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Re: “Education Poll: Support For Charter Schools Down (And Other Results)

The EdNext poll is missing the most important number - the percentage of parents rating their child's school excellent or the equivalent of an "A" grade.

Gallup did such a poll for 47 years but "Race to the Top" did such a wrecking job on schools that the excellence rating, the "A" grade dropped from an all-time high of 36% in 2011 to 24% in 2015.

The shock to PhiDeltaKappa was so severe that they shot the messenger, they terminated the survey.

Even a casual look at the data suggests that parents shouldn't be policy makers for schools. After 200 years, schools are only extracting a small fraction of the potential of our poor and minority students.

So, why are we interested in their opinions on policy? Would Proctor and Gamble go to customers to ask them how to build a shampoo plant? No, but they would ask a lot of questions about shampoo quality. The EdNext survey reflects the ultimate dysfunction of our education system - it asks a ton of questions about policy and none about quality where the respondent would know best - when it is their child.

You see this vividly with TUSD. No one there has even the slightest clue as to how you use parent surveys to drive quality and achieve a competitive, winning edge. As a result, they are getting eaten alive.

4 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/18/2017 at 5:33 PM

Re: “TUSD Enrollment, 2000 to 2017

The answer is "all of the above". Tucson has fewer people and fewer jobs than it had ten years ago. Thus, the competition is over a static pie. Might even be a shrinking pie. About ten years ago, the National Research Center did a survey of Tucson and only 7% of parents rated their neighborhood an excellent place to raise a child. Not likely that they are attracting parents to the community.

The next step ought to be to graph a ratio of the Mesa school district, the largest in the state to TUSD who used to be the second largest in the state. It now appears that TUSD might be falling to the 4th largest district.

When this apocalypse started, TUSD was spending almost twice as much per year per student as Mesa. They probably are still spending at least 20 percent more per student.

The Mesa School district is parent and student focused. They measure the degree of excellence perceived by their parents and integrate that measure into their performance pay system. That degree of Mesa excellence has increased from 44% in 1996 to over 65% most recently.

Mesa has enormously more charter schools around them than TUSD, yet they have held their attendance much more successfully.

TUSD is still below 40% excellence. That means that 60% of TUSD parents are actively looking at alternatives. Its almost a guarantee that TUSD will shrink another 700 students next year.

Think of what would happen to TUSD if charter schools could easily open in Tucson.

So much for the theory that money can improve outcomes.

9 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/16/2017 at 9:02 PM

Re: “A Look At TUSD's AzMERIT Scores

You express concern about the difference between TUSD's improvement and Arizona's overall improvement. That difference is both meaningless and highly informative.

Meaningless in the sense that it is real with statistical significance.

Highly informative in the sense that Arizona cant be successful unless TUSD hugely increases the pace of academic growth of its students.

At less than $15 per test, the AZMerit is a low security test, as compared to high security tests like Advanced Placement at more than $60 per test.

We know from nationwide test data and comparisons with NAEP that almost all of the changes in state test scores on tests like the Iowa Test of Basic skills, the Stanford 9, AZMerit etc can be ascribed to security issues. When completely new versions of the test are released, test scores plunge and then steadily increase until a new version is released. Yet, NAEP scores are flat by comparison.

In this digital age, undoubtedly thousands of teachers have complete copies of last year's AZMerit test.

We also saw these phenomena in AZ school districts with merit pay linked to test scores. They had higher erasure rates than other school districts. This is a strong indication that the behavior went over the line to absolute cheating - erasing a wrong answer and putting in a correct answer.

These security issues call into question everything about education culture. The new A to F system is completely built around growth models and the new performance funding model will be completely built around the A to F.

Back in 1992, Tennessee did what Arizona is doing now, tried to build a new education culture around growth models instead raw test scores. Didn't work. Actually backfired. Tennessee's NAEP scores fell relative to the rest of the nation.

In the Urban Institute Analysis, perhaps the best ranking of states in existence right now, Tennessee ranks 41st on an apples to apples comparison of test scores. Who copies number 41?

You indicated that the 50 plus formula A to F model was "above your pay grade." Not really. It emphasizes growth in duplicative ways and more heavily than the old model. The blizzard of formulas just disguises its simplistic nature. Does your students get two more problems right than they did last year? If so, your school gets an A, if not, a lower grade.

The formulas are creative in the sense that they go back further in history to calculate not just one year gains but two and three year gains. This increases the sample size and also makes it a little bit harder for cheaters to skate by.

I don't fault the staff who created this. When you look at it, is it the Frankenstein of education policy or the ultimate refined expression of what you might be able to do if accountability actually worked?

The blunt truth: all mass inspection tests like AZMerit "accountability" lead to a dead end and worse outcomes for students.

To best improve test scores you would put an end to AZMerit and just rely on NAEP to measure outcomes, allowing education to evolve naturally under the interaction of parents making choices and schools changing to better compete for students.

Thats what Finland did.

Not going to happen here.

4 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/15/2017 at 9:18 AM

Re: “Results-Based Funding. The Inequity Will Increase After This School Year

This will be a fairly pure experiment as to whether money can affect outcomes in education. We have 5 years of relative growth data comparing all the schools.

Will these schools lurch up relative to all the other schools or will they lurch down from unintended and unforseen consequences of this funding technique?

Can the AZMerit test with its relatively low level of security handle the stress?

This policy is large, significant and sudden - a clean experiment that has been tried over and over again in the past.

1 like, 10 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/13/2017 at 9:17 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

You are right. I don't have an email sent to me at ADE by the Institute of Education Sciences four years ago.

But, we can just go with the RAND study of ECLS data which went up through 5th grade. Full day kindergartners were behind half day kindergartners on both cognitive and emotional measures.

And, by the way, where are your citations?

0 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/09/2017 at 11:10 PM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?


Remember, the ECLS data collection was separated from the analysis to prevent the pervasive bias in research from polluting the data collection.

The multiple RAND studies are the ECLS study. RAND was paid $10 million from Rockefeller and Ford to analyze the ECLS data which had already cost $140 million to collect.

You are quoting a one researcher, 64 student sample where the data collector clearly had an overwhelming interest in the outcome. At the same time you are attempting to dismiss a $150 million dollar, 20,000 student student where the data collectors could have lost their contract over improper data collection.

There has since been an entire additional cohort. Aren't you curious at all about the dead silence surrounding the two most massive, rigorous studies ever performed in the history of education?

No other study has ever followed 20 thousand student for 9 years.

The relevance is that there was another longitudinal study done for preschool in California that had the same pattern - slightly higher cognitive gains, loss of social strength.

1 like, 11 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/09/2017 at 6:19 AM

Re: “Is the Strong Start Tucson Initiative a Good Idea?

I got the 8th grade data directly from IES via email while Superintendent. Three years further along than 5th grade same data.

The Hubbell telescope of education studies and you are mystified by results. Tells us all you need to know about education culture. Politically incorrect to present the truth.

This is the 98/99 kindergarten class, one that left 8th grade in 06/07.

They have since followed another entire cohort. Wonder why you never heard of that one either?

Why have we never heard about the 98/99 students who skipped kindergarten completely?

Why have we never heard about the 98/99 students who attended preschool versus those who didn't?

20,000 sample size, randomly selected.

3 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 08/07/2017 at 7:05 PM

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