Sunday, November 21, 2010

ESEA Tutoring Options

We have discussed the little-used tutoring option for ESEA (aka: NCLB) students whose schools did not meet AYP.  I found information regarding this option and wanted to ensure parents had access to it.  I have found that many parents are not aware of all of the options for their children.

Below are the board meeting minutes from August, 2010 on the subject:

Payment to Various Vendors for Federally Mandated Supplemental Educational Services

Rationale
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 mandates that students, from low-income families, who are attending Title I schools that are in the second year of school improvement (i.e., have not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for three or more years), in corrective action, or in restructuring status are eligible for free tutorial services. These services will be provided by vendors who have been approved by the Georgia State Board of Education.

Quick Summary / Abstract
Presented by: Dr. Audria Berry, Executive Director, Office of School Improvement

Summary
Supplemental Educational Services is a service that was introduced by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Supplemental Educational Services is designed to provide additional services to low income students who attend a Title I School on the needs improvement list.

Details
Supplemental educational services include academic assistance such as tutoring, remediation and other educational interventions designed to increase the academic achievement of students in low-performing schools. These services are provided outside of the regular school day.

Students from low-income families, who are attending Title I schools that are in the second year of school improvement (i.e., have not made adequate yearly progress (AYP) for three or more years), in corrective action, or in restructuring status are eligible to receive these services.

School districts must allocate twenty percent of the Title I part A allocation to implement Public School Choice and Supplemental Educational Services. A school district must spend at least five percent of the twenty percent on Public School Choice and at least five percent on Supplemental Educational Services. The remaining ten percent may be spent on either Public School Choice or Supplemental Educational Services. Due to the demand of Public School Choice and the reimbursement of transportation, the DeKalb County School System will allocate five percent of the twenty percent on Supplemental Educational Services and will allocate fifteen percent on Public School Choice.

Every year, the State Board of Education approves a list of vendors to provide Supplemental Educational Services. There are 114 vendors for the DeKalb County School System for the 2010-2011 school year. The student’s per pupil allotment is based on the Title I allocation and census data. Parents have the opportunity to select a vendor of their choice and the school district will contract with the vendor to provide services. The effectiveness of the services is monitored at the state and local levels.

Financial Impact
Title I district level funds will be used for this expenditure. Local funds will not be used.

Goals
Goal #1-To narrow the achievement gap & improve the graduation rate
Goal #2-To increase rigor and academic achievement in Reading\Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies in PreK-12

Contacts
Dr. Audria Berry, Executive Director, Office of School Improvement, 678.676.0380

Requested Action
It is recommended that the Board of Education approve payments to the State Board of Education approved vendors to provide Supplemental Educational Services to low income students who attend Title I schools that qualify. The cost of these services will not exceed $2,162,241.00.

Below is the official list of schools that must offer individualized tutoring as an option to a transfer. Money was approved to pay for tutoring in the Title 1 schools on this list.

Elementary and Secondary Education Assistance ESEA
Schools that must offer Supplemental Educational Services

2010-2011

Avondale High
Avondale Middle
Bethune Middle
Cedar Grove High
Clarkston High
Columbia High
Cross Keys High
Dunwoody High (Non-Title I)
Eagle Woods Academy
Elizabeth Andrews High
Freedom Middle
Indian Creek Elementary
International Student Center
Lithonia High
Lithonia Middle
M.L. King, Jr. High
McNair Discovery Learning
McNair High
McNair Middle
Miller Grove Middle
Redan High
Shadow Rock Center
Shamrock Middle (Non-Title I)
Southwest DeKalb High (Non-Title I)
Stephenson High
Stone Mill Elementary
Stone Mountain High
Stone Mountain Middle
Toney Elementary
Towers High
Tucker High (Non-Title I)

Parents, if you would like to schedule tutoring for your child, talk with your principal or contact Audria Berry at the number above. For the list of approved vendors, click here.

(BTW - you are also entitled to a MARTA card if you choose to take a transfer. Click here for more info.)

82 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have found that many parents are not aware of all of the options for their children.

So, what do parents do with the booklet that mailed to them with the Tutoring information? Ignore it and throw it out?

Anonymous said...

I believe that parents do not want the teachers who have taught their children all day to be the ones doing the tutoring. If they can't get it across to the kids during the school day, what makes anyone think that they will get it through to them after school? In other areas of the country, the parents are given vouchers for tutoring and a list of acceptable places to take their children to get tutored. Schools and teachers aren't making any money off the tutoring that the children are receiving. I believe that this is the way the tutoring should be done here in DCSS.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:46 PM

You have it wrong. The booklet contains plenty of options other than teachers at their schools.

http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/instruction/improvement/esea/ses/files/D2EC20A5C2524AD5A890BC86921ED908.pdf

Anonymous said...

In school tutoring is probably paid for with Title 1 money, SES tutoring can be with any of the approved vendors, but once the money runs out, the tutoring does too. Each student is allocated a certain amount I believe.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many students are taking advantage of this.

Every eligible student's family was mailed a booklet with providers.

We have a very apathetic parent base in DeKalb. I wonder how many even opened the booklet.

Anonymous said...

I don't know presently how many are taking advantage of this tutoring, but when it was first available, an enormous number of parents signed up their children for tutoring off campus.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see Audria Berry found time for this presentation away from her Carribean trips on DCSS p-card.

Anonymous said...

With the then superintendent. Married superintendent.

Anonymous said...

Are you all aware that these "vendors" are approved...but not monitored?

No follow up for effectiveness.
No accountability.
No "AYP" for their services.


They just get to keep right on receiving your tax money, no strings attached.

Super cool, right!

Anonymous said...

Not many students. Less than 1,000.

Here is the link to the State of Georgia SES Provider Report Card 2008-2009. That's the latest one. I've found that much of the Title 1 information is missing from the Georgia DOE site. For example, the title 1 funding and how it is spent and the performance of students in Title 1 schools stops at 2007-2008. They are 2 years behind. I don't know how this is possible since the Ga DOE has actually hired more personnel in the middle of teacher layoffs. Anyway here are the stats and you can go look at the entire .pdf if you want. It's as current as the Ga DOE has (only 1 year behind for this report).
SES System Data Reported by the Title I Director
DeKalb County
Title 1 schools offered SES: 13
Title 1 schools receiving SES: 13
Number of students eligible: 9,573
Number requested: 1,497
Number receiving: 893
% receiving: 9.3%
% requesting: 59.7%
Providers: 25
$ Paid: $ 728,776.16
June serv.: no
$ Per Student allowed: $ 1,453.00
Average $ per Student: $ 816.10

DOE webpage:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/tss_title_parent.aspx?folderID=3225&m=links&ft=SES%20Evaluations

Actual pdf file link:
http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SES%20Stakeholder%20Survey%20Report%20Final%202007-2008.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6A1C37A7037A0221A7DFA433E0A9650D0690DEAE30692F467&Type=D

Anonymous said...

