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Jeff Bernstein

Why test-based school reform isn't working - by the numbers - 0 views

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    "In the following post [Carol Burris] looks at irrefutable data to show that the test-based reforms are taking public education down the wrong road. "
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Teacher Turnover In DCPS - 0 views

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    "Teacher turnover - the rates at which teachers leave the profession and switch schools - is obviously a very important outcome in education. Although not all turnover is necessarily a "bad thing" - some teachers simply aren't cut out for the job and leave voluntarily (or are fired) - unusually high turnover means that schools must replace large proportions of their workforces on an annual basis. This can have serious implications not only for the characteristics (e.g., experience) of schools' teachers, but also for schools' costs, cohesion and professional cultures."
Jeff Bernstein

Meet The @FiveThirtyEight Of Education. Bruce Baker Will Bring Sanity To Reform Hype - 0 views

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    "Public school children have become lab rats of policymakers who are eager to see change faster than we can study what works. Experimental reforms are often founded on the lackluster research of ideological think tanks, who have filled the expertise vacuum left by academics unwilling to conduct policy-related research. "I've reviewed some just God awful stuff," cringes Rutgers Professor Bruce Baker, whose influential data-driven education, blog, schoolfinance101 has helped him become a go-to reviewer for policy reports."
Jeff Bernstein

Comments on NJ's Teacher Evaluation Report & Gross Statistical Malfeasance | School Fin... - 0 views

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    "A while back, in a report from the NJDOE, we learned that outliers are all that matters. They are where life's important lessons lie! Outliers can provide proof that poverty doesn't matter. Proof that high poverty schools - with a little grit and determination - can kick the butts of low poverty schools."
Jeff Bernstein

Endangering Intelligent Conversation: Comments on the Latest Hanushekian Crisis Manifes... - 0 views

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    "This bizarre video got me thinking about a series of previous posts where I've looked across numerous indicators to try to tease out the relationships among them, across states.  I've selectively scoured scatterplots of relationships between various state level indicators and outcome measures, but have not for a while now, simply stepped back and evaluated the correlations across all of them, and then tried to tease out what states, if any really do stand out."
Jeff Bernstein

Driven by data … right off a cliff | Gary Rubinstein's Blog - 0 views

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    "So I looked carefully at the data and found that these test scores do, in fact, prove there was some lying going on.  But it is not the lie that that Klein and Duncan were talking about.  The lie that these test scores reveal is the one about charter schools being better than public schools."
Jeff Bernstein

The Intricate Plot That Is Common Core | deutsch29 - 0 views

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    "If anyone tells you that Common Core (CCSS) is a "state-led" effort, "developed by teachers," that person is either misinformed or attempting to deceive you.

    Mona McDermott of United Opt Out has mapped the organizations behind CCSS. She presents discussion of their interwoven involvements in this 9-minute youtube presentation.

    Once you view her work, you will no longer be vulnerable to the corporate- and government-endorsed message that CCSS is "grass roots."

    The endgame of CCSS is massive data acquisition."
Jeff Bernstein

Diane Ravitch: 3 Dubious Uses of Technology in Schools: Scientific American - 0 views

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    "Technology is transforming American education, for good and for ill. The good comes from the ingenious ways that teachers encourage their students to engage in science projects, learn about history by seeing the events for themselves and explore their own ideas on the Internet. There are literally thousands of Internet-savvy teachers who regularly exchange ideas about enlivening classrooms to heighten student engagement in learning.

    The ill comes in many insidious forms."
Jeff Bernstein

NYC Parent Sounds Alarm on Student Privacy - 0 views

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    "Parent advocate Leonie Haimson wants more New York parents to know that the state has agreed to share sensitive information about their children's education with a national data-sharing system run by inBloom.  While state and city officials have tried to reassure families that privacy is a top priority for them, concerns remain. She answers some of our questions about inBloom Inc."
Jeff Bernstein

Will the Data Warehouse Become Every Student and Teacher's "Permanent Record"? - 0 views

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    "inBloom, the non-profit started with a hundred million dollar investment from the Gates Foundation, is planning to create a digital record which, barring catastrophe, truly could be a permanent record of every K12 student, from their first interaction with the schools to the last. The amount of information they are planning to collect is staggering."
Jeff Bernstein

