Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Timeline for releasing PSSA scores

On another post Anonymous wrote:

"New Post:

Schools have received each PPS STUDENTS' scores/results on the 2013-14 PSSA and Keystone assessments. Have parents received the letters informing them of each STUDENT's scores?

These individual STUDENT RESULTS are always SENT to PARENTS in June. School districts now have these scores which are to be sent out to parents by the District.

The results for SCHOOLS will be published online at PDE School Performance Profiles in late September.

(Schools, typically, receive SCHOOL DATA in JULY. They have an opportunity to challenge for cause. This delays the publication as the challenges must be checked by PDE.)"

41 comments:

Questioner said...

Anonymous was also concerned that a post that did not appear right away was not going to be posted at all. Please note that it may take longer for a new thread as opposed to a comment to an existing thread to appear on the blog.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes Pittsburgh parents do not get a student's scores or do not get them until its too late to make decisions about changing schools, applying to charters, or moving to another district.

What is the best course of action for parents to get a student's PSSA or Keystone results?

Does anyone know how to get these results now?

Anonymous said...

2:01 the questions you ask are ones that The Parent Hotline should be ready to answer. If you call them at 412-622-7920 can you let us know if you get an answer? Much appreciated by some parents I am sure. Often it seems like the admin does not give the Hotline the information needed to provide good customer support. Maybe things have improved recently.

Anonymous said...

I would try calling the school and asking the principal. They are often there during the summer. I am a teacher and I know principals usually receive the reports sometime mid-June. Then they pore over every score/ student to weed out any bad scores that may not "belong" to the school. There is a cut off date the student must be enrolled by in order for their score to count for that school. I believe it is early, like mid October. So if a student enrolls after that date, their score actually goes back to the school they moved from. Principals I have worked for are very aware of this and take time to make sure that all scores are checked. Also while looking at data and planning instruction for PSSA prep, I have been advised "not to focus my time on particular students because their scores don't count for us" That is what happens when you look at children as test scores and data! Horrible!

Anonymous said...

EVERY student enrolled in PPS COUNTS for calculating SPPs School Performance Profiles.

Good grief! How each and every student NOT count? This makes no sense at all!

ALSO, PSSA "prep" as you call it, is a TOTAL waste of time and energy. In fact, in most instances, it is COUNTERPRODUCTIVE. It teaches students how to skim and scan for answers (that are implicit as opposed to explicit). It teaches them to disrespect the purpose for reading which is comprehending the author’s text. Comprehension requires thinking skills, critical thinking skills, which are precisely what is assessed on PSSA and Keystone Literacy, as well as Math, Science, and Writing.

If and when students are taught in every subject to read and or think carefully about meaning (not answers), AND if and when students have been taught to analyze, evaluate, use context clues, make inferences, cite the evidence, compare and contrast, summarize, etc. in all contexts and situations they will literally “ace” the state assessments given only once every year.

This is the purpose of sending students to school---to learn how to think, think, think!

NO TEST PREP IS NECESSARY WHEN STUDENTS HAVE BEEN TAUGHT TO “THINK”!

Anonymous said...

Hurrah for anon 5:08-- definitely the way I want my kids taught-- however in PPS the TRUTH is 3:01-- even prior to Gates, teachers were taught by the "bean counters" to put all emphasis-even to keeping a list on desk-- of students who were "close" and could be pushed up to the proficient level-- dont work on the bottom--hopeless, and dont work on the top-- they'll get it anyway-- and this was BEFORE the scores counted for RISE.

Questioner said...

It's true, eyewitness- a principal discussing how they just needed to get a few kids who were just below the mark to proficient.

Anonymous said...

My kid's PSSA scores just came in the mail today. That is the earliest I've ever gotten scores back.

Anonymous said...

The Teacher who testified last evening at the PPS Public Hearing is a Special Ed teacher who brought her students from Below Basic to Proficient and Advanced.

Teachers who demand autonomy and responsibility for results will get results!

The PFT needs to take on these issues for their membership!

Anonymous said...

