Friday, September 3, 2010

How are ALA's really doing?

The district's AYP report states that:

"From 2009 to 2010, students in ALAs posted increases in proficient and
advanced 2.1 times greater than the remainder of the District in
Reading and 1.7 times greater in Mathematics."

Does anyone really understand this?

The accompanying chart shows that the "percentage point" increase in reading as 1.6 percentage points in "the rest of the district" and 3.4 percentage points in the ALA's. In msth the increase was 2.7 for "the rest of the district" and 4.5 for ALA's.

These numbers could result for example from the rest of the district proficiency rate in math going from 60% to 62.7% and the ALA's going from 15% to 19.5%. Wouldn't this be pretty much the status quo (nothing to get particularly excited about)?

The "1.7 times greater than" seems to come from dividing the rest of the district percentage of 4.5 by the ALA percentage of 2.7 and rounding the resulting 1.66 up to 1.7. But what if both the rest of the district and the ALA's increased by 3 percentage points? Dividing 3 by 3, would the ALA increase be "one time greater than" the rest of the district increase, and the rest of the district increase be "one time greater than" the ALA increase?


Questioner said...

In fact, if your goal was to present the remainder of the district as more successful, you could say in the hypothetical above that the remainder moved 6.75% of their nonproficient students to proficiency (2.7/40) while the ALA's moved only 5.3% of their nonproficient students to proficiency (4.5/85). Playing with statistics!

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to do an independent comparative analysis when the PSSA results are accessible online at PDE.

And when doing that analysis, compare not only the scores, but the hours and days in school, as well as the extraodinary cost for teacher, administrators, consultants and the now defunct America's Choice Program.

The one thing we know for certain is that the ALAs are among the LOWEST achieving schools in the PPS District regardless of the time, energy and money spent over the past three years. There is no excuse that will justify the lack of results.

Is it all worth 2 or 3 percentage points when you are at the bottom in Pittsburgh as well as PA???

Anonymous said...

Why, I wonder, did America's Choice, Inc. go out of business? A topic for investigative reporting?

The PG, and the Trib have not touched even though notified of the termination of ACI and its acquisition by Pearson.

Does anyone think it was too successful to continue?

Questioner said...

Here is the link to the ALA presentation from January 2006:

If ALA's began that fall it would mean we are starting the 5th year of ALA's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the correction_____even more revealing.

Check the May, 2010 Legislative Minutes. You will see that America's Choice, Inc. was approved a hefty sum for this year??

Lots of dollars being spent on a continued "failing" district to use M.R.'s words.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said... @ September 3, 2010 11:17 AM

“Check the May, 2010 Legislative Minutes. You will see that America's Choice, Inc. was approved a hefty sum for this year??
Lots of dollars being spent on a continued "failing" district to use M.R.'s words.”

Anon Very interesting-a hefty sum when they eliminated Rooney ALA as a school-which should being the cost down?!

My question when King ALA PreK-8 becomes a Teacher Academy will it maintain the ALA designation?

Will this conflict with the Gates Foundation monetary cash flow or will this ignite a partnership with teacher merit pay?

Has any parents and educators heard the tidbits that internally the PPS district is dissatisfied with the ALA model and literally PPS just take what they like about the program and give it new PPS titles for their own created program with Gates.

Anonymous said...

GREAT NEWS! Maybe someone is listening____to the memos, emails, reports sent to Board Members. For the past two years they have been receiving 'warnings' regarding the shortcomings of the ACi model. I guess ACI going out of business was sufficient proof of its inadequacies. They had been previously advised to keep the best practices; but begin to align ALA teaching and learning with PA standards!

Anonymous said...

ACI was acquired by Pearsons to the tune of 80 million dollars.

I have not read an article Regarding them going out of business. They were bought by a bigger fish. Maybe the biggest fish.

Anonymous said...

The letter received by all Anerica's Choice 401K holders stated: “ACI (America’s Choice, Inc.) has entered into an agreement to be acquired by and will merge into a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pearson Education, Inc.”

Also, all 401Ks with America's Choice, Inc. were "terminated" and had to be distributed or cashed in by August 30th.

These events seemed to indicate that they had gone out of business____is that incorrect?

Questioner said...

No, the acquirer would most likely just take over the line of business. Employees hired by the acquirer would obtain benefits through the new company.

Anonymous said...

ACI did not go out of business. They were purchased by Pearson Inc. Pearson will then use their resources to further the ACI model. That's fantastic for the proficient kids who need to be moved to advanced, but does little for the basic and below basic students.

Anonymous said...

ACI is not really good for any kids. While it provides some "best practices" it is not well-aligned with PA standards in ways that inform teachers and students about strengths and weaknesses. The lack of deliberative purpose and specificity regarding skills acquisition within and during the teaching learning process is missing.

Anonymous said...

MAN! I'm sick of working at ALA's already. They really needed to post these positions and let people choose to work at them. It's absolutely ridiculous to jump through so many hoops only to get torn down by people with clipboards so a For-Profit company looks good.

rant! rant! rant! rant!

Questioner said...

The AYP report states that "students in the ALA's posted increases in proficient and advanced... 1.7 times greater in Mathematics."

However, the school by school report from the Dpt of Education shows that the level of proficiency in mathematics at 6 of the 8 ALA's actually declined. The only ALA's increasing proficiency were Colfax (which has very different demographics from the rest of the ALA's) and Rooney (which the Board has voted to close).

The total percentage point increase at the schools gaining in Mathematics proficiency was 11.7 (7.5% at Colfax and 4.2% at Rooney). The total percentage point decrease at schools where Mathematics proficiency declined was 12.8%, ranging from a decline of 3.9% at Northview to a decline of .5% at Murray. ALA performance would be better understood if the district simply reported the average percentage increase or decrease at the ALA's for math and reading rather than in terms of "times greater than the rest of the district".