Interim Super: "The Annual Ratcheting Up of Standards is Catching Up With" Dallas ISD

NoChildLeftBehind1.jpg
Dave Goldfinger
And the hits just keep on coming: One week ago today the Texas Education Agency officially announced that the Dallas Independent School District had more campuses deemed academically unacceptable (33) than exemplary (30) -- a radical shift from last year's stats, thanks in large part to the state doing away with the numbers-juicing Texas Projection Measure. Now this: Yet again, the DISD did not meet the Adequate Yearly Progress standards laid out by feds. Per the release sent out by the district late yesterday, 136 schools (61 percent) met AYP standards, 85 did not. "As a result of not meeting the new higher standards," says the release, "Dallas ISD will be listed as Missing AYP for the third consecutive year."

And what, precisely, is the AYP? The Texas Education Agency summarizes thusly:
Schools and districts must have 80 percent or more of their students in grades 3-8 and 10 pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) reading or English language arts test and 75 percent must pass the TAKS mathematics test to meet AYP. They also must achieve a 90 percent attendance rate or a 75 percent graduation rate, depending on the grade levels they serve.
Said the TEA yesterday, 5,597 schools in the state hit the AYP benchmarks, put in place by No Child Left Behind; that's 66 percent, a hefty drop. Districts statewide took the same hit as DISD -- again, due to ditching the TPM security blanket. And it's only going to get worse: No Child Left Behind says that everyone has to pass everything by 2014, and keeps upping the standards each year. And that, says Dallas ISD temporary super Alan King in a district release, is making it hard on everyone:
"As with the state accountability ratings released a week ago, we make no excuses for the performance of our students. Overall district performance on the TAKS test showed gains in mathematics and a half point decline in reading. The annual ratcheting up of standards is catching up with our district and does not necessarily reflect on the quality of teaching or opportunities available to students whose campuses did not meet AYP status."
The district's release follows, and if there's any good news for the district, since the fate of No Child Left Behind's up in the air at the moment, it's also unclear how DISD will be sanctioned for failing to hit AYP for a third year. The district's now at Stage 3 in reading and math, which TEA doesn't even define beyond parental notification and implementing a district improvement plan under mandated by hitting Stage 1. Jump for the DISD's release. If you can read it.
ADEQUATE YEARLY PROGRESS RATINGS RELEASED
136 Dallas ISD Campuses Meet AYP; District Listed as Missing AYP for 3rd Year

DALLAS-Adequate Yearly Progress results from the Texas Education Agency show that annual increases in standards are causing challenges for Dallas ISD schools.

For the third year in a row, criteria in both the subjects of mathematics and reading increased significantly, up 8 percent in math to 75% and up 7 percent in reading to 80%. The reading standard is now the equivalent of a Recognized rating from the state system.

All totaled, 136 Dallas ISD campuses, or 61%, met AYP standards. 85 schools, or 39% did not. As a result of not meeting the new higher standards, Dallas ISD will be listed as Missing AYP for the third consecutive year.

"As with the state accountability ratings released a week ago, we make no excuses for the performance of our students," said Alan King. "Overall district performance on the TAKS test showed gains in mathematics and a half point decline in reading. The annual ratcheting up of standards is catching up with our district and does not necessarily reflect on the quality of teaching or opportunities available to students whose campuses did not meet AYP status."

As a result of not meeting AYP for the third consecutive year, the district will need to notify parents of the indicators missed (Reading and Mathematics standards) and how parents may become involved in improving the district. The No Child Left Behind Act that created AYP ratings in 2003 has yet to be re-authorized by the federal government. It is uncertain at this time how sanctions and ratings will occur in the future.

Standards for schools to meet AYP status will continue to increase during the next three years. In 2011-12, the reading standard will increase to an expectation of 87% of students passing with 83% of students passing in mathematics. By 2013-14, the expectation is that 100% of district students pass both the reading and mathematics tests.

"Everyone in the Dallas Independent School District continues to be committed to working as hard as possible to improve student achievement in every classroom of every campus," said King. "These ratings will not slow down the efforts of our dedicated staff. We will work with the Texas Education Agency to put together the best possible plan to serve all of our students."
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Morgansroses
Morgansroses

How in the world is this going to be possible when class sizes are increasing and planning periods are being taken away from teachers. I predict an increase of teacher burn our this year. Please pray for us as well as the students.

W W
W W

We need to set the bar.. not merely attain it.