Here's the Provider Report Cards. It looks like a lot of them did not provide their data (i.e. what percent of their students achieved mastery on the state ELA or Math tests). IMHO I don't think those providers should be used.

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SES%20Provider%20Report%20Card%202008-2009%20Revised%20May,2010.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6BEB57C7007B77B05F6715E35332E9191008469CA27983B87&Type=D

Anonymous said...

Why did Dr. Berry and the BOE not expand this service to students in schools in which are experiencing Did Not Make AYP for the first year? Did she even tell the BOE they could serve those students? Students in the first year of Did Not Make AYP are eligible for services per the latest documentation on the Ga DOE website per the decision of the Local Education Agency.

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SES%20Stakeholder%20Survey%20Report%20Final%202007-2008.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6A1C37A7037A0221A7DFA433E0A9650D0690DEAE30692F467&Type=D

"Serving Eligible Students
To ensure that more students who are in need of supplemental education services are able to
participate in the program, the Department has expanded the definition of eligible students.
Prior to the 2008-2009 school year, eligible students were defined as students from low-income
families who attend Title I schools in their second year of school improvement, in corrective
action, or in restructuring. With the U.S. Department of Education’s (US ED) approval of the
Department’s Differentiated Accountability Plan, eligibility has been expanded to provide LEAs
the option of offering SES to students attending Title I schools in their first year of needs
improvement, in corrective action, or in restructuring. These schools would have the option to
offer SES to students in the following order:
1. Low-income students who did not pass the state tests.
2. Low-income students who did pass the state tests.
3. All students who did not pass the state tests.
4. All students who did pass the state tests.
While this hierarchy of service still provides preference to the students in most need, it opens
the door to more students who may also need additional assistance. The Department views this
expansion of eligibility as a step to assist all students in becoming proficient in reading and
mathematics. However, schools in their second year of needs improvement or greater would
continue to operate under the previous SES guidelines."

Anonymous said...

So in two years, we've gone from 13 schools SECOND year not of meeting AYP to 31.

Can someone (Ms. Tyson or the Dr. Beasley or the BOE members) explain why Dr. Berry is still in charge of the Office of School Improvement when the schools have not only not improved, they have gone down dramatically.

Anonymous said...

From that same report:

This is why principals say parents don't take advantage of the tutoring:
"Why Parents Do Not Enroll Students in SES
Principals were asked to share their knowledge about reasons that some parents at their
schools choose not to enroll children in SES. Sixty-nine principals provided a response, not
including 7 who said they did not know the reasons. The largest group of responses (34.2%)
included that parents remained unaware, did not understand the service, or were just not
interested.
We have tried very hard to communicate SES (via public forums or by mail) to our parents.
However, attendance has been low at these forums and responses few. My opinion is a lot of
parents just don't understand the scope of SES and what it can offer their children.
The book as it is presented is overwhelming to them. The addresses are misleading, because the
addresses where the companies are based may be in a different city or state.
Many of our parents lack the knowledge to be able to work their way through the HUGE packet of
SES providers to make a good decision to choose one. Also, they listen to their children tell them
that they do not want or need extra help.
The next most frequent reason for not participating related to transportation issues or
scheduling problems. The following comment is very representative of the 24 comments
(31.6%) in this category.
Most parents tell us the greatest obstacle to tutoring services deals with the transportation issue.
Many parents have work schedules that will not allow them to provide transportation to a tutoring
site nor will it allow them to have in-home tutoring services since the parent is not home in the
early evening hours/weekends.
Some principals (17.1%) said the parents utilized other options to get help for their children,
such as after-school tutoring provided by the system or other after school programs. Principals
noted that parents have more confidence in the abilities of the school personnel to work with the
students and know their needs.
Because the school provides exemplary and varied interventions and remediation for the
students- Parents feel the teachers know the students well and can meet their needs.
Over the years parents have requested that their children participate in the systems' after school
program. They value the communication and networking with local system personnel.
A few principals (9.2%) believe that previous bad experiences with providers influenced some
parents not to enroll their children in SES, or there were limited providers available in the area to
serve students. Some parents did not like the tutoring options available, such as on-line or inhome,
or they generally lacked confidence that the service would be helpful.
Some feel it's a waste of time because of a bad experience with a provider in the past. Some do
not realize the importance of the program and how helpful it can be for their child.
There are not enough local providers. A lot of the parents prefer the one on one tutoring or small
groups versus having a computer (program) to enhance skills. Direct instruction with immediate
feedback!
A couple of principals also said that some parents just do not think their children need help.
Also, two principals said that parents could not afford the internet connection needed for on-line"

Anonymous said...

Part 1
From the report:

Ways to Increase Student Enrollment in SES

Principals were asked to suggest ways to increase student enrollment in SES. Seventy-three
principals responded with ideas or comments. Three of the principals noted that they did not
have a problem with enrollment and most parents took advantage of the services for their
children. One of these principals observed that enrollment had increased because of the
“positive tests results and word of mouth from parents and students.” Apparently, however, this
was not the situation in most of the schools represented by the responding principals and they
offered suggestions.
Almost half of the principals (45.2%) detailed better ways to inform parents about SES. Some
of the principals suggested more frequent, on-going contacts with parents about SES throughout
the school year via phone calls and additional mail-outs home. Several of the respondents
reported that often parents cannot read, thus information needs to be shared in other formats,
including a DVD with information about the providers and through word of mouth. One principal
said that the information communicated about SES should include data from previously served
students. Principals also noted that the list of providers needs to be made more parent-friendly.
The amount of information provided can be overwhelming to parents, and school personnel
should be more involved in helping parents select providers.
The providers should advertise throughout the year.
Continue to notify parents about the program!
School recommendations will go a long way in increasing the number of students who sign up for
these programs.
Involve the school in the process more. Parents look to teachers for guidance, but teachers &
administrators are given no information about the tutors and so cannot be of help to parents.
71
One principal suggested using an easier registration process such as having on-line sign-ups.
Principals details a number of ways to better communicate about SES, including holding
meetings about SES close to parents’ homes, utilizing radio and television broadcasts, using
parent conferences and PTO meetings; and one-on-one contacts with parents through case
workers, graduation coaches, and Title I parent liaisons.
Get the graduation coach involved - more follow-up with parents once the information is
distributed
Sharing info at registration regarding the service and at Parent meetings. Also have each case
manager check with their child's parents personally.
Get the information to the parents in a different way. Our parents do not show up to the vendor
fair.
Maybe the DOE can advertise/promote by television, radio, or newspaper the benefits of SES
and the potential to increase student achievement for those enrolled in the program. This
advertising must be done outside of metro Atlanta too. Ensure that there is equal advertisement
across the state.