5:08 you are right, but what I wrote is the truth. Only scores of students enrolled prior to a certain date will count towards that particular school's AYP. If they enroll after the cut off, their score counts toward their previous school's AYP.

I agree with everything you said. Children are treated as data points and like the other poster said, we are also told to focus our attention and effort on those kids who are close to the cutoff score, and not waste our time with those at the top or bottom.

Welcome to the world of high stakes testing. It is sick and wrong but that is what it breeds. Think about it like this, if you were a personal trainer who must get a certain percentage of clients to a normal BMI in 10 months time or face losing your job and you only have a limited amount of time and resources, would you focus your attention on the underweight or morbidly obese clients? Or the ones who are close enough to make the required progress within the time constraint? I know it's wrong but that is truthfully how they are having us deal with students.

I wish more parents could sit down with teachers and really hear the truth about what goes on at school. This high stakes testing has to stop so we can do our job! I agree every child counts! I'm afraid if teachers speak up we'll be replaced with teachers who don't share this belief! New teacher academy??!

Anonymous said...

6:27 - Great! Maybe its a change in philosophy at PPS Central Office! Hope ALL of the Principals buy in this! Every year the District gets the student scores at the end of the first week in June. In the past, some schools did not send them out. Probably because the overwhelming majority of students were not "proficient". That could cause a mass exodus from the school. People would lose their jobs!

Anonymous said...

READ the PG article from yesterday (Sunday):

. . ."Today, Finnish teachers have more freedom and time to collaborate and innovate than they did in the past — without the burden of top-down account."

REMEMBER THAT FINNISH STUDENTS ARE THE HIGHEST-ACHIEVING STUDENTS IN THE WORLD."
The US is very close to the bottom, particularly in Science. Broad/Gates will never get us past that position.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2014/06/22/Train-teachers-like-doctors/stories/201406220112#ixzz35bTaPeI0

Anonymous said...

One of the reasons American students score low is because U.S. has the one of the highest rates of children living in poverty. I am sure child poverty rates are very low in Finland. It has been found again and again that when you disaggregate the data to adjust for SES, U.S. students generally outperform other countries. Same goes for the so called racial achievement gap within the U.S., it disappears when the data is disaggregated for income. Most gaps between countries and within our own are due to large numbers of children living in poverty. There is an economic achievement gap. If these billionaire philanthropists were truly interested in helping children they would use their money to address this issue.

Anonymous said...

Poverty does NOT affect the minds or hearts or the capacity to learn of children in our schools. Poor children can learn anything teachers can teach. If teachers teach (at high levels and in ways that are culturally relevant) students will learn!

It truly is that simple! And it DOES happen where teachers reach the minds and hearts of Black children and Hispanic or Latino children.

What we fail to recognize is that the American education system is centered on European (white) content, philosophy, psychology and educational strategies. The system disenfranchises children of color and "other" cultures.

In short, we have abundant evidence that when these issues are addressed and resolved there is a reversal of achievement gaps.

"Poverty" is the "excuse" used to soothe the conscience and the failure of the educators in this system to educate ALL of its children.

Questioner said...

Links to education systems in Latino or African countries where there is no achievement gap between students who are / are not impoverished?

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to an article about economic gaps and it even addresses Finland's success, which is due in part to offsetting effects of childhood poverty.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/12/opinion/the-unaddressed-link-between-poverty-and-education.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Anonymous said...

The article also addresses the gap between U.S. & other countries due to the amount of american children living in poverty.

Let's be real. It has nothing to do with children wanting to learn or teachers believing they can. I know as an adult, I would not be able to function at my job if had to live the home life of many of my students. Not having steady meals, violence in neighborhood, not having glasses or medicine, etc, and it wouldn't matter how much I wanted it or how much anyone believed in me. Try performing at your job without your basic needs met.

Anonymous said...

Being "real" also means some people always find "excuses" for failure to meet goals. Others find a way to reach and surpass them. Those determined to make a difference always do it.

If another has to write the script for you, it will never happen. Paraphrasing Ron Edmunds, if it can be done in one instance, it can be done in others.

Those who need excuses-- like poverty and all of its by-products--- need to move on to their life's work.

