Tuesday, November 22, 2011

notyetLAUSD to release Value Added Parent Score

Tiger Parents rejoice, Value Added Parent scores are the technocratic validation you have been waiting for.  Are you tired of waiting 16 years to see if you child made it into Harvard a year early?  Get instant validation on your parenting thanks to Value Added Parent scores.

LAUSD  is sitting on a treasure trove of Value Added Parent Scores.  Before Teacher Value Added scores are calculated, LAUSD calculates student level growth.   Every child has a value added growth score.  Student value added scores are based on student growth on CST tests after statistically nullifying the impact of gender, race, English language learner status, free-and reduced-price lunch (poor), disability (severe and mild) an homelessness. 

LAUSD simply needs to take the student growth scores and account for teacher effects on student growth, like years teaching and student's prior test performance. 

After we recalculate student performance and statistically nullify the social effects on students as well as the teacher effects we are left with Parent effects.  A rough translation of the formula is Student Scores - Social factors - Teacher factors = Parent Value

We plan to release these scores directly to parents, wait a few minutes and then wait for the LA Times to sue us to release the Value Added Parent Scores.  We will pretend to care about the scores being released, wait a few weeks and make them public.  Finally we will let the LA Times release a database of Parent Value Added scores.

Please use the comments about what we should do with the top 10% or parents and bottom 10% of parents.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wasserman foundation pays $4 million in reparations to LAUSD for PSC.

notyetLAUSD is excited that the Wasserman foundation will begin to pay reparations to thousands of school teachers across LAUSD who have had to devote countless hours of their time to writing PSC plans.  notyetLAUSD sees the Wasserman foundation responsible for PSC in its role of paying for several key staffers to work at LAUSD to help write PSC.  Thanks to the Wasserman foundation thousands of teachers at public and charter schools had to devote tens, usually hundreds of hours, to writing their school’s plan for PSC bids.  For those teachers at public schools and many charters, they had to take time away from supporting instruction to write a plan that will not be read.

While not explicitly stated, we cannot imagine the sorrow and hurt the Wasserman foundation must have felt when it realized its well-intentioned PSC plan actually cost thousands of students many thousands of hours of attention from their teachers.  Wasserman foundation might have even felt a twinge of discomfort for labeling schools failures based on painfully simplistic criteria to be put on PSC.

The donorschooseLA.org program is available for all LAUSD students because many students affected by the Wasserman foundation’s PSC plan are now at different schools.  The cynic might say this is ultimately about giving iPad2’s to all teachers to teach literacy to kids who didn’t learn good in Elementary.  notyetLAUSD sees the true altruistic and noble nature of the Wasserman foundation’s attempt to right a wrong.  We applaud the Wasserman foundation and encourage all of our readers to donate their $15 toward a teacher’s iPad2. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

LAUSD needs to convert libraries to Test Prep Centers

notyetLAUSD wants to turn LAUSD Libraries into Test Prep Centers pending approval of the a contract with the right online service provider for our test prep materials.

In reference to why LAUSD is cutting librarians Dr. Deasy recently stated that in addition to budget concerns "research shows libraries don't teach literacy."  I get the budget thing, but why say libraries don’t teach literacy, unless you know where the real value of an LAUSD education lies.   We love literacy rates at notyetLAUSD and can’t wait to get those numbers bumping.  We are thankful to Dr. Deasy for finding this research to help make our kids college and career ready

We know libraries happen to hold more than just a bunch of words, they hold information.  More importantly they hold information that is organized.  We can argue about the value of the Dewey decimal system in the age of natural language search queries, but organizing information is a hugely important skill for college bound students.  If we are to prepare college ready students they are going to need to know how find and evaluate information.  The skills of a librarian are the most essential skills of a citizen of the digital age.   

What we see as the spark of genius in Dr. Deasy’s plan is that he is showing the leadership for career ready citizens.  NotyetLAUSD thinks this is truly inspired leadership to raise kids for a career path, not just in knowledge, but also in the skills of wilful suspension of self-enlightenment that left uncapped leads to too many liberal arts majors.  

Creating testing centers in the space once occupied by libraries is a great way to capitalize on the large space often sitting awkwardly in the center of a school.  We’re not sure if we should use Kaplan, Princeton Review, or one of the other up an coming test preparation suites that can be bought online.  Clearly the future is online and our test preparation materials need to move out of the paper world like libraries and move into the online spectrum.

LAUSD has already shown how a lack of libraries for teachers goes along with increased student performance on the Tests..   This district demands data-driven instruction and best practices, without providing any source for finding this information (a library with education journals).  LAUSD has the desire for data-driven and best practices but fails at providing the most basic education journals to its staff.  None-the-less test scores go up year after year without providing teachers a single education journal, this is just further proof libraries aren’t needed when scores are the focus.  

Dump a kid in an ocean of data and they drown.

Give them a search engine and they get sucked into the strongest current.  

Give a kid the basic skills of a librarian and they can navigate an ocean of data.