Guest123
Guest123

Has anyone else heard about the shuffling of area directors and the creation of new learning communities for the high schools? We heard our magnet school is back in a magnet only community and some of the area directors were moved.

Joyce Foreman
Joyce Foreman

I hope they know what they have.  Glad he is gone from DISD. Good luck Cobb County.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

Just wait for 2014.  Once suburban schools get engulfed by NCLB, the US will have completely de-legitimized its own public education system.  What then folks?  It's fine to tear apart Plan A if you have a Plan B.  But what's our Plan B? 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Since 1980, and really, really since 1991, the far-right has been working on the plan to destroy the public school system and replace it with edu-business, the for -profit ventures using tax money. They call them charter schools, but it is a way to drain resources and ignore the real problems we face. No, don't fix the school system, just look like you are fixing it.

Read Diane Ravitch's book, "The Death and Life of the American School System." She was once on "their" side, and then she realized one day, Hey! They were not trying to help; they were trying to dismantle while LOOKING like they were trying to help. It is called a virus. They get inside and destroy from within.

I laugh at the suburbs. As more minorities, poor and ESL kids move into them, the richer, whiter people keep moving further out. Once, Richardson and Plano were unstoppable in academic achievement. Now, they are heavily recruiting potention admin's from  DISD, because they have experience with "problems." When they see that there is NO Money, they will find out that "throwing money" is how you DO fix things--IF you PAY for the RIGHT things!

Kind of like watching your best friend realize one day that she married a total a-hole, and you knew it before the wedding....but she did not want to hear it.

Its so sad
Its so sad

And this is what is happenning:

The motivated students and involved parents are CHOOSING Charter Schools or Private Schools.

The less-motivated students and less-involved parents STAY in the Public System.

Now, who do you think is going to have the better passing rates? And what will the passing rate be in another 5 years?

So why are we even worried about the Public Schools' passing rate? We are destined to become the Alternative School to all of the selective schools.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Let's take a moment to watch this, from Cobb County.

http://youtu.be/0uZaGbw0Guw

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

Give Cobb County a few months and they will be singing Motley Crue's Shout at the Devil tune.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha ROTFLMFAO!!!!  That shit won't last long...

Its so sad
Its so sad

WTF?!!!!!!!!

Is Cobb County a joke? So they are really this excited about getting Hino-Hose-Us?

Good luck!

Finn
Finn

What in the holy hell was that????  And what was the 6 Flags guy doing there?

rumpunch
rumpunch

For once, I am speechless.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Anyone with a lick of sense knew this was coming.  So what happened?  Hinojosa padded his resume and boasted about what a great job he was doing, and the idiots on the BOT extended his contracts.  Nobody at 3700 did anything to address the obvious problems affecting our schools, be it attacking cronyism, introducing new programs like vocational training, or plain old listening to actual teachers who are getting results.  Test scores implode, but hey, at least somebody got a cushy new job in Georgia, so it wasn't a total loss, right?

Sam
Sam

Special Ed scores now being counted for TAKS also torpedo schools for AYP.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

@Syd_Nancy: Socrates taught without "technology," Last year, I used a whiteboard--modern chalk board, video supplements, class discussions, etc... While I plan to integrate more tech in the classroom as they get the $$ to pay for it, I still had my tenth graders do extremely well on the TAKS--without computers. 98.8 % passed--which means ONE kid did not, and he missed it by 1-2 questions.

There is a false belief that "technology" is what makes a kid learn. No, it does not. It is INSTRUCTION. After all, somehow, I got through high school, college and the miiltary--all without a computer. Oh how did I ever do it? Well, I knew how to read well, I could hold my attention steady, take good notes-----and pay attention here: I CARED.

The problems we face in 10th grade for AYP is the fact that these sophomores have NO vested interest in passing the test!! Which test is the one to use for graduation? Ahhh, the 11th grade test! THEN, you see a HUGE gain. Seriously, scores go up about 30 points--same kids, different motive, you see?

This is the trap of N C L B. The test the Feds care about is the one the kids care less about. IF the AYP was based on 11th grade scores, we would not be in this situation. Simple as that.

Titus Groan
Titus Groan

The use of the 10th grade test was a TEA decision, not the Feds' decision.  Exit TAKS results were not available in 2003 so it made sense then, but they should have switched starting in 2004. 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Yes, and gee, which party in Texas has had control of Austin since 2000? Who refuses to change that little detail? Who debates evolution and wants Jesus in World History--and he is, by the way? Yea, not the little old GOP, eh?