Anonymous said...

Here is the Ron Edmunds quote referenced in the previous post:
“How Many Do You Need to See? How many effective schools would you have to see to be persuaded of the educability of poor children? If your answer is more than one, then I submit that you have reasons of your own for preferring to believe that pupil performance derives from family background instead of school response to family background. Whether or not we will ever effectively teach the children of the poor is probably far more a matter of politics than of social science and this is as it should be.

“We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.”
Ron Edmonds

Questioner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Questioner said...

So what is the name/ location of a school that he points to?

Anonymous said...

Questioner: There are many, many schools, not just one. More importantly, there is no single formula, script, etc. Those looking for a single prescription will never find it. Creative, thoughtful, knowledgeable, committed, caring, determined educators do this every day in classrooms (and schools) all over the world.

Personally, I have seen it done in Ghana in classrooms and schools that quite literally are barren with children coming from poverty the likes of which we have never seen in this country. YET, the children read and write English (while speaking several other languages) at a level of learning not seen in our schools.

Those who must seek formulas, prescriptions, and scripts, etc. are not educators and will never be successful at teaching all children.

Anonymous said...

Pointing to a solution for one group does not equate to solving the problem for all groups. That should be obvious to anyone. Why isn't it?

Questioner said...

So where does Ghana stand in world education rankings? And does Mr edmunds point to any school is the US?

Questioner said...

Also, if the problem is a European white centered American education system why is it that so many Asian groups perform the best?

Anonymous said...

Again, why do you need to "point" to a school.

No two schools are the same, in this country or others.

Those who insist on missing the point of the Ron Edmonds quote, will never venture forward to success.

Thinking is definitely something missing in many who claim to be educated.

Anonymous said...

Where a nation stands is not relevant except to indicate that many (or perhaps only one) school, classroom, teacher in that nation has accomplished what is being claimed cannot be accomplished because of poverty

Please do not, inadvertently or deliberately, miss the point. Please reread the Ron Edmonds quote!

Questioner said...

If the premise is that there is a problem with the American system or a European focus, outstanding performance under for example a Ghanian system would support that premise.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha. The premise is that if this person says that 100% of something can be achieved easily and just by having the mindset, well, then, don't question it!

It just means that if there is anything bad, if children don't perform, you should look no further than the teacher's heart. It's like magic! It's fairy dust! Don't question! Just believe!

It also is the kind of thinking that has fueled so much of our reform. In the end it's ALL the teacher and nothing else.

This doesn't say that the teacher's thoughts aren't important, but it does say that they aren't the sole motivating factor in educational success. Not by a long shot.

Anonymous said...

Discourse about achievement inequality in the US always seems to be presented in a polarized way.on one side there are people pointing to institutionalized racism. On the other people pointing out how the real impact of poverty hurts students and their education. These are not two opposing issues, they are both part of the same problem. Our schools and all of our big institutions are grounded in the culture of the dominant class. White European male middle - upper class. Anyone who does not fit into that group has been and continues to be marginalized and disenfranchised. Its also true that when you look at affluent students in the us they outperform students in other countries consistently. We cannot boil down the problems of our educational system by saying that when you have a competent, caring educator who believes students can achieve to high levels they will. It scapegoats the educators. It's an overly simplistic cop out. I have taught children who were homeless, who were recovering from abuse, dealing with drug addiction, who asked me how they could avoid getting shot, who were afraid to walk to school because they didn't feel safe, who were dealing with the trauma of just seeing a loved one murdered, who fell asleep sitting up because they worked late every night, who missed a lot of school because they had to provide childcare, who were consistently hungry and much more. Saying that these situations don't impact their learning is insane. The negative impact cannot be mediated just by providing "good teachers" and we don't have an epidemic of bad teachers. I fully agree that if gates wanted to have a real impact on the problem he would have spent his money in other ways. I am all for the comprehensive community school. So lets not act as if it's either racism or poverty, its both. And teaches cannot magically fix either of them.

Anonymous said...