Anonymous said...

Part 2

Quite a few principals (39.7%) commented on how the organization of SES delivery impacted
enrollment. Providing transportation and/or allowing the provider to use school facilities were
mentioned in 14 of the comments. A few of the suggestions related to service pertained to
offering SES on a consistent schedule, on the weekends, and in a format that allowed success
of diverse populations (i.e. students with emotional and behavior issues).
Some of the comments (9) about the organization of SES delivery addressed the importance of
alignment between school expectations, including GPS and CRCT achievement, and what the
providers offer to students.
Plan time to meet with the student's teachers (pay teachers for their time) to coordinate
instructional support. Provide direct CRCT preparation activities that are continued throughout
the school year.
…There must be ALIGNMENT between the SES providers and the schools if SES is to be very
successful and meaningful…
Align the program with GPS and provide more hands on opportunities
One principal suggested an alternative way to offer tutoring.
Allow school personnel to provide the services at the local school site. Teachers are familiar with
the students and their needs.
Several principals made observations about who the program currently serves, with one saying
the school is moving from “targeted to school-wide.” These principals would like to see the
program opened for all students.
Approximately 14% of the principals answering this question said the focus needed to be on
stressing the benefits of the program and possibly using incentives to encourage participation.
Several said that children in academic trouble should be required to participate.
72
Train parents so they will understand the importance; require parents of failing children to enroll
the students in SES services
* Incentives are always a plus * Recognition of participation * Field trips for those who
improve and complete program
Provide incentives for students that attend on a consistent basis

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 4:16 said...
"Are you all aware that these 'vendors' are approved...but not monitored?

No follow up for effectiveness.
No accountability.
No "AYP" for their services."

I have to chime in because this is so true. Some tutors came to my school last year. A group of 3 to 4 tutors showed up and decided they'd all tutor in the same room. What I saw was kids working on "handouts" while the tutors huddled together, drinking coffee, eating snacks, and chatting. After a few weeks, they simply stopped showing up. What gives? These people are "approved" to do what, by whom?

DCSS Teacher said...

Please note that the DCSS Teachers' code of ethics, which we are forced to view in (utdated) video form each year at the beginning, FORBIDS teachers from taking any money for tutoring students in their own school. I wasn't able to open the document you linked to, but if any current teachers are trying to collect a fee for teaching kids whom they failed to teach in regular school--you should notify their principals that this is occurring.

Say you're the math teacher, and suddenly lots of your students aren't getting math--and you offer to tutor them for money, on the same content that you've already failed to teach them! Conflict of interest, bigtime--you could even imagine a teacher slacking off a little to be sure she'd get those paying students at 5 PM that day..."don't worry, we'll figure it out after school in our session." The ethical concern should also mean that teachers don't have access to the school facilities, which requires keeping on security and custodians, too, unless the principal is sure that no conflict of interest exists. Real tutors perform their services as professionals, and they declare their income. I know, because I am a tutor (not for DCSS students).

The tutoring option, though, was one of the most promising parts of NCLB. I've written about DCSS's decision to not use it, in favor of bussing,here and on AJC sites. In theory, it's the way to bump up local schools. In practice, though, where do you find the tutors? Poor teachers don't make good tutors, so you need to pull from another pool, but you have to carefully vet all potential teachers for credentials and teaching skills, esp skills for teaching learners who aren't at the top of the class.

Anonymous said...

No Corporation Left Behind is what NCLB really stands for. You all know that one of the Bush brothers has made a fortune providing services related to NCLB right?

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_42/b4005059.htm

Neil Bush has done very well thanks to NCLB.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 5:16

"After a few weeks, they simply stopped showing up. What gives? These people are "approved" to do what, by whom? "

Well, according to the state reports we're paying $50 to $60 an hour for their services. Where are the graduation and instructional coaches? They're with the Office of School Improvement. Why doesn't Dr. Berry put them to work ensuring students are getting quality services?

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 5:25 pm
"You all know that one of the Bush brothers has made a fortune providing services related to NCLB right?

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_42/b4005059.htm

Neil Bush has done very well thanks to NCLB."

Oh no! This was the Bush brother who was involved in the S&L Savings and Loan debacle. I wouldn't let him be a dog catcher.

Anonymous said...

I actually think it is up to the state DOE to regulate these people. I suspect that providers that don't provide data one year are off the list the next.

In fact there is a page that lists previous providers who are no longer eligible.

Like any government program, there are those who are going to find a way to cheat the system.

Anonymous said...

So we have the money (millions) to provide tutoring for students. We have students who need the tutoring.

Let's get someone in the office of School Improvement who can actually set up a program, put his/her people to work outreaching to parents, track student progress, and report on this progress to the BOE and the public. The office of School Improvement spends close to $12,000,000 on non-teaching personnel. Surely they can be put to better use than what they are now because declining student scores tell me they are much worse than useless - they are a detriment to student achievement.

Anonymous said...

@ DCSS teacher 5:19
None of the providers in the state document are teachers. They are Sylvan, etc.

I just copied and pasted the links provided and they all worked for me.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 5:37 pm
"I actually think it is up to the state DOE to regulate these people. I suspect that providers that don't provide data one year are off the list the next."

No. I checked and there are provider that gave no data as far as test scores in 2008-09 are still on the 2010-2011 Georgia SES list.

Anonymous said...

Correction:
No. I checked and there are providers (a number of them) that gave no data as far as test scores in 2008-09 are still on the 2010-2011 Georgia SES list.

Anonymous said...

My mother was an educator when Title 1 started. They use to pay parents to come to PTA meetings and conferences.

Is that what we need to go back to?

How do you motivate parents to care?

Anonymous said...

State Board of Education (SBOE) Rule 160-4-5-.03 Supplemental Educational Services in Title I
Schools, requires the GaDOE to monitor, at least annually, each Provider serving students...Each Provider must comply with at least 80 percent of all SES Standards to receive an overall
rating of “Meets” standards. Failure to comply with at least 80 percent of the SES Standards will
result in an overall rating of “Does Not Meet” and a recommendation to the SBOE that the
Provider be removed from the State-Approved Providers List...

http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/DMGetDocument.aspx/SES%20Compliance%20Standards%202010-2011%2007-06-10.pdf?p=6CC6799F8C1371F6CF58A0327799225CCC974C486FE74F518E33DF9E1AB4F8BA&Type=V

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

First, I am appalled by what I am reading about these vendors. Where does it end? But to address another comment:

"you offer to tutor them for money, on the same content that you've already failed to teach them!"

It may not be the case that I failed to teach them. Some kids simply need additional help, either because they have trouble concentrating in a class of 34, or perhaps haven't mastered a concept that was taught in an earlier course.