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

Diane, Thank you for you dedication, but, with all due respect, Socrates did use the latest in the tech. of his day, it was called writing, and I doubt you had computers/programs even close to the level of sophistication of today. Whiteboards and videos put them to sleep, I know, I've been there. You and your students obviously cared, and I congratulate you, but there are many who don't, and they are the ones that I am concerned about. Sophomore? Deadlines? College? They don't care. Thats the way their parents learned. Those are the ones who will not learn with the old methods. Give them immediate gratification based learning that new tech offers, and the rewards and benchmarks that they can see and interact with. They can do this 24/7 BTW,without the distractions that group learning offers. Like the kids say, you guys are soo Old School:)

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

You have no idea how my class is run. Trust me, nobody sleeps in my class. Not allowed, and I keep them jumping mentally. I do quite well with the kids who come to school. It is the ones who come intermittently, or not at all, that is ther problem.... My kids who go on to college FB me or email about how I was right, that college has DEADLINES, and all that reading!! All that writing!!! and in class, the profs just talk and talk, and you can't ask questions! Again, toys with electricity do not replace good teaching.

Sam
Sam

Also tenth grade is when huge numbers of kids drop out - so why do they care about the test?

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

One problem I never see addressed is the arcane way of teaching has not changed much since the one room school house. The brick and mortar and books and blackboards way of education has not caught up with the advantages that technology has to offer. Many kids would do much better with online interactive education. I think as long as so much money is to be made by administrators and developers, it will be a long time before this changes.

Its so sad
Its so sad

Bullshit.

Technology does not teach. Teachers teach. Technology does not learn. Students learn.

If you give a kid a computer and an independent study program, they will play online games and Facebook their friends.

Teachers are the "magic bullets" in education. Technology is just a way to send millions of $$ to corporate friends.

Hell, I can't even get the textbooks my class is supposed to have, so I make illegal photocopies with paper that I have to buy personally so my students have the MINIMUM materials they need for class.

Had equipment (technology) stolen from the classroom 3 years ago. Was told that it was my fault for leaving it in the locked classroom. Has never been replaced. WHAT?

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

Bullshit? Wow, such language in a civilized discourse, from a teacher no less. What you guys are proving is that the old ways and systems are broken. Teachers teach better with the latest technology. Online games is a great  teaching tool, and many developers are working with the colleges and the department of defense, and the Medical industryright now in developing the Teachers and Warriors and Doctors of the Future. 

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

Diane, I guess I wasn't clear because you guys are taking it personal and specific. You don't need to explain it to me I know your predicament. Teaching the old ways don't reach allot of kids anymore, and I know the key is New Media, because the world around them is a google it kinda world. When's the last time you opened an encyclopedia? Gaming Will be a large part in the new education of the future. It's still in it's infancy. We need to start investing. Theres allot of money to do it the old way, (Books,Buildings, Stadiums, Administrators,). so it will be a battle. Imagine putting that money into easy access to technology instead. FB, Blogs are a great idea, I've done it. Your students may not have access to a computer(thats so old school, sorry), but they do have phones. Do you know 90 percent of the population has phones? 

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Syd_Nancy---An allusion to Vicious?Anyway, you are trying to place a situation on us that can't happen. There is no money to provide the number of computers we would need where I teach--a school with over 1,800 kids. Even if we assigned laptops and they carried them from class to class, the sheer number of Low SES kids would overwhelm the budget. And don't get me started on "gaming." That works for grown students who have a solid background and basic study skills. I know of a teacher who tried to use computer games in a geography class... When they came to me, they talked about how fun it was, but when I asked them to show me India on a map, they could not. Defending what WORKS is only logical. Yes, tech is good, and I am getting to 2006 as fast as I can---inside joke for my classroom. But the point is, while I am getting an ELMO, it will make my teaching EASIER, not better. My In-focus machine makes it easier and more approachable, but if I can't make the connections with what is on the powerpoint, then I have failed as a teacher. I want to create a Wiki this year, or a FB page to help the ones who have internet access a way to see more than what is shown in class.... But what about my kids who have no computer at home? Dallas Libraries, once a place for them to use tech, is now  closed on Sundays, and has limited hours on Saturdays. You see a world of tech possibilities, and we understand that, but also get that machines do not make me teach better, just more conveniently../. Big, big difference.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The technology breaks every 15 minutes.  We try to use it, but it constantly breaks, freezes, shuts down, you name it.  We have online grade books and attendance rosters and when they go down, it causes major headaches.