What I don't get is we tried the reform and it didn't work. Roosevelt initially said it would take 3 years before we see positive results. Now 6 years later the only thing the reforms proved is that it's NOT ALL the teacher. If it was all the teacher scores should have improved. The only thing that the reforms proved here in Pittsburgh is that we have many greedy people in charge. I am embarrassed to say I teach in this district. Shame.

Anonymous said...

10:25 you hit the nail on the head! The best trained, most caring teacher can't make up for all that is missing in so many kids lives. That kind of thinking is how we got into this NCLB mess in the first place.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference in many of these poverty stricken counties and the U.S., the parents and the children VALUE education and see it as a means to mobility. My students have parents who don't work and still have flat screen TV, iPhones, flashy clothes, etc.

I doubt poverty stricken Ghana children play with their iPhones in class. In PPS you see it all the time, school is 95% free and reduced lunch but kids show up with an iPhone and get picked up in a Cadillac. You don't NEED education or a job is the message that sends.

Other countries that don't pay people to have children that teachers end up responsible for raising, might actually view their education as a way to earn a living.

As for white European centered education??!! I went to a suburban school that was predominantly white, but with a large number of children from India. They were over represented in Honor Societies, gifted, etc. I graduated in 1995 and it is still that way in that school now! Why do they outperform their white "euro" peers? Their parents place a high value on education and appreciate the opportunity for their children to be educated and make a successful life for themselves.

Anonymous said...

Well said 10:58. Anyone who actually spends time in our schools would agree. We've seen what our children go through. How could it not affect their performance? My job performance would be affected by these things. As a stable adult, teachers can do a lot, but we can't mitigate all of the outside factors that impact our high risk students.

Anonymous said...

Analyzing each of the blogs separately rather that holistically does indeed lead to characterizing comments and responses as "polarizing" when in fact many of the comments, that differ substantially in remedies for the failure to educated certain children, were written by the same person.

There is more than one problem that must be addressed and "poverty" is not the one that has the greatest impact on what a school, teacher and education strategy, philosophy, psychology can accomplish. It is also more that a "caring","competent" teacher can do in a given situation. Nor is this about "reform". We know enough, and it is being done, to educate all children but not with a single, isolated, or polarizing approach. The problems differ significantly, thus, so must the solutions.
Surely, we know that a one-size-fits-all approach to education serves no one.

Inequality in achievement is the result of inequity in services. It is NOT about poverty, race, family, neighborhood of the children. It IS about the services provided by a school.

“We can, whenever and wherever we choose, successfully teach all children whose schooling is of interest to us. We already know more than we need to do that. Whether or not we do it must finally depend on how we feel about the fact that we haven’t so far.”
Ron Edmonds

Anonymous said...

Why must the teacher always have to be everything to the students? In every class, the most successful students are those that benefit from both an effective teacher AND effective parents! It takes both to make it happen for the child. There is no way to hold parents accountable, so teachers must make up for every deficit related to home life. We are headed toward a system in which we can lose our pay because of a child's home life or lack thereof, and the parent has zero accountability! That is scary.

Questioner said...

If the problems and the solutions vary significantly from school to school, why would seeing one. (As yet unnamed) school where a solution has been found prove that we knew what to do in all the schools? MR Edmunds has some beautiful rhetoric but more explanation is needed if he is to go beyond "just trust me on this"

Anonymous said...

Check your kids tests scores. If they don't seem credible, call attention to it. Mistakes are made frequently.

Anonymous said...

Exactly how does white euro male culture impact algebra and biology test scores? What does that look like?

Anonymous said...

Parents and taxpayers need to insist that they are given the same respect that parents of other municipalities are given.

Anonymous said...

Some teachers in PPS have every student's score on the PSSA. Some do not! Why? At whose discretion in PPS are the scores sent or not sent. PDE requires that they be sent to every parent. So what happens when some parents do not receive the scores. And just as importantly, what happens when some teachers do not receive their students scores. To whom do the protest without being castigated or FIRED?

Something is very wrong at PPS? Who can be held accountable when teachers and parents and students do not have access to PSSA scores that have been sent to Districts by the state?

Parents, please post here the school's name of any students whose scores have not been received by parents!