are, the more we can work on fixing whatever problems are related to poor or mediocre test results and beat other states, whether it's curriculum, teacher quality, seniority/tenure, tutoring services, summer learning loss, parent and student effort, motivation, nutrition, etc. You know my opinions, but this will get us closer to the truth.

Have you talked to anyone developing the current test?

Don Krause said...

I guess you didn't get the part about staying on the topic. Oh well, I tried...

Why get a leg up because you come from an underrepresented school? Underrepresented schools typically have much lower grading standards than better schools. So these applicants are getting a double boost. They couldn't get in on merit even with easier grading so they get the added benefit of applying as underrepresented.

What do you mean by the common core test will be better. First of all, common core is not a test nor is MAPP, which is a system. The tests are from the Smarter Balanced Consortium. If that's what you are referring to, what makes you think they are better? I guess your idea of testing as the measure of "moral goodness" has been shot down a level. Do you mean to tell me that you actually have considered that all testing is not necessarily good and that there might be qualitative differences between different measures of academic achievement? if so, you are making progress.

Anonymous said...

Don, I agree on the underrepresented issue. I never agreed with setting aside 15% for that. Ironically, it hasn't made Lowell more diverse as Asians started filling up the Bay View and Spanish Immersion brought more whites into the Mission District schools, so Asians are getting the Visitacion Valley and Denman and Francisco spots and whites James Lick and to a lesser degree, Mann and Everett. It wasn't well thought out, but it was intended as an end run around 209.

I think Lowell would be best if they did it all on test scores with maybe 10% set aside for truly disadvantaged kids, but that would be illegal to include race so under current law, pure test scores would be good. We could be the best school in the nation. We have the kids, we have the infrastructure, we coul dwin the competition but the board muddles it with this mickey mouse stuff and deprives Lowell of the ability to win.

Testing is good in general but has mistakes.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the stats, it's better for the SAT to be poor and Asian than rich and black. The SAT is a racist test. It's not income, it's racism. It only lets blacks do well if they become white in terms of culture. It disallows a good score while maintaining one's culture. This is why no one should be tested. And Lowell should have a racial quota to reflect the percentages in SFUSD as a whole.

Anonymous said...

There are many schools that reflect SFUSD as a whole. Why should Lowell but not the others?

Anonymous said...

I have to call out the posters who claim that racism does not allow certain ethnic groups to do well on tests unless they abandon their culture. This is only possible if they are referring to cultures of ignorance and stupidity. There, I said it. Now let's get back to some discussion of the real education issues presented by Don (and others) on this blog.

Anonymous said...

The study of math, Algebra and geometry, etc. is not race conscious, unlike the study of history or English. Individuals can accept not to be part of mainstream society, but they will suffer the consequences.

Don Krause said...

Summing up, a new curriculum and testing system has been signed into law and it is in the process of being installed and implemented. That is a fluid process given the many complex aspects to such large scale statewide changes of policy and practice. I know that sounds like bureaucratic nonsense, but the fact is that every district and every school is different and implementation will play out differently among them.

Whether Common Core will be widely accepted as a better and therefore successful reform, only time will tell. The testing of it is more practical and social science-based and that means the rollout is likely to be dependent upon those responsible for its implementation.

Anonymous said...

That's easy for you to say 8:36, you were probably born into white culture, or chamelion-like Asian culture. If you'd been enslaved or had your land stolen or been oppressed and treated like a criminal class, you might say, forget you people, I'm o tock like I finsta tock n I aint akskin' yo test pamishin opressaa honkey! Beeeyotch! I have students who that's how they feel and I have to support them emotionally and show not all white people are racist. Lecturing them on proper grammar, that how their parents speak is wrong, how everyone they admire speaks is wrong, and how I, a person of a different race, speaks, is right, will further alienate me from them. Even showing up when sick will alienate me, which you wish to pressure me to do. You have no idea what these people have been through. When your dad got deported and your mom is working in a kitchen, I've had these kids tell me horror stories, HORROR STORIES! I understand their lingo. They say how they were shot at last week, how their mom has weird men come over and go to her room and give her money and she works 2 jobs full time and is on food stamps and still she can't earn enough to pay the rent and is being threatened with eviction, and then the ones with a little more money and dads who drug deal and drop off a little money even though they're divorced make fun of the ones whose mom is a part-time hooker and still being threatened with eviction, working 60 hours a week plus the hooking plus the food stamps, and some Chinese landlord threatening her. The the ones whose moms do this make fun of hte ones with moms too fat to do this who can only stave off eviction by dealing drugs or who can't afford school supplies and got molested by a neighbor because their mom spent 8 hours in line at a foodbank or for a basic medical checkup under an assumed name. Or what's that bruise or black eye and their mother couldn't take the humiliation at the hands of white and Asian people and lost it and beat the hell out of them yesterday, or mom was in an 8 hour line so other kids came over and beat the hell out of them, in their own room. Or how they tried to do their homework and everyone made fun of them and ripped it up.

And you want me to argue with them about grammar? You're insane. You have no idea the lives these children are living! You don't understand the world these children are living in.

Anonymous said...

Don, the key years for testing are 2, 3, 4 and 5th grade. Imagine if it takes 4 years. By the time a kid is in 6th grade, it's too late. Even KIPP knows this. They shouldn't have ever had a year without testing. Hopefully some parents will test their own kids, meet with teachers, but most won't bother, and teachers like "Noteacher" will get away with horrible teaching in the interim.

Yes, noteacher, you do have to correct grammar if you want these kids to not be in poverty like their parents. What's the point of this so-called rebellion? Poverty. Every nation has a dominant culture. You have to assimilate to it at least in the workplace.

Don Krause said...

Too late for what? I have no idea what you are talking about. It's just a test. Students are still going to school and still learning. In the interim, it won't be clear from the standpoint of standardized testing how well students are doing. But why the doomsday scenario? You really have a bug up your ass about testing. The sky will not fall because of a one year delay in testing.

Of course it would be better to have no delay, but did you not grasp the problem of delivering an old test with a new curriculum or are you just lazily overlooking it? The Obama administration has pushed for all these changes and you are in favor of the national standards and national curriculum. So stop you whining and complaining.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don Krause said...

That last deleted comment was Noteacher spreading her own brand of racism. Can't leave it on the blog.

Don Krause said...

Public education is the single largest tool a society has to create opportunity, to exit poverty and to thrive.
The thrust of Noteacher's repeated arguments is that poverty makes it near impossible for individuals to get an education. That is factually false because many individuals do succeed. The idea is to get more to succeed, not to provide excuses and rationales why individuals can't succeed or shouldn't try.

Education is the great equalizer. But if Noteacher had her way there would be no tests, no standards, no quality control and no education at all.

Her arguments are beyond ridiculous and don't really warrant a reply. I have tried to allow maximum opportunity for speech and have begrudgingly obliged much of her nastiness and oblique reverse racism under the ironic pretext of toleration. But no more.

She's welcome to comment under the established rules of civility and toleration.