Yes, I may be able to help students after school who are failing my class and turn their frustration into success.

As for teachers tutoring their own students, they cannot do so on a private basis but may do so under he auspices of DCSS. The ethics violation would be in offering to work with a student while being paid by the parent.

When I taught at a Title I school, we had tutoring after school for which we were paid. Some of the students were mine; some were not.

I am not talking about the time that we offer after school a couple of days per week. This was a tutoring program that lasted from 4-6 each afternoon and was rotated from teacher to teacher so that it was offered every day.

Anonymous said...

As for parent awareness, you might be surprised at how little some parents know about what goes on at school. I routinely call parents of failing students a few days after progress reports to find that they have no idea that one was issued.

The most extreme example was a parent who responded to my mention of the progress report by asking me, "So, um, what grade is he in now?"

I also found that some parents who did have the report in hand could not read well enough to decipher it.

We have to figure out a way to intervene--mandatory after school tutoring with transportation? We did this for a while and offered free pizza at the end of the session--that inspired some kids to attend.

Anonymous said...

I know some schools offer Saturday tutoring with breakfast and lunch. Plenty of parents don't know their children's teachers names when they come to check them out.

I would wage a bet that a fairly large percentage of DCSS parents made housing decisions without even researching the schools. They may like their schools now and not want it to change, but I bet that most didn't know what school they were renting in.

Engaged parents would lead to better schools because they would be demanding more, not only of the schools but of their children.

Anonymous said...

One other question that needs to be asked, is whether the money spent on tutoring would be better spent extending the school day and school year for the most at risk students.

http://www.relnei.org/referencedesk.2010-04-30.php

I believe that part of the answer for improving student outcomes is a longer day and longer school year. To best use resources, this service needs to be targeted at the population that needs it the most.

DCSS Teacher said...

Anon 7:22

I didn't mean that teachers absolutely should not tutor the same students they teach: there are good arguments as to why they should: they know the student, the student knows them, they know the GPS, textbooks, what the class has been learning, etc. But my point is that there is a potential conflict of interest here that everyone should be aware of, AND that there are ethical arguments against it that, to me, have to be addressed regardless of who is paying for such tutoring.

If the reason a student isn't learning as best he might is the large class size (which presents huge obstacles for many, many children), then major re-thinking of how we're educating kids is called for. Classes are too big now, fullstop. Discipline is virtually impossible without strong admin backup, and too many kids in too many of our DCSS schools are slipping through the cracks. The danger with tutoring if it's not monitored and conducted by highly skilled professionals (not Sylvan learning center "coaches") is that it will become one more way of teaching to the test, rather than helping students develop genuine interest in learning and a sense of accomplishment in school.

Anonymous said...

Is Early Retention perhaps part of the answer?

Some private schools test for readiness? Should public schools do the same?

Most Westminster graduates are closer to 19 at the end of their senior year than 18. Generally, sixty percent of the class entering pre-first, what they call kindergarten, are 6 already.

If is is important for the top schools of top students, are they on to something that public school ought to be considering?

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

There are well-meaning parents in DeKalb who don't have a good education themselves. They may know that their children aren't getting what the need in school, but have no idea what kind of help to ask for. Extra resources only work if families understand what is being offered and how to take advantage of it. Its is hard to imagine, but there are parents who have trouble reading the paperwork we send home.

Anonymous said...

It is absolutely not hard to imagine that Anon 8:34pm. It is true and something that is hard to overcome at schools with small numbers of such parents and nearly impossible at schools with more.

Anonymous said...

During the Citizen Planning Task Force meetings last spring, when they were looking at schools to close, those parents would argue that their schools were good schools and not to close them.

However, if you looked at their ITBS scores you probably would have a different opinion.

But within that school, the adults cared for and knew each child, made sure they got breakfast and lunch, and home safely from school. In many cases the schools open well before a normal opening to accomodate the working parents. The parents felt their cihldren were safe at those schools.

What makes a school acceptable to one person is different perhaps for another.

Anonymous said...

@anon 721,
Way to go! I'm voting for Nancy Jester too!

@anon 827,
Lighten up! Why are you so defensive? The really funny thing is that anon 721 saw Jim R. at all. He doesn't exactly show up for parents and certainly doesn't return our emails and calls. I thank Nancy Jester for all she's gotten Jim R. to do recently. Without her, he'd be MIA as usual. She's going to be a great board member! Thanks Nancy!

Anonymous said...

"Most Westminster graduates are closer to 19 at the end of their senior year than 18. Generally, sixty percent of the class entering pre-first, what they call kindergarten, are 6 already."

When we changed the cut off date for kindergarten and 1st grade the goal was for children to be a little older when they start school. The thought was that they would be more mature and have better readiness skills. Then we turned kindergarten into a mini first grade.

There is a theory that children who are taught to read at age 7 are just as successful in school as the children who are taught to read at age 5. In fact, I remember working as an aid in a first grade class 30 years ago. Most of the children came in without any kindergarten instruction. Some had to learn their letters, letter sounds, etc. By January most of these children were reading. IMHO the magic age for learning to read is 6.

There is educational research that says that children who spontaneously learn to read at age 4 or 5 (not taught to read but crack the code on their own) maintain their reading advantage into middle school. Children who are taught to read at age 4 or 5 lose their early advantage by the time they reach 6th grade. What is the rush?

Anonymous said...

"Children who are taught to read at age 4 or 5 lose their early advantage by the time they reach 6th grade."

I have a friend who wanted her child to go to one of the big elite private schools in Atlanta. She was so sure her child was brilliant.

She went to meet with the headmistress of this school and my child is reading and she is only 4! The headmistress immediately replied that she generally found that the best readers at 5 were not the best readers at 8! Put my friend right in her place and the child didn't get in.

Anyway, I have a hard time thinking that we have a sound developmental plan for teaching anything anymore.

Anonymous said...

"There is a theory that children who are taught to read at age 7 are just as successful in school as the children who are taught to read at age 5."

When my daughter was 5 and in Kindergarten at Briarlake, she would not read. She always wanted me to read to her which I had done every single day since she was 4 months old. Other parents would talk about their kids reading, but if I asked my daughter to read anything at night, she would push the book away and say no that she wanted me to read to her.

I just left her alone and read to her. I figured she would eventually want to read herself since she would sit for literally hours and listen to me read aloud (if I could stay awake that long - reading those same books over and over is pretty boring).

When I met with her Kindergarten teacher at the end of the year, she said my daughter and 11 other students would be in the fast reading group in First Grade and would go through 2 years in one. I was surprised and protested that she didn't read. Her teacher said she had great reading readiness skills and would do fine.

