Was it Something I Posted?

5 Mar

ImageI happily posted Leah Putnam’s account of the Michelle Obama fiasco yesterday and was only somewhat surprised to see that it served as red meat for people that I probably wouldn’t have agreed with on 99 out of 100 political policies.  I realize for a lot of them, attacking the First Lady is convenient now, but that’s only because a unionized public school teacher like myself or Ms. Putnam isn’t around.  I also saw a lot of tasteless comments about “Moochelle” that bordered on racism or easily crossed over that line.  I do believe that telling the stories of these kids is important and I’d gladly do it again. 

There’s a part of me that’s really loving this snowstorm even as I dread making my way through ten inches of snow to get to school.  There’s just something reassuring that no matter how much pressure you want to put on these standardized tests, God, Mother Nature, Karma, chance, whatever has a way of messing up those plans.

Portland Stops the Closures

“WEEKS OF community protest paid off on February 12, when the Portland Public Schools (PPS) superintendent announced her recommendation to the school board–no school closures.

Over the last month, district officials have floated several proposals for “enrollment balancing,” all of which included closing schools that serve high-minority, low-income populations. But the latest proposal, after weeks of community protest, spares all neighborhood schools from closure.”

CPS May Sell Downtown Headquarters

“The district has requested bids from real estate brokerage firms to help sell its building and scout for a new headquarters location. CPS says it has cut 30 percent of its staff since 2009 and with a little more than 1,000 employees has too much space at its present location, 125 S. Clark St. in the Loop. Potential savings from a move were estimated at up to $3 million annually.”

ISAT Scores by Demographics

The great Jeanne Marie Olsen takes a look at ISAT scores by demographic and shows you how to read data.  

School Crisis: What’s the City’s is the City’s; What’s Yours is Negotiable

“Parents go to meetings and plead for neighborhood schools to stay open, and are promised that CPS officials will get a transcript of what the parents said. And then CPS releases a new list of closings anyway. And principals receive orders they are no longer allowed to speak to the media.”

The Night That We Were Shocked That We Were Shocked

“Our skin has become thicker

From Chicago

Thicker from the winters

Thicker from the corruption

The lies and double speak

From sacrifices demanded by our city

The violence

The violent sacrifices of our students”

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3 Responses to “Was it Something I Posted?”

  1. Cassandre Creswell (@cassiecreswell) March 5, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    Here’s a regression analysis of the ISAT (Illinois’ state achievement test) results in Chicago Public Schools with respect to elementary school demographic information: http://bit.ly/YQTxp1 In short, you can predict 60% of the variance in school performance (as measured by the % of students meeting or exceeding state standards) from the percentage of a school’s student body that is low income, black, or special education. If you are measuring performance by the % of students exceeding state standards, those three variables will predict 70% of the variance. Basically, ISAT performance is a great measure of who’s attending which schools.

    Jeanne Marie makes a very good point in her demo about another aspect of test scores that is rarely considered. Unfortunately, however, with respect to looking at how cohorts change, at both the district and state level, scores have been rising in general (see http://iircapi.niu.edu/tempData/Images/Chart428970958.jpg), so inspection of individual schools without full-blown statistical analysis won’t really tell you how well the school is doing. (But here’s the data if anyone wants to check it out: http://cps.edu/Performance/Documents/DataFiles/isat_schools_FINAL_2001_to_2012_mexc_yracross_by_grade_Without_ELL_20120817.xls)

    And, of course, even if you correctly take into account things like demographics and change over time and look at a times series of a cohort, you have to wonder if high performance is because of an inordinate focus on preparing for the test rather than great things happening educationally at that school. No spreadsheet can tell us this.

  2. Bernadette B. March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    I have a comment regarding CPS high school Acceptance/Decline letters.

    Well, can life get any more interesting?? I signed off on Lincoln Park HS acceptance letter, all I needed was to await for my son’s signature before sealing it into a stamped envelope.

    All day we shoveled out our residence, each time it looked as if no one touched it. What ever the official snow count by Midway, I’m sure being on the corner gave us a lot more.

    As we picked up the kids from the Orange Line, returning from school, the mail was brought in. At the top of the pile was an acceptance letter from Lake View STEM HS. This HS specializes in Cisco Network products along with regular HS courses.

    What to do, what to do???

    I had to sit down on the computer to open multiple tabs comparing National and Illinois Rankings, the high school test scores and the Chicago Public School rankings.

    My heart wanted to send my son to Lake View for their computer opportunities, but my head insisted on sending him to Lincoln Park HS. Acceptance is required by March 12.

    Mayor Emanuel is right, there needs to be “one” application form (or site) for all high schools in Chicago. There are 109 public high schools (Selective, Magnet, STEM, IB, Charter, Virtual, and Neighborhood.) I know … I submitted 25 applications.

    Now the individual letters are trinkling in with different acceptance deadlines, parents are second guessing themselves with choices and deadlines.

    We need a single letter with all the acceptance and declines, so we, as parents, can pick and choose what’s best for our child.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. CPS Selling Itself Off | District 299: The Inside Scoop on CPS - March 5, 2013

    […] Was it Something I Posted? CPS Chatter: I was only somewhat surprised to see that it served as red meat for people that I probably wouldn’t have agreed with on 99 out of 100 political policies.  I realize for a lot of them, attacking the First Lady is convenient now, but that’s only because a unionized public school teacher like myself or Ms. Putnam isn’t around.  I also saw a lot of tasteless comments about “Moochelle” that bordered on racism or easily crossed over that line.  I do believe that telling the stories of these kids is important and I’d gladly do it again. […]

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