We have extensive computer labs for electives and when the computers go down in those rooms, the kids just sit.Also, online can't help kids very well when they have questions or when you see them doing 1 tiny part of the process incorrectly.Kids at Hockaday, St. Mark's, Jesuit, Bishop Lynch, etc. are doing great with low-tech methods.  The old school methods really do work pretty well.

Tech is great in theory, but at hundreds of campuses with thousands of students and connection points, it often isn't very practical.

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

DIDS T, with all due respect, the problems you describe are  not with technology, its the funding to support the infrastructure of tech. Agreed, Teachers are needed help students navigate the software, one problem is, they themselves, could use some training in teaching with new tech. If we put one tenth on the money we spend on sports, we could solve allot of these issues. I have been to all the private schools you mentioned and feel I must disagree, they all use computer tech as a large part of their programs. I have taught for ten years at the Jr. College and University levels and can tell you that I have seen many students thrive in the new tech world. BTW my kids go to DISD and we are quite happy.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

We aren't saying they cannot thrive, but it won't help them pass TAKS, or the STAAR now. When you have 30+ kids in a room, IF You even HAD 30 monitors, the kids we teach read 3-4 yrs below level, 1/3 barely speak English, etc... Tech IS great, but you have to walk, before you can run. These kids have to know HOW to write, HOW to think before it matters WHAT they are usingt o write or read with? A Kindle or a book means nothign, if they can't read.

But hey, if I was in a private school, where I coudl screen who gets in, and limit how many come, and restrict them on WHEN they could come in, I, too, would have more tech usage.

God help me, pray for me, I am finally getting an ELMO!! No more overheads, yippee.

rumpunch
rumpunch

The District is glossing over the fact that 61% was Districtwide.  This is only as high as it is due to the performance of many of the elementary schools.  If you look at the High Schools, you see a very dark picture. 

12 of the high schools are now at Stage 5.  This means restructuring.  They will be required to do one of the following:

1. reopen as a charter school2. replace all or most of the school staff3. contract with a private management company4. turn the operation over to the state educational agency5  other major restructing of school governance

One other high school (Lincoln) is at Stage 4, and therefore is at risk.  9 other high schools missed AYP, but are ranked Stage 3 or less.  Only 11 high schools meet AYP.

I find it disturbing that the District's spin on the matter is that given the possibility NCLB will not be reauthorized, no sanctions may occur.  Therefore, apparently we only worry if we will get in trouble for our mistakes.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The 61% also includes the magnet schools, which generally have over 95% of their kids pass 99% of the time.

Remove the magnets from the mix and you will see what our society is in for.And it isn't the kids' fault.It's the school board's fault.

rumpunch
rumpunch

The 11 high schools which met AYP were all magnets.  If these students were returned to the 22 neighborhood high schools, the number meeting AYP would be closer to zero than 11.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Exactly right.Eliminating the magnets is not the answer.The magnets sort the wheat from the chaff--we need an overarching system that does the same.Personally, I have a heart for the chaff and would want to work with them to get them on level and there are many teachers like me.  

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

What's catching up with our district isn't the annual ratcheting up of standards, it's the completely unaccountable administrative policies and people the school board turns a blind eye to.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Under the school board's supervision, here's what goes on:-Teachers who have 15% or more of their students fail--even if the kid is in jail, sleeps, never ever does an in-class assignment--are called in and hassled and sometimes written up.-The DISD school board and administration, wanting people to focus on "bad" teachers and not the corruption going on, always holds ONLY the the teacher responsible.-Teachers aren't stupid.  14% of kids fail; the rest get a 70 and get promoted.  They have weak skills and of course they fail the state tests.  

-Teachers are forced to promote kids and the school board knows it.  The school board members, OUR NEIGHBORS TRUSTED TO OVERSEE OUR CHILDREN, seem to want it this way.

-Inexplicably, Spruce HS, even with the TFA teachers the school board is willing to spend thousands of extra dollars on, failed AGAIN.  Wonder if the TFA teachers will get blamed?  

-The principal at Spruce was fired and who replaced her??  Was an interview protocol followed?? Was the job even posted to see if decent applicants could apply for it?  Doesn't look like it.  Instead, it appears that good old Hinojosa buddy Rawley Sanchez, who is moved all over the district, was moved into the school.  WHO ALLOWED THAT TO HAPPEN?

-Then there's the whole Shirley Yarbrough/Susan Walker (mother/daughter) story.  Wow.  And Bryan Adams (where Susan was principal) is on the in-trouble list.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS: WAKE UP.  STOP THE CRONYISM AND NEPOTISM.  LISTEN TO TEACHERS.  150,000 KIDS DESERVE BETTER THAN CHAOS.

