Monday, December 6, 2010

Action Item K-9

DCSS Board of Education Meeting 12/06/2010
Action Item K-9

This is the latest quote from our interim superintendent when asked by Paul Womack why were schools allocated 100% increase in funding when they are failing.

"These are stimulus funds that we have received and we need to spend them."
"We got more money!"

This seems to be the overriding theme from our school system for the last few years.

Our school system is a child with a checkbook. There is no empirical evidence that there is any benefit or positive result from these programs.

The board has ok'd the approved spending with no results, just a wink and a nod that the details will be explained later.

I am appalled at the philosophy from our interim superintendent that we need to spend the money because "We Got More Money!"


Anonymous said...

Supt. Tyson was correct. The stimulus money recieved wsa based on increased numbers of schools qualifying for Title I services. She indicated a plan was submitted to the State to serve more at risk students, therfore needed more materialls and tutors.
I applaud Mrs. Tyson for thr Great job she is doing. Let's help her and lay off ALL of the negative criticism.

It at the glass AS HALF Empty AS OPPOSED TO HALP FULL.

This blog could be very important on a Leadership Position of Leadership. It would be great for our students and taechers.

Anonymous said...

The original education stimulus money was only directed at Title 1 schools and special education students/services/training.

That is the way it is.

Obama's original education stimulus package last year actually called for more money with less strings. The Congress whittled it down and then limited its use.

Anonymous said...

You have a disingenuous and somewhat specious posting. The increase for failing schools was targeted federal dollars to try to bring the schools and students up to par. Most of it goes for tutors, materials, parental involvement, and teacher training.

Perhaps we can cut our way into prosperity and improve our less than stellar educational ranking by spending and doing less. Did I say that more people go to jail in Georgia than most states in the nation? This inmate population cost more three times per prisoner than we spend per student. What happens to students that don't finish school, they are much more likely to go to jail. You can pay now or later but it seems like that education produces more tax payers and better citizens than prison

Anonymous said...

"Most of it goes for tutors, materials, parental involvement, and teacher training. "

I'm fine with all of those if you can show me the student improvement figures. It doesn't have to be standardized testing. There are other evaluations that show that. time and time again it is shown that teacher quality and reasonable class sizes are what makes the positive difference for kids. IMHO this money should have been spent for direct instruction by highly qualified teachers in reasonably sized classes.

Other school systems used their stimulus funds to ensure the money went directly into the classroom rather than "classroom support". You can train all you want, but you won't attract highly qualified teachers and struggling students will not be successful in classes with 30+ other students.

This stimulus money was supposed to be used to stem teacher layoffs and thus keep class sizes to a reasonable level. Instead it funded more employees in the DCSS "jobs program".

See AJC article:

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 1:34
"Supt. Tyson was correct. The stimulus money recieved wsa based on increased numbers of schools qualifying for Title I services. She indicated a plan was submitted to the State to serve more at risk students, therfore needed more materialls and tutors."

I guess that's why she asked the BOE to raise the limit on class sizes in high school content areas (science, math, social studies, and Language Arts) to 36 and the other areas to 39.

If Ms. Tyson had a teaching background, she would realize that struggling students spend most of their time in the content area classroom with the classroom teacher. Raising class sizes to these heights guarantees more of these students will not improve academically. She could have used the stimulus money to ensure reasonable class sizes for at risk students, the one group that educational research show consistently benefit the most from reasonable class sizes.

Please direct me to information that shows the input from content area teachers she used when making these decisions for these at risk students.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 6:30

"The original education stimulus money was only directed at Title 1 schools and special education students/services/training."

Not true. It was directed at preserving the classroom teaching positions. Instead we have spent tens of millions and the students are in bigger class sizes:

The money was put in Dr. Berry's department DCSS's Office of School Improvement (an oxymoron if there ever was one).

Cerebration said...

Agreed. Reducing class sizes and supporting and raising up teachers is most important. Imagine a school system where the teacher functions more as an education manager. The teacher can identify struggling students and send them off with Ms A to work directly on reading skills or a few of them off with Ms B to work on math skills. Or identify those that obviously need more challenge and send them off with Mr C for special projects or hands-on learning opportunities. What if the teacher noticed that a student seemed to need personal items or food - the teacher could confidently walk with that student to the social worker's office or the psychological counselor.

The way it's set up now, we are only exerting downward pressure on teachers to perform - and expect them to practically single-handedly bring home the bacon. So much of the challenges are societal issues and require societal support. Early.

Use Title 1 money to fund these support teachers and staff. Use it to fund after school tutoring and exercise and fun. Use it to fund a summer camp experience for so many children who never get to do that. Use it to staff the Parent Centers with highly trained social workers or nurses or mid-wifes or court and juvenile personnel other professionals to lift up and support parents in their roles.

There are many ways to use Title 1 to directly impact students. Teacher training is important, but teachers alone cannot fulfill the demands of No Child Left Behind or any other societal issue placed in their laps.

Anon said...

Anon 4:42

The money you refer to was not the original education stimulus package. That package came much later than the first one. By August 2010 all the original monies had been distributed by the US Dept of Ed.

The job monies came this fall.

Two seperate pots of monies.

Anonymous said...

@ anonymous 4:34

Interesting document. Let's just take a FEW of the goals that DCSS was supposed have been spending these tens of millions of dollars on:

A. Instructional Technology:
So what has DCSS done to ensure "all students in becoming technologically literate by the end of eighth grade"?

Is Ms. Tyson prepared to share with taxpayers the "formula basis to ...improve student academic achievement through the use of technology in schools"?

2 computers for every 30+ students is not going to accomplish that. How much of these millions were spent to ensure technology access? I'm willing to bet - nothing. Without technology access, how would students meet this objective. Currently, our students cannot even take the state's 8th grade technology literacy test online due to lack of access - they "bubble in" paper and pencil technology tests.

Please share with us the "formula" DCSS developed that makes technology expenditures link with student achievement.

B. What "teacher compensation systems (are in place)in high need schools"?

Teachers in high needs schools, please share with us the compensation plan in place to reward you for improved student performance?

Taxpayers would like to know what you provided in increased compensation for teachers who have improved student achievement in high needs schools.

C. "Educational agencies...(will), develop, and implement statewide, longitudinal data systems to efficiently and accurately manage, analyze, disaggregate, and use individual student data. "

So is eSis running efficiently for teachers? Is SchoolNet which is supposed to provide real time data on student progress working?

Teachers, are you able to take your students to a lab, let them take a benchmark test and then have the results delivered to you on your desktop so you can make adjustments in your instructional delivery?

Posters, please read what this first round of tens of millions that DCSS received were supposed to do for students and then form your own conclusions. The goals are on target for students, but did DCSS spend this money in a way that would meet these goals? Did they even understand these goals or did they just see this money as a way to keep the current system in place?

My understanding from the DCSS website and BOE meeting notes is that these tens of millions in stimulus money were spent on America's Choice, Instructional Coaches, Central Office employees (Office of School Improvement in particular) and whatever the system decided would preserve the status quo.