Friday, July 22, 2011

California's Audacious Plan to move up to 25th in the nation

notyet LAUSD is pleased to release this peer-reviewed and balanced working paper on how to move California from 36th up to 25th in Ed-weeks rankings.  We believe in this audacious plan and ask you to join the revolution to reach the median.   Status quo be damned California will succeed!

Pledge your support in our comments.

"One day my child will at least be mediocre" - Parent

"California will no longer be on the ass's end of education" -Generic politician

"Finally a bold and courageous voice for parents" - Rheefomrer

*Depending how you look at it in California, where notyetLAUSD is located, we rank somewhere between 14th and 43rd in the nation on various metrics of resources given to students overall about 36th.  We do great on policy and standards above 25th percentile, but we fall far behind on funding and support of actual learning.  Join the race to the middle.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Right Wing Rhetoric Bingo

Inspired by Rick Santorum's reference to Rachel Maddow where non-existed I realized just how much the right wing uses the same phrases over and over.  I would've created a drinking game based on the repeated word thing, but I'm trying to lose weight.

Solution:  Right Wing Rhetoric Bingo
Instructions: Tune into any fair and balanced right leaning broadcast and start covering phrases.  You can use your favorite BINGO patterns, play with friends or alone. (currently updates every 5 minutes, or go here to see the whole sheet)

Growth Potential: I do a similar thing with reform jargon, but its really easy to expand.  I'm thinking there is an App in this here idea, provide 24 -60 catch words and share the bingo game as a peer competition.

Update (7/21):  Please use comments to leave new words to include in the Bingo tiles.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

LAUSD Board will take 300% raise, give up revolving door

300% Raise 

notyetLAUSD will raise LAUSD Board member salaries to $138,000.  Currently LAUSD board members earn $46,000, roughly what a new teacher earns.  LAUSD board members manage $5-$7 Billion in public funds for education.  This will represent the first raise since 2007.  Do you know anywhere else where 7 people earning such a penance control a budget larger than many states.

Why are we paying more?  Charter Schools.

We have learned a best practice from Charter Management Organizations, they have privately selected board members not accountable to the public that often earn between $120K to $215K.   CMO's have higher board member salaries and higher test scores (on average), correlation? I think not. 

How do we pay the new salary? Private Fund-raising 

End of the Revolving Door 

notyetLAUSD will make Board Members sign a 3 year moratorium on taking a position with any entity that contracts with or provides guidance to LAUSD.  Marleen Canter left LAUSD to join Green Dot’s board, the Board's go to team to run schools it can't handle 1, 2.  Yollie Flores left LAUSD to join a Gates foundation project. These individuals should take their expertise gleamed while serving on the board and share it.  These individuals should not be jumping from leading a public institution into a private entity that influences the public institution immediately.  Congress members can’t lobby for a set period of time. Board members will have plenty of opportunity to comeback and influence LAUSD.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

LAUSD’s Acceptable Cheating Policy

Another sun rise, another school cheating scandal;  Atlanta, Texas “miracle”, Washington DC, LAUSD.  Lets look at another place where cheating is occurring and being dealt with to get an idea of how education will deal with it, baseball.  BarryBonds and Roger Clemens show how little we care about cheating.  What Bonds and Clemens do show is how we want to make an example of a few and ignore the many.  Everyone knows these are not the only two players to use steroids.  To keep our conscience clear we want an example to validate “we don't accept cheaters”.  
    We do accept cheaters, its just normal, souses, speed limits, resumes. So many of us cheat and we know it, yet we want to punish “cheaters” in a way that doesn't hit home.  Think how much energy is poured into talking about Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens character defects.  If we didn't have character defects established for Bonds and Clemens, we might mistake these individuals as sharing a commonality with us.  With “defective” people being punished we can go to sleep safe that our cheating is different because non-defective people, like us, “misinterpret the rules.(video)Maybe outside of education circles people already feel a dissonance toward teachers.  There is certainly a lot of noise lately to create a dissonance around teachers who work in and are committed to your local community.

NotyetLAUSD has a solution:  LAUSD Acceptable Cheating Policy (ACP).   

We hope this model will remove some of the stigma surrounding cheating so we can integrate cheating into our expectations that come with high stakes testing.  We will use the same normalized curve (bell curve) sweeping much of the education sector, like in VAM scores.  By looking at rates of cheating on standardized tests across the nation we can create a reliable curve of cheating we can tolerate.  Zero tolerance policies are unrealistic, the data doesn't support a zero cheating environment.  ACP demands that 10% of teachers will be extreme cheaters and 10% will be minimal cheaters and the rest will fall in a tidy bell curve.  Its not fair to compare the cheating of a tenured teacher at a high API school to the cheating of a new teacher at a low API school. We can control for factors like how much stress the teachers and administrators are under to raise scores so we don't miss categorize a teacher's cheating extremeness.  

Saturday, July 9, 2011

10 Percent for All

LAUSD is on a roll with 10%, notyetLAUSD wants to grow the trend.

What we have:
  • Homework can only account for 10% of a student's grade.
  • Only about 10% of teacher are allowed to be "excellent" according to LAUSD's AGT system
  • There must be at least  10% of teachers who are doing miserable according to the AGT system above

Where notyetLAUSD will go:
  • Test and quizzes can only account for 10% of a student's grade
  • Classwork can only account for 10% of a student's grade
  • Projects can only account for 10% of a student's grade
  • Within the district's tiering of teacher 10% can be super awful, 10% can be just bad, 10% can be meh, another 10% can be sort of good, and we'll keep our 10% cap for excellence.