Monday, October 28, 2013
Saturday, September 14, 2013
You might be frustrated with the iPads, but my outrage started when I heard Los Angeles voted for bond money to be spent on reducing over crowded schools. I was stuck in a face palm for a year. The whole point of overcrowded schools is to drive families away from Los Angeles and alleviate congestion on the freeways. And it worked for LAUSD, and Los Angeles in general. We finally started enjoying a decline in families and their resource sapping kids. Then voter approved bond money began to build schools.
At first I thought they were going to build more monoliths as quickly and cheaply as they could. I though LAUSD would send a message to the families of Los Angeles; “We don’t want you, but we don’t want a fine from the health department, so hear is a little more space”
LAUSD didn’t build monoliths; they hired real architects and designers. LAUSD built modern looking schools with all sorts of goodies in areas with poor people; poor people that clog my freeways.
And now LAUSD is giving students iPads.
This needs to stop. What kind of message is LAUSD sending?
notYet LAUSD is taking over the iPad4allz to buy the TangZ 10” uPad. It can be had for $99 at most major drug stores. The TangZ can run apps? No one will steal the TangZ 10” uPad. Like the monoliths of before, the TangZ will check the box of state auditors while helping to keep traffic congestion down.
If we want to keep our freeways clear, we need to bring back the monoliths. We need to tell kids they are worth the TangZ 10” uPad. With clear freeways we will have cleaner air and that is good for the kids.
Monday, April 8, 2013
I love the rash of new shows about women who's important lover, friend, family member was killed and now there is a whole series of intrigue and espionage to fill countless weeknights of TV time. See Rev8nge, Red Widow, Deception, y mas. Dr. Deasy is like one of these sympathetic characters who just happens to be compelled to avenge countless misdeeds, a task only he alone can do. Except instead of murders, Dr Deasy must avenge the democratic process and punish those that did not follow his desire. Here is another great example.
Now back to my Hulu to finish this episode of Rev8nge.
Now back to my Hulu to finish this episode of Rev8nge.
Monday, February 4, 2013
I just looked up and noticed its 2013 which means that a vast majority of ®eformers have earned tenure as ®eformers while achieving various levels of effectiveness. Think of your favourite ®eformer, what their goal was when they started, did they reach their goal? Is your favourite ®eformer still fighting for their cause after 2 or 3 years of proving they were ineffective at creating the change they said they would? Did they get fired or get tenure?
Considering the disproportionate funding in favour of ®eformers vs the others, they cannot cite a lack of funds. Has your favourite ®eformer backed down a little bit in their rhetoric and tried to temper expectations like a corporation before a bad earnings report? Have you ever heard of a ®eformer being fired for poor performance? notyetLAUSD proposes a 4 year tenure track for ®eformers working inside and outside LAUSD. If you can’t make the changes you want, move over and let someone else try. Fired!
In other news:
Green Dot charter just announced they are going to reconstitute themselves at Locke High School in an effort to show the use of self-immolation and, an undying faith in reincarnation of the self, is needed to create meaningful change at high need public schools.
A lame donkey compromise:
Can we just get over tenure talks and LIFO, move tenure to 4-6 years with no more than two school transfers and 3 consecutive years at the site where tenure is given? Can we all agree that it sucks when a great young teacher is laid off and a crappy old one is kept, but over the past 4 years of laying off less experienced teachers and concentrating its number of experienced teachers, LAUSD was able to boost API at a far faster rate than other districts. (I know most of the boost over the past few years has been due to increases in the use of the CMA, but I’d like to live in a fantasy world where having more students in classes with long-term committed teachers might have had an effect too). I’m not opposed to the district going back using incentives at hard to staff schools to prevent the need for a Reed settlement.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
In the last post we teased a new package for teachers to buy a Nate Silver to look at their data and prove they are an awesome teacher. For $250, if we can't find a single shred of data anywhere in your history that proves you to be modestly competent, we will provide some sure fire assessments. Here is your first taste.
“It's a Long Way To The Top”
Step 1. Take any assessment that is multiple choice
Step 2. Give a pre-unit assessment
Step 3. During the unit of instruction, play AC/DC. Especially “It's a Long Way To The Top,” which is featured in the kid friendly movie School of Rock
Step 4. Everyday during the unit, when your students ask “what is that?” Just tell them the name of the band.
Step 5. Post assessment. Rearrange the answer choices to be A.C.D.C. repeated.