Time for a new paradigm--one with skills-based schools to catch and help the below-level kids, an extensive commitment to multiple, intensive campuses for kids with behavior problems, and a teacher-written grading/promotion/curriculum policy.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Actually, the Spruce lady was just moved, not fired.... but your point about the failure rate IS on target!

I urge you to go before the trustees, as I plan to, at the next meeting. I am tired of being just about the ONLY high school teacher who tells the trustees what the admin does not want told. I could use a little help here. It is time to quit being afraid. What? They could fire us? Well, they fired over 1,000 who did not speak up, so there you go.

I went to the re-districting meeting last night at 3700, and I brought up the massive amount of testing for this year AND the failure rate b s.... Again, some HELP here? If 10-15 teachers signed up to speak, from different schools, and all told them real stories of this b s policy, it can be changed in a month... And if they do't, we get another 10-15 every month until they do. It is amazing how it just takes a little bit of work to get them to do what we need them to do.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

"The annual ratcheting up of standards is catching up with our district and does not necessarily reflect on the quality of teaching or opportunities available to students whose campuses did not meet AYP status." translates as 'the kids are staying the same and we can not teach to meet a rising standard'.  Gee, it would be interesting to see how GM and Ford would do in a world where they say their cars can meet last years Federal safety/mileage standard but newer cars will not meet new standards but it does not reflect on the quality of the management or opportunities available to car buyes.

Scotty King
Scotty King

No it translates as " If your school sucks then open the catalog we mailed you containing over 500 tutoring agencies, hire the agency that suits you best if you can afford to do so, if you can't afford it, then tax money will pay for it. "

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

GM and Ford have control over their raw materials, we do not. We have to take any child that walks in the door, no matter their level or interest in success. Only people who do not understand educaiton keep comparing it to business, Let me control what kids I teach, control how their parents raise them, control my pay and benefits, and by damn, I would have the results you want.

TimCov
TimCov

One thing, children aren't cars. If GM and Ford receive substandard materials, they can get them from another supplier. When DISD gets students who have no discipline and parents who can/will not correct their children's behavior, all they can do is try with what they are given. Schools can not force students to learn, that is the parent's job.

Scotty King
Scotty King

Unfortunately for DISD "these parents" ( that you say are responsible for forcing  their child to learn the so called skills that they themselves no longer possess if they ever did) are........ 

           FORMER DISD STUDENTS.

           

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Great point.That's why we need multiple, hard-core schools designed to grapple with what are called Intentional Non-Learners.  A targeted school setting could do a lot to overcome negligent parenting and unmet student emotion/psychological needs.We have the money; ask the school board why they aren't doing it.

Scotty King
Scotty King

Who is we, what money and when did "responding to a complaint" become part of the school board meeting format ?

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

They do not do that--have not done that for 20 years.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

What voters? Less than 4% of voters vote for trustees!!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Voters never hold them responsible.Voter fraud gets them reelected.The Dallas Citizen Council pays better than a poor single mother with 5 kids.The Regional Chamber of Commerce pays better than a family here illegally.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

That's what is happening.Most if not all of the magnets have high percentages of white students.More importantly, it is the magnets with the higher percentages of MIDDLE CLASS students.The SES status of the child is the key.  White, middle class mainly choose magnets or private school.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

If we brought the parents in and respectfully showed them the benefits, most would see the light.The ones who don't can take their child out of the system and pay for private school.And in a district that's 95% minority, I can't see how anyone could claim racism.

TimCov
TimCov

People who play that kind of politics care nothing for your mathematical imperialism.

rumpunch
rumpunch

Kinda like when kids choose enlistment in the Army as a condition of probation to stay out of jail. 

rumpunch
rumpunch

Considering almost no schools in DISD have a majority of white students, that would be mathmatically impossible.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

From what I have heard of DISD schools (from students), it seems like white students would be happy to go to an alternative school to get out of the zoos that are the rest of the non-Magnet schools...

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

The school board won't answer.  Why do you think that they aren't doing it?  What are the real barriers?

TimCov
TimCov

Part of the problem is parents. They will be throwing a hissy fit when their little darlings (who they refuse to discipline) are sent to such a school. And, part of the problem is racial politics. Despite the fact that in DISD minorities make up the majority of students, people who gain political power through playing the race card will be up in arms if such a school did not have a majority of white students.

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