One night about 3 months into First Grade I sat down to read to her and said maybe she would read to me one day. She said she already could read and then took the book and read it aloud fluently. For Christmas we got her Babysitter's Club Little Sister - her first chapter books. She read them until they were ragged. She became a voracious reader and remains so to this day in her twenties. She's never without a book.

That taught me that it's totally inappropriate to push children at a very young age to read. Give them a love of books and learning and be cognizant of the fact that children learn to read (and do math) at different rates. That's a major component NCLB is missing in the rush to put together those widgets on time and under budget.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't Title 1 reading and math teachers serving small groups of struggling learners during the school day? When reading is occurring for the entire 4th grade, why aren't these students going for small group instruction? Why leave them in a 4th grade class of 30 students (or more?) and expect that the classroom teacher can possibly give them the attention they would get in a small reading group of 10 or 12?

It should not be expected that these students would stay in Title 1 reading or math groups year after year. DCSS should pre and post test and expect gains. Many or most should be able to test out of this reading or math group given intense instruction. Tutoring can also supplement the intense small group instruction they receive.

Give a really good reading or math teacher 10 or 12 students rather than 30 and just watch the progress these children make. They can catch up and rejoin their peers. It may be okay for students on grade level, but these students are absolutely getting lost in classes of 30 or 30+. Nothing beats direct instruction.

Anonymous said...

So with all the staff in Title I, why isn't Ms Tyson holding them accountable for student achievement? Ms Berry should be monitoring the tutors, after all Title I is accountable for the proper use of the funds. I wonder if a formal complaint about misuse of Title I funds with these tutors should be filed?

Anonymous said...

I believe that at many schools those teachers are pulling small groups.

Data can tell many stories. When I looked at the America's Choice schools I saw that many had improved their pass rates in LA and Reading but not math. Certainly not all, but many had.








.

Anonymous said...

Nest week, at the Board Meeting the Board will adopt changes to the professional employee layoff policy. These changes will enable Tyson or her replacement to let people go regardless of their seniority.

I think come next year, changes will start happening.

I also think we can expect numerous lawsuits to be filed but I hope that the system will fight those lawsuits rather than back down.

Anonymous said...

"So with all the staff in Title I, why isn't Ms Tyson holding them accountable for student achievement?"

Actually principals are being held accountable. Haven't you noticed the principal moves in schools that have not made AYP. They are the ones that chose the America's Choice program.

To paraphrase an old and familiar saying, you can provide a child the necessary instructional materials to succeed but you can't make them learn. You need some help from home to make that happen.

Anonymous said...

I also think we can expect numerous lawsuits to be filed but I hope that the system will fight those lawsuits rather than back down

Amen to that. I think you will also see a great rise in the number of attacks on Ms. Tyson on the blog. We know that ODE members read and post and they are dead-set against this new layoff policy.

Just be ready...

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

I think Ms. Tyson will get blasted. I think lawsuits will be filed, but hopefully someone is documenting what needs to be documented to prove either the positions aren't needed or the person holding the position isn't competent.

Cerebration said...

Well, let me just say that I am personally not against a layoff policy - as long as it's not simply to save money by culling our most expensive, senior employees. If there are good reasons for removing an educator or other staff, then they should be removed, regardless of seniority. We have to weed out the weak and ineffective employees - I'm certain the good employees won't argue. Bad teachers only bring down everyone. And with over 6500 teachers and another 7500+ in other staff, surely we have some who should be replaced - or aren't really necessary in the first place.

There are a lot of highly qualified people "out there" in need of a job. This is an employers market. Those who have been riding the gravy train and not proving their worth should brace themselves. Those who work hard and are effective - no worries.

Sadly, of all school systems, DeKalb has the strongest history of employees legally challenging any and all firings. But if they are willing to spend millions upon millions fighting a construction company, then I would hope they would spend energy legally backing their employment decisions. (Like I said, as long as those decisions are made according to performance - and need.)

Anonymous said...

I think the focus of the policy is really on Central Office employees. There were plenty of aggravated board members this past Spring when certain employees who were competent and capable were let go while others, who were less competent were kept because they had the most seniority.

Dunwoody Mom said...

At the recent DCPC Meeting, Ms. Tyson was very adamant that she plans on using RIF (Reduction In Force) to rid DCSS of bad teachers and administrators.

I would rather see DCSS money used to get rid of the "dead wood" rather than fighting other legal battles. This is the most important - making sure that there is a quality teacher in every room in our school system..

Kim Gokce said...

I am glad to see a healthy debate about the issues related to NCLB tutoring and feel enlightened by what some of our teachers are sharing above.

On the question of parent "apathy," I have to offer my own perspective ...

While there is no doubt in my mind that too many parents do not care about what is happening with their kids at school, I feel obligated to emphasize another set of cases that may be involved.

There is a character of poverty I'm sure few, if any, of us bloggers here understand. Parents who can only provide a weekly hotel room as the home environment for learning, for example. A home like this is one with no kitchen, no refrigerator, and no table to spread out books for home work. No place to store educational materials even if you could afford them.

A home like this is one that is maintained only by extreme effort of a single parent in many cases. A parent that works all the hours God gives at a minimum wage job. A job that in many cases requires that they take public transportation to and from the job site.

We are so far removed from the realities of this kind of existence, I think we are too quick to lump all parents who are "awol" from PTA meetings or parent/teacher meetings into the category of "doesn't care." What I've seen in families like these is extraordinary efforts to provide for and support their children in the limited ways available to them. Let me also be clear that these families are black, white, and every shade of brown.

Extreme examples exist, too, where those parents with the least put out the most effort. At Chamblee United Methodist Church, we run an annual food drive for families in need. The collection drive is handled by the church and community partners, including local schools.

This year, Dresden ES blew away the competition in the collection drive. Out of respect for my more wealthy neighbors, I won't mention the schools they bested by a mile. Those with the least opened up their hearts to those with even less.

One of the families we delivered to happens to be one of the most hard working parent volunteers in the Huntley Hills ES attendance area. Those with the least are evening working for those with more. The only reason I share this vignette is because I want to balance the sweeping statements made about our poor in DeKalb above and elsewhere on the blog periodically.

Yes, there are too many who are not involved in their children's education but this is true at every level of our community. I know many wealthy families who completely outsource their children's education to both public and private schools. Like the poor "who don't care," thankfully, these are the exception, not the rule.

Kim Gokce said...

On "RIFs," I, too, have heard that there is a quiet "house-cleaning" going at DCSS. Here's hoping ...

Anonymous said...

