Friday, January 25, 2013

"Charter results sag"

On another post Anonymous wrote:

Don't know if this belongs here or is a new post:


Anonymous said...

The fact that a stand alone charter was ever viewed as a district is just plain wrong and begs investigation. Who was responsible for this is the first place? Any charter worth its salt should have come out against this system.

Anonymous said...

Watching the board meeting on channel 44 last night (yes finally available)and the portion discussing the Propel application was an eye opener. You can interpret the action several ways including the board enforcing the guidelines better now than with previous applications.

Questioner said...

Maybe part of the problem is that districts only needed to make AYP in one grade span. This idea of leaving not just whole grades but whole grade spans behind is very different from the original idea of nclb. If nclb was overly optimistic then that result should be addressed openly rather than by pretending that a district was meeting nclb requirement when really only a few grades in the district were doing so.

Anonymous said...

Jean Fink's comments on Charter Schools at the Legislative Meeting are so incorrect. The Charter being considered now on the telecast has 100% "certified" teachers which, in truth, is better than some of our PPS schools. The other fact is that Charters must take the same PSSAs, etc. as all other public schools in PA. and their scores (even if they did not make AYP) are better than PPS.

These are the facts! PPS needs to improve its schools and then no one will even consider much less choose a charter.

Anonymous said...

The Superintendent is weighing options as she reiterates budget options in light of the possibility of restoring Schenley. She mentions a 60 million debt service; however, if we restored good education to PPS we could save the 52 million now being spent on Charters. Get those kids back and charge tuition to all of those who will want to come into PPS if they offer quality education!

Anonymous said...

Don't Board members wonder why we have the highest cost per student in the state and the lowest achievement per student?

Mr. Isler, as you complain about the high cost per student, why not ask why there is not a corresponding high rate of proficiency in PPS?

Let's be real. Would you have sent your son to Uprep or Peabody or Westinghouse? You sent him to Schenley, why?

Pay attention to the comments of Mr. Brentley and Dr. Holley and yes maybe they need to lose their professionalism to a little anger that will get the attention of those who appear to be deaf, dumb and blind to the issues for which they advocate!

Anonymous said...

Will Friday nights meeting on channel 44 be aired again? Any idea what day and time?

Anonymous said...

I would try to catch it either 10 or 3 on sunday. There must have been a problem this week because it was not broadcast on thursday at 7 and friday at 10 as usual. PPStube on the board site seems to be broken or something.

Anonymous said...

"and their scores (even if they did not make AYP) are better than PPS.

These are the facts!"

Really? You have to look at the broken out numbers.

For instance the 3-5th grade Reading and Math scores at the Environmental Charter for AA kids show 51% and 50.9% NOT proficient.

The same scores at Weil? 50% and 47.7%. Where's that big advantage for the charter school?

Compare it to Dilworth: 34.1% and 21.2%.

How about the white kids at Env, and Dilworth?

E - 16.1% (includes 9.7% below basic) and 12.1% (includes 3.2% below basic)

D - 6.7% (none below basic) and 8.3% (none below basic)

And the latter is a fairer comparison in that attending either school requires some effort on the parent's part.

Only 34.5% free reduced lunch at the charter, 73.4% at Dilworth and 88.1% at Weil.

You can do this same comparison with lots of other PPS schools. Yes, some of the do worse than the charter, however a good number of them do the same or far better as the charter.

Anonymous said...

1. The topic was PROPEL Charter. (Propel Charter was the one applying for a charter school in Hazelwood, NOT Environmental ???

2. Choosing Dilworth (the BEST in PPS)instead of the 40 others was a good strategy for comparisons! Take a look at the others. (Also, look at what school has not been cleared of "cheating"-- see PG article from Dec. 29th.)

3. It is sad that you cite "free and reduced lunch" kids with the expectation that they would/shoud have lower achievement!?

Note: If our schools were as good as the charters, we would not be losing students at high numbers, currently 3,400+ because of academics or safety issues. PPS CAN be the BEST, however, they are 494th out of 500 in PA.

Support PPS and its students by demanding that all be as good as you cite Dilworth to be !!!!!!

Anonymous said...


How about Weil? How does that fit into your problem with my comment?

If you reread your comment, you mentioned that "CharterS must take the PSSA

Propel in the city, Reading, Math, % NOT proficient:

50% and 28.2% (Black)
20% (none below basic) and 13.4% (6.7% below basic) (White)

A quick run-through of the booklet will find you plenty of other schools that are better, as well. Allegheny k-5 better scores, higher free lunch, Fulton better scores, higher free lunch. And that's only through F in the K-5s!

I'm sure you have these scores as well.

The achievement gaps in the city are between Black and White and between Low-income and not. That's why those sub-groups are reported out.

It certainly says nothing about any individual student's ability. But if you have a problem with that or think that race and class mean nothing in our city/country, well, you'll have to take that up with someone higher up than I!

Anonymous said...

P.S. - Don't use the "booklet" use PDE/PAAYP website. It is the original source.

Questioner said...

For those with limited time the booklet is quick and easy; if there are more than minor discrepancies A Plus should be notified.

Anonymous said...

One of the criteria not taken into consideration in the previous comments and when making comparisons is the formulas used to get the PSSA scores for making AYP. It might be a SH, or CI or SHC or GM or even an A.