When Real Life Exceeds Satire: Comments on ShankerBlog's April Fools Post | School Fina... - 0 views

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    "Yesterday, Matt Di Carlo over at Shankerblog put out his April fools post. The genius of the post is in its subtlety.  Matt put together a few graphs of longitudinal NAEP data showing that Maryland had made greater than average national gains on NAEP and then asserted that these gains must therefore be a function of some policy conditions that exist in Maryland. In the Post-RTTT era, Maryland has been the scorn of "reformers" because it just won't get on board with large scale vouchers and charter expansion and has resisted follow through on test-score based teacher evaluation. Taking a poke a reformy logic, Matt asserted that perhaps the low charter share and lack of emphasis on test score based teacher evaluation… along with a dose of decent funding might be the cause of Maryland's miracle!
    Of course, these assertions are no more a stretch than commonly touted miracles in Texas in the 1990s, Florida or Washington DC, most of which are derived from making loose connections between NAEP trend data and selective discussion of preferred policies that may have concurrently existed.  The difference is that Matt was poking fun at the idea of making bold, decisive, causal inferences from such data. Such data raise interesting questions.
    What I found so fun and at the same time deeply disturbing about Matt's post is that the assertions he made in satire… were nowhere near as absurd as many of the assertions made in studies/reports, etc. I discussed here on my blog over the years. Here are but a few examples of "stuff" presented as serious/legit policy evidence, that make Matt's satirical assertions seem completely reasonable."
Jeff Bernstein

Who Owns Your Child's Data? | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters in New York City has prepared the following report about threats to the privacy of children, families, and teachers."
Jeff Bernstein

An Open Letter to Bill Gates: Why Not Measure This? - Living in Dialogue - Education We... - 0 views

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    "The Gates Foundation has decided that the variable we can most readily change is the effectiveness of the classroom teacher. Therefore all their powers of measurement have focused on this single variable. We have explored in the past some of the problems with this. In particular, the fact that less than 15% of the differences in student growth can be attributed to their teacher suggests that perhaps we ought to be looking in the realm of the out of school factors, which have been found to account for more than 60% of these differences. Today I want to explore some of the areas that have remained unexamined."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » The Data-Driven Education Movement - 1 views

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    "In the education community, many proclaim themselves to be "completely data-driven." Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM) has been a buzz phrase for a while now, and continues to be a badge many wear with pride. And yet, every time I hear it, I cringe.

    Let me explain."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » NCLB And The Institutionalization Of Data Interpretation - 0 views

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    "Most of the attention to the methodological shortcomings of the law focuses on "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) - the crude requirement that all schools must make "adequate progress" toward the goal of 100 percent proficiency by 2014. And AYP is indeed an inept measure. But the problems are actually much deeper than AYP.

    Rather, it's the underlying methods and assumptions of NCLB (including AYP) that have had a persistent, negative impact on the way we interpret testing data.

    I'm not going to get into all of the details here, since I discuss them so frequently (follow the links below), but the most important issues include:"
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » The Stability And Fairness Of New York City's School Ratings - 0 views

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    "New York City has just released the new round of results from its school rating system (they're called "progress reports"). It relies considerably more on student growth (60 out of 100 points) than absolute performance (25 points), and there are efforts to partially adjust most of the measures via peer group comparisons.*

    All of this indicates that the city's system is more focused on school rather than student test-based performance, compared with many other systems around the U.S.

    The ratings are high-stakes. Schools receiving low grades - a D or F in any given year, or a C for three consecutive years - enter a review process by which they might be closed. The number of schools meeting these criteria jumped considerably this year.

    There is plenty of controversy to go around about the NYC ratings, much of it pertaining to two important features of the system. They're worth discussing briefly, as they are also applicable to systems in other states."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Our Not-So-College-Ready Annual Discussion Of SAT Results - 0 views

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    "Every year, around this time, the College Board publicizes its SAT results, and hundreds of newspapers, blogs, and television stations run stories suggesting that trends in the aggregate scores are, by themselves, a meaningful indicator of U.S. school quality. They're not."
Jeff Bernstein

Ed Waivers, Junk Rating Systems & Misplaced Blame: Case 1 - New York State « ... - 0 views

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    "I hope over the next several months to