Hey Kim,
I'm in no way challenging your statement. Just wanted to be sure that you are aware, that the family you used in you illustration meets the criteria for "homeless" status. That automatically provides the student with free lunch and breakfast, tutoring, transportation to and from the school of origin, transportation for Mom to parent meetings, etc, free summer programs such as the Emory Summer Science program or even an educationally focused residential summer camp. Dekalb received more than 200,000 for these students last year. These students are automatically also eligible for Title I services. There is a whole staff designated to meet the needs of these students.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with Kim's assessment of some of the "noncaring" parents. Some are working as hard as they can just to provide food, shelter, and clothing. Sad as it is, many are simply too overwhelmed to do more.

When I don't see parents on conference night, I try not to blame it on lack of concern but perhaps on the very real chance that the parent is working a second job (or has a primary job at night).

Granted, some aren't educated and may not see the value in it for their kids. Some feel that it is the child's responsibility to figure it out, since they are "almost grown."

But I have also had mothers, grandmothers, and even a few fathers sit in my classroom and cry because they feel so helpless. They want the best for their kids--as we all do--and are in despair because they can't get their kids to care.

Sorry I don't have answers here--just another bit of defense for those parents who "don't care."

Anonymous said...

I'll believe that the BOE is serious about a reduction in force when the school police department loses unneeded administrators (two cheifs, nine detectives who do no detecting), MIS loses its unproductive staff (Where are you Jamal Edwards?), and Audria Berry and her no return on investment army are all made to go back to the classroom to teach, not to walk the halls, gossip in the teachers lounge, and to give teachers a hard time for our bulletin boards not meeting their standards, even though most of them couldn't make up an informative classroom bulletin board if asked to do so.

Dunwoody Mom said...

It's not the BOE's job to deal with "RIF".

Anonymous said...

"And with over 6500 teachers and another 7500+ in other staff, surely we have some who should be replaced - or aren't really necessary in the first place."

Sorry for the correction, but there are 6,500 teachers and 8,500+ in other staff. It's easy to forget that extra 1,000 in non-teaching staff.

I agree with many of the posters here in that we need to see that 6,500 teacher number increase as the 8,500 non-teaching number decreases.

This will be tough because BOE members may have family and friends in the non-teaching positions who are not qualified or licensed for the positions.

Since the BOE is Ms. Tyson's supervisor, it will be extremely tough for her to let any supervisors' relatives and/or friends go if they are not qualified or licensed for the position or are not performing their job adequately. However, ensuring BOE friends and family members are qualified, properly licensed, and performing adequately is the most essential right sizing Ms. Tyson can do so that DCSS can regain the taxpayers trust.

Supervising you supervisor's relative is the always problematic. That's why so many organizations and businesses have nepotism clauses.

Cerebration said...

Great info, November 22, 2010 9:50 AM. Do counselors refer students to these services? How do they get the message out?

Anonymous said...

The Homeless Liaison is a Mr. Alvarez and there are two social workers. Identification of homeless usually happens when residency is verified and folks reveal their living situation. A homeless student must be transported by the county to the shcool they attended when they became homeless...so Dekalb is transporting many of these students from other counties to a school in Dekalb. They use the regular school bus, but often the homeless student is the only one on board. Counselors and any staff member or the family can refer the student. The GA DOE has a website which shows the amount of funding for each county. GA Doe homeless should get you there.

Anonymous said...

"Actually principals are being held accountable. Haven't you noticed the principal moves in schools that have not made AYP. They are the ones that chose the America's Choice program."

Principals have not been given control of Title 1 funds that their schools earned by virtue of having students at poverty level. Dr. Berry has gained and retained that control. Of course, principals will choose America's Choice when that is the only choice they have.

As far as accountability, it needs to begin with Dr. Berry and her management of the Office of School Improvement. She has been making the funding, program and personnel decisions with Title 1 funds meant to increase student achievement in Title 1 schools. When we have a decline in school improvement, she must be held responsible and accountable.

Dr. Beasley and Ms. Tyson have in truth not been in their positions long enough to judge their effectiveness. However, Dr. Berry has held the job of Executive director of the Office of School Improvement (and before that Director of Title 1) for many years.

School achievement has declined under her auspices. She made the decisions, and principals and teachers have done as she directed them. I don't think there is a principal in DCSS who would have crossed her the years she has held this position.

When taxpayers talk about accountability, we need to determine who is really responsible. We cannot place all of the responsibility on the part of the schoolhouse and give those who rule the schoolhouse with an iron fist a pass on accountability.

Ms. Tyson needs to find someone else to head up the Office of School Improvement who will improve student achievement in our schools. Dr. Berry has had many years to use Title 1 funds effectively to improve student achievement. The fact that student achievement has declined under her should drive the bottom line decision.

Anonymous said...

Homeless families must share their status with someone at the school to receive services. We have a great school secretary who is very kind and compassionate and can generally figure it out.

But she says, even when she is certain, some families are to proud to ask for help. She gives them the brochure that describes what is available and then hopes they will ask for help.

Anonymous said...

"Can someone (Ms. Tyson or the Dr. Beasley or the BOE members) explain why Dr. Berry is still in charge of the Office of School Improvement when the schools have not only not improved, they have gone down dramatically?"

Simple, the schools did not go down, soem actually improved-however under the law the score required to make AYP goes up each year until it reaches 100% of all students passing. Schools like Clarkston have made small gains but fal further behind as the score required for AYP goes up.

Anonymous said...

Just so yo know there are somewhere between 2000 and 3000 homeless students identified in DeKalb County Schools.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 5:59 am

"Data can tell many stories. When I looked at the America's Choice schools I saw that many had improved their pass rates in LA and Reading but not math. "

Could you provide a link to your source of information?

When I go to the DCSS Title 1 page on the state website, I only see data through the 2008 school year.

The data available shows that the gap is wider overall between Title 1 and non-Title 1 schools. Title 1 funds are meant to narrow the gap between students in Title 1 and non-Title 1 schools as funds are supposed to directly improve student achievement in the schools where they are used (i.e. Title 1 schools).

Below are the percentage GAPS as measured by CRCT scores (standardized measurement of student achievement) between Title 1 and non-Title 1 schools:

2005-06:
Math - 14%
Reading - 14%
English/Language Arts: 16%
Science: 17%
Social Studies: 10%

2006-07:
Math - 17%
Reading - 14%
English/Language Arts - 14%
Science - 26%
Social Studies - 14%

2007-08:
Math - 19%
Reading - 10%
English/Language Arts - 13%
Science - 26%
Social Studies - 15%

I can see why a greater reliance on scripted learning programs such as America's Choice and Springboard would produce these results in science and social studies since the extra time in reading and math must necessitate less time in science and social studies. This point of view has long been controversial since students can develop reading skills by reading science and social studies content. It's called cross curricular learning - i.e. if you are reading science and social studies content, you are learning content and reading skills - more bang for the veritable time on task buck.

I would like to see the more recent data you have access to see if the gaps have widened further in the last two years.

Here is my source:
http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=104&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2008

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 12:15

Could you please cite your data source? As you can see I cited mine in the above post.