But these are technicalities used when AYP can not be achieved in any other way. It is worth considering in a serious disagreement here. However, we can "break it down" again and again, but in the final analysis Charter Schools could not and would not exist if Public Schools were at the level of QUALITY that is within reach, bar none.

Anonymous said...

A+ is notified every year.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, it is much quicker and much more accurate to use the PDE PAAYP site. No searching, just click, click.

Anonymous said...

And, in April, 2013 it will be even easier. PDE will publish new "School Performance Profiles".

Questioner said...

Can we get a couple of examples since everyone is short on time?

Questioner said...

Once you scroll to the right place you can click but scrolling through and finding what they are calling newer schools can take time. Also just getting into the right database rather than a summary can take a few attempts.

Anonymous said...

I use both and have not found discrepancies in the data that I've used in the past.

Please feel free to click your way through and prove the figures here to be very wrong.

And your point about charters doesn't really make sense -- people go to them because they think they are better. In most cases those people don't have a good sense of more than one school near them, if that.

Nationally and in the region, time and again we see that charters rarely outperform ordinary public schools and far more often UNDERperform them.

Anonymous said...

I know scores are almighty but...according to kids and parents, it is the school environment that is different-- actually overall scores dont excite parents as much as "my kid is happier"students are not happy ahd thriving in chaotic schools.

Anonymous said...

True 7:40 a word to the wise at PPS.

But, then again, PPS has "Success Schools" the behavior management people to create that environment. Right?

How's that working? Has the environment calmed enough that students can now learn? Are we seeing improvement on the CDTs?

Anonymous said...

I agree -- but there are some schools that aren't chaotic. Far fewer than there used to be.

Also, charters aren't guaranteed to be less chaotic either. And some that are less chaotic are not that way because the discipline or structure are more developmentally appropriate, but because they are stricter and get rid of students who can't or don't comply.

*They* can do that -- in PPS, they have to take every student they get.

Questioner said...

Of course Success Schools may not be the best way to create an orderly environment.

Anonymous said...

Rumors out of the "new Perry" are not good as far as order. And yes, we have some stellar schools in that regard... and as a district we should be looking at "what works"-- instead of walking ON in struggling schools, administrators and teacher/leaders should be able to visit informally even and ask questions , take notes, and see what is working. Learn from their success-- besides Dilworth, where else do we think is working? Maybe parents etc could visit and gather info as to what might be working-- of course, PELAS would have to be allowed to welcome big ideas.

Anonymous said...

The enrollment trends speak volumes of the perceived value of a Pittsburgh Public School education.

The early research by McKinsey showed a graph that compared a projection of PPS enrollment with and without the Promise. Good luck finding the original report on line. What we are witnessing is much closer to what McKinsey referred to as unmanaged decline.

From a choice model, this suggests that the perceived value of a PPS education is not overcome by the $40,000 Promise.

Entire high school classes will soon have known no educational paradigm beyond the Roosevelt/Lane/Fischetti/Weiss model driven by private dollars from Broad/Gates. Is our school system better off than it was eight years ago?

Anonymous said...

Why do PPS Board members support the decline in PPS?

What are the benefits?

Who gains an advantage with the situation as it exists?

It seems counterproductive and therefore incomprehensible! Right??

Can someone help us understand why this is happening?

Anonymous said...

What will harm the reputation of the district and negate the importance of the promise will be the opinion of some that we are delivering a sub-standard education and the evidence will be our grading policies that make it too easy. And the relaxation of rules of discipline. And the blatant disregard of the value of experience over conficting research.

Anonymous said...

About grading is it true that it is really hard to fail a student with an IEP so they get C's instead? Is a B the new C?

Anonymous said...

8:22 - What weight, if any, does the fact that Pittsburgh ranks at the bottom of the list in academic achievement in Pennsylvania carry in determining sub-standard education in PPS?

Anonymous said...

8:25, I was recently told by a Pittsburgh teacher that the grading software automatically changes all student 0 scores to 59%, IEP student or not.

Can anyone confirm or deny this?

I wouldn't be surprised if this were true, as the city has had a 0 = 50% policy for some time.

I also wouldn't be surprised if colleges and employers soon see a Pittsburgh graduate's grade point average as meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Not that I know of -- teachers have to set 50% as a minimum grade. BUT, they are allowed to give out a zero for a totally refused or missing assignment.

That is, if the kid comes in for a test and does nothing, at all, he or she can receive a 0. If the same student writes any answer down, right or wrong, s/he gets a 50%.

You can also leave missed assignments blank, so that they don't count toward the score at all.

Many teachers don't bother with giving a 0, though, because it's too much hassle to have to document and justify.

That is unless they changed up the grading program over the weekend...

Anonymous said...

I know someone who was "let go" because they informed the district they had a lot of ghost students.

It is worse than you think.

Anonymous said...

Even students often make comments or question the fact that they get A's on class work and tests, but a Below Basic on state tests.

In some school everyone graduates, but only a very few score "proficient" on state tests.

So, you have to wonder about grade inflation to prevent teachers and principals from being 'let go'.

Seems like that might be the reason there is a state test! To let the public know that some schools are NOT educating kids for success in careers or college!

The majority of Pittsburgh high schools are in deep, deep trouble. It looks like they don't know how to educate students.

The cover-ups need to STOP. Pittsburgh's young men and women deserve much better. They are capable of much better!

When is the public going to take action? The Pittsburgh Promise is wonderful, but it is totally wasted if the majority of kids are NOT getting a promise-ready education.