Step 6. Watch those scores rise. You are an awesome teacher. (btw if this doesn't work, go teach PE)
Step 7. Want more awesome advice like this. Get in touch with us about how you can send us $250 from your paycheck just once so you can keep a few more of those sweet sweet pay stubbies from the quarter billion dollar LAUSD payroll system.
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
---jump right to the bottom for how notyet LAUSD is going to make millions off this new contract---
Teachers suck. Okay, not all teachers. Not even most. Maybe a few teachers suck. Somewhere in some part of this world a teacher sucks at their profession.
VAM sucks. CST sucks. All standardized tests suck. Data analysis of tests suck. There is no value in tests. Okay maybe a smidge of value. Some where there is one piece of data that possesses the slightest hint of value.
With that profound insight, may I give my ringing endorsement for the recent appendage to the UTLA/LAUSD contract.
1. It doesn’t matter how you vote. UTLA and LAUSD agreed to this, and should UTLA members vote “no,” the judge will probably revert to this plan.
2. The wording of the contract allows a teacher to bring their own data to the table. You have to be a sucky teacher to not find a single piece of data to show some sort of growth. The terminology is so broad; it would take a special teacher not to find a piece of data to explain doing a good job on something at some point in time.
1. The school administrator can use just about any data they want to as well.
2. There is no change to they way conflicts are resolved, so the problems with arbitrating (if it ever happens) with the existing contract will add a new dimension of complexity.
The money grab
No one has the time to do data analysis at a school site. Thanks to notyet LAUSD’s partnership with our sponsors they will do all the data analysis for us. Sponsors get to pick the data they care about and then notyet LAUSD, as the administrative branch, gets to tell our administrators down at the school site to use the data we tell them to.
We charge teachers $250 to look at their data and find something useful. notyet LAUSD will go through your data and find something that makes you look competent. If we can’t find data, we’ll show you how to create a few foolproof tests and administration techniques to ensure your students scores grow.
Monday, September 24, 2012
It goes without saying that the first rule of ®eform is “Don’t talk about poverty.”
The second rule of ®eform is “Don’t talk about poverty”. Either number 3 or 4 is “Don’t talk about population changes.” I don’t mean the fact that students change from year to year. I mean changes in who is tested because of s district level policy change, same kids, same teachers, new policy.
I could be referring to LAUSD’s increased use of the CMA for students with special needs instead of the actual CST, and how this policy change is accounting for a good chunk of LAUSD’s “growth” over the past few years. But I’m not, because LAUSD doesn’t talk about changing the population that takes the CST.
I am talking about a recent set of post from LAUSD’s LA School Report that actually talks about LAUSD changing who is getting tested and its negative impact on percentages, not the benefit of the policy to students. The first post “Why HS Math Scores Are Low(er),” gave 3 generic reasons for a perceived drop in HS Algebra scores. The second post must have been a rookie mistake for Hillel Aaron. The second post “More on Math Scores” makes the case that LAUSD has been doing a good job placing students into the correct math class so there are fewer competent students repeating a class.
If you’re confused at this point, I’m not criticizing LAUSD for putting students in the correct class.
LAUSD is openly talking about the role of a specific policy change that is affecting percentages used for evaluation. Algebra passing rates are on of the percentages used when LAUSD labels a school “failing” and bullies it with PSC. Policies about who takes what class have very real consequences on the statistics LAUSD is measuring itself on. District policy that changes who takes what test affect percentages.
LAUSD and ®eformers do not like to talk about year over year changes in what type of students are taking a test. For market based solutions to work, you need to compare apples to apples. Even value added measurements can only tolerate a finite amount of change in the year over year testing samples before the results become meaningless. LAUSD routinely makes large scale changes to how it tests, yet remains oblivious to the affect on evaluation of schools. There is a good reason rule 3 or 4 from the ed-®eform playbook is “Don’t talk about population changes,” even moderate population changes undermine “market place solutions.”
Bonus Point 1: What does changing the population mean in the current climate.
As LAUSD moves toward the idea of small learning communities and “Expanded School Based Management” you might think that the school’s results are all its own. You might think student outcomes are tightly aligned to just the teacher or school. Most ®eforms require you to focus on just the teacher or just the school leader. When LAUSD is making policies that will change who is assessed, how does the district and school claim credit/ blame for the outcomes of the school.
Bonus Point 2: LA School Report is LAUSD's propaganda blog – they really did just run a “get to know you” piece for a someone aligned to Deasy who might be running for a Board seat but hasn’t yet declared.