Dunwoody Mom said...

Simple, the schools did not go down, soem actually improved-however under the law the score required to make AYP goes up each year until it reaches 100% of all students passing. Schools like Clarkston have made small gains but fal further behind as the score required for AYP goes up.

I would like to see some analysis on this myself. It's one thing to keep harping on schools "not making AYP", but there are schools that are making progress in their test scores, while we have schools that continue to make AYP and have falling test scores. Do we have any analysis on this?

Kim Gokce said...

"Hey Kim,
I'm in no way challenging your statement."

Didn't take it that way at all ... thanks for caring enough to post!

There are many, many services targeting the poor and what I am left wondering is this: what would be the state of our public school student performance without all this support?

I know that some of pointed out that the "Title I" stats are intentionally inflated by DCSS personal. Even so, we have a relatively large population at the low end of the economic status spectrum in DeKalb and there is no denying that reality.

I think using our demographics as an excuse for performance is just that - an excuse. Time we insist that our BoE move passed that ...

Kim Gokce said...

"past" ... ugh. nite-nite!

Anonymous said...

Good night Kim and what you are saying is the premise of NCLB.

However, so far, there isn't much documentation to show that things are changing very much for kids on the lower end of the economic spectrum.

Even with all the focus and testing, the answer doesn't seem particularly clear as to what is the path to take to improve student achievement among the neediest students.

Depressing.

No Duh said...

BOE member Pam Speaks was a former DCSS Title One administrator (not sure her title). Why do we never hear her speak about Title I or ask for an investigation into its abuse in DCSS? She has to know where the bodies are buried.

Come on Pam stand for SOMETHING, please! I do like that you are quiet and thoughtful (seemingly at the meetings), but what are you passionate about?

Stemming TITLE I abuse would be a logical thing for Pam Speaks to champion for the BOE.

Also, is anyone else sick an tired of questioning spending (say for America's Choice) only to have DCSS administrators pooh-pooh us because "that's just Title One money." As if Title One funds aren't our hard earned tax dollars, as well as local and state taxes (and SPLOST money)?

Anonymous said...

Go to the sate web site and look at the report card at http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/ReportingFW.aspx?PageReq=102&CountyId=644&T=1&FY=2009
and you will see that 3rd and 5th grade title one students have improved their reading, endlish language arts, and science scores since 2006. No data for last year yet. Math scores also improved for Title I 5th graders. Title I being equated with economically disadvantaged. Most large scale research on America's Choice (see for instance Rowan, B., Coreenti, R., Miller, R., & .Camburn, E. (2009). School improvement by design: lessons from a study of comprehensive school reform programs. Center for Policy Research in Education) show that America's Choice when followed faithfully improves the academic performance of disadvantaged and minority students and does "no harm" to middle class students. This is based on large urban districts whose teachers are training in America's Choice and have the support of their community in emplementation.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:30 am

"you will see that 3rd and 5th grade title one students have improved their reading, english language arts, and science scores since 2006."

I disagree with your premise. Looking at the data, I can see why DCSS schools have not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) over time.

I took the time to compare the data over time since that's what AYP is based on. In particular, I looked to see what has happened since Dr. Lewis took over in 2004 as superintendent and Dr. Berry took over as at first Director of Title 1 and then as Director of School Improvement.

I haven't looked at 5th grade yet, but will share that when I have the time to crunch the numbers. Meanwhile, posters can look at these scores themselves.

I compared Economically Disadvantaged students from 2003-2009 in all subjects for 3rd grade. Title 1 funding for America's Choice and non-teaching Instructional Coaches occurs in Title 1 schools.

The DCSS Economically Disadvantaged subgroup is what is causing DCSS to NOT MAKE AYP in the Title 1 schools. It's actually more appropriate to look at this group since that's the group Title 1 targets. That's what disaggregation is all about - no more hiding subgroups scores within the larger groups' scores.

In six years DCSS's 3rd grade Economically Disadvantaged students increased in achievement scores by 6% in Reading, 2% in English/language Arts, and 1% in Science. In six years DCSS 3rd grade Economically Disadvantaged students declined in achievement scores by 11% in math and 11% in Social Studies.

Economically Disadvantaged
3rd grade

Reading – Meets Standards
2003-04 - 84%
2004-05 – 84%
2005-06 – 70%
2006-07 – 78%
2007-08 – 89%
2008-09 – 90%

English/Language Arts – Meets Standards
2003-04 – 79%
2004-05 – 76%
2005-06 – 68%
2006-07 - 79%
2007-08 – 81 %
2008-09 – 81 %

Mathematics – Meets Standards
2003-04 – 81%
2004-05 – 79%
2005 -06 – 83%
2006-07 - 86%
2007-08 – 60%
2008-09 – 70%

Social Studies
2003-04 – 78%
2004-05 – 81%
2005-06 – 78%
2006-07 – 83%
2007-08 – 84%
2008-09 – 67%

Science
2003-04 – 70%
2004-05 – 69%
2005 -06 – 69%
2006-07 – 57%
2007-08 – 64%
2008-09 – 71%

Posters let me know if you see any errors.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:30

Please compare Gwinnett scores over time for Economically Disadvantaged students with DCSS scores. Granted they are larger in size, but they have about the same number of Economically Disadvantaged students as a subgroup.

Their scores are comparable and somewhat better than DCSS.

Look at how they use their Title 1 funds. I just randomly chose to look at 3 Title 1 Gwinnett schools.

Randomly looking at DCSS schools, I kept seeing that $255 per pupil is being spent on those students and most of that money is going to 1 non-teaching Instructional Coach.

It appears that Gwinnett used Title 1 money for Instructional Coaches one year and then discontinued using Title 1 funding for those positions. They do however fund a lot of Title 1 teachers. Whether they work directly with small groups of struggling students, that I don't know. Maybe a Gwinnett county poster could tell us that.

Look at the data from the Title 1 pages I looked at:
Gwinnett Couonty Schools

Benefield ES
A. Title 1 funds
Per Pupil Amount (Average) $409.00
School Allocation $357,875.00
Number of Title I Funded Teachers 6
Number of Title I Funded Paraprofessionals 1
Number of Title I Funded Others( e.g. Coaches, Nurses, etc) 0
Resident Children 1287
Number of Poverty Children 875
Poverty Percent 67.99%

B. Ayp status
2003-04 Made AYP
2005-06 Did Not Make AYP
2006-07 Made AYP
2007-08 Made AYP
2008-09 Made AYP
2009-10 Made AYP
Benfield was using Title 1 funding in 2006-07 to fund an Instructional coach, but not by 2007-08


Cedar Hill
A. Title 1 funds
Per Pupil Amount (Average) $402.00
School Allocation $332,052.00
Number of Title I Funded Teachers 6
Number of Title I Funded Paraprofessionals 0
Number of Title I Funded Others( e.g. Coaches, Nurses, etc) 0
Resident Children 1402
Number of Poverty Children 826
Poverty Percent 58.92%
Cedar Hill was using Title 1 funding in 2005 06 and 2006-07 to fund an Instructional coach, but not by 2007-08

B. AYP status
2004-05 Made AYP
2005-06 Made AYP
2006-07 Made AYP
2007-08 Made AYP
2008-09 Made AYP
2009-10 Made AYP

Meadowcreek High School
A. Title 1 funds
Per Pupil Amount (Average) $368.00
School Allocation $582,912.00
Number of Title I Funded Teachers 7
Number of Title I Funded Paraprofessionals 0
Number of Title I Funded Others( e.g. Coaches, Nurses, etc) 0
Resident Children 2469
Number of Poverty Children 1584
Poverty Percent 64.16%

B. AYP status
2004-05 Did Not Make AYP
2005-06 Made AYP
2006-07 Did Not Make AYP
2007-08 Did Not Make AYP
2008-09 Made AYP
2009-10 Made AYP
Meadowcreek was using Title 1 funding in 2006-07 to fund an Instructional coach, but not by 2007-08

Anonymous said...

Part 1 of post
@ Anonymous 9:30 am


"you will see that 3rd and 5th grade title one students have improved their reading, english language arts, and science scores since 2006."

I disagree with your premise. Looking at the data, I can see why DCSS schools have not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) over time.

I took the time to compare the data over time since that's what AYP is based on. In particular, I looked to see what has happened since Dr. Lewis took over in 2004 as superintendent and Dr. Berry took over as at first Director of Title 1 and then as Director of School Improvement.

I haven't looked at 5th grade yet, but will share that when I have the time to crunch the numbers. Meanwhile, posters can look at these scores themselves.

I compared Economically Disadvantaged students from 2003-2009 in all subjects for 3rd grade. Title 1 funding for America's Choice and non-teaching Instructional Coaches occurs in Title 1 schools.

The DCSS Economically Disadvantaged subgroup is what is causing DCSS to NOT MAKE AYP in the Title 1 schools. It's actually more appropriate to look at this group since that's the group Title 1 targets. That's what disaggregation is all about - no more hiding subgroups scores within the larger groups' scores.

In six years DCSS's 3rd grade Economically Disadvantaged students increased in achievement scores by 6% in Reading, 2% in English/language Arts, and 1% in Science. In six years DCSS 3rd grade Economically Disadvantaged students declined in achievement scores by 11% in math and 11% in Social Studies.

Anonymous said...

Part 2 of post
Economically Disadvantaged - Meets Standards
3rd grade

Reading
2003-04 - 84%
2004-05 – 84%
2005-06 – 70%
2006-07 – 78%
2007-08 – 89%
2008-09 – 90%

English/Language Arts
2003-04 – 79%
2004-05 – 76%
2005-06 – 68%
2006-07 - 79%
2007-08 – 81 %
2008-09 – 81 %

Mathematics
2003-04 – 81%
2004-05 – 79%
2005 -06 – 83%
2006-07 - 86%
2007-08 – 60%
2008-09 – 70%

Social Studies
2003-04 – 78%
2004-05 – 81%
2005-06 – 78%
2006-07 – 83%
2007-08 – 84%
2008-09 – 67%

Science
2003-04 – 70%
2004-05 – 69%
2005 -06 – 69%
2006-07 – 57%
2007-08 – 64%
2008-09 – 71%

Posters let me know if you see any errors.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 9:30 am

"you will see that 3rd and 5th grade title one students have improved their reading, english language arts, and science scores since 2006."

I disagree with your premise. Looking at the data, I can see why DCSS schools have not made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) over time.

I took the time to compare the data over time since that's what AYP is based on. In particular, I looked to see what has happened since Dr. Lewis took over in 2004 as superintendent and Dr. Berry took over as at first Director of Title 1 and then as Director of School Improvement.

I haven't looked at 5th grade yet, but will share that when I have the time to crunch the numbers. Meanwhile, posters can look at these scores themselves.

I compared Economically Disadvantaged students from 2003-2009 in all subjects for 3rd grade. Title 1 funding for America's Choice and non-teaching Instructional Coaches occurs in Title 1 schools.

The DCSS Economically Disadvantaged subgroup is what is causing DCSS to NOT MAKE AYP in the Title 1 schools. It's actually more appropriate to look at this group since that's the group Title 1 targets. That's what disaggregation is all about - no more hiding subgroups scores within the larger groups' scores.

In six years DCSS's 3rd grade Economically Disadvantaged students increased in achievement scores by 6% in Reading, 2% in English/language Arts, and 1% in Science. In six years DCSS 3rd grade Economically Disadvantaged students declined in achievement scores by 11% in math and 11% in Social Studies.

Anonymous said...

If you live in Gwinnett, it means you are not dependent on MARTA.

There is poor and then there is poooor.

DeKalb has more real poverty than Gwinnett.

Cerebration said...

Maureen has a great post on the subject called "Economic and social failures blamed on schools"

Economic and social failures blamed on schools

Written by Walt Gardner, who has written for the AJC before on education topics. A teacher for 28 years in Los Angeles, he writes the Reality Check blog for Education Week.

It begins,

In the debate over education reform, the charge guaranteed to get the attention of the media is that the U.S. is losing its economic hegemony. The evidence is rankings on tests of international competition, which are offered as proof that the U.S. will not be able to compete globally. Yet a closer look leads to a far more nuanced conclusion.

The first question that should raise eyebrows is who takes the tests. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), for example, tests students who are in their “final year of school.” But the ages of students range from 17 in the U.S. to 21 in other countries. Clearly, the differences are significant, but curiously are not noted in reportage.

Then there is the matter of selecting which students from these age groups actually sit down for the test. The U.S. engages in actual sampling, while other countries are highly selective. Russia and Israel, for example, administer TIMSS to native speakers only. Switzerland gives the test to students in only 15 of the highest performing regions of the country.

Moreover, little attention has been paid to how the tests are constructed. Items that appear on the test are negotiated by the participating countries. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that countries push hard for items that will mesh closely with their curricula in order to look good in the rankings. Asian countries tend to prevail in the test preparation process, giving them a built-in advantage.

Finally, there is the role that poverty plays in the results. Among the industrialized countries of the world, the U.S. has the highest rate of childhood poverty, according to UNICEF. Research has shown time and again that the single most powerful predictor of student performance is poverty. And it is increasing. The Census Bureau reported in September that the share of residents in poverty climbed to 14.3 percent in 2009, the highest level since 1994. The rise was steepest for children, with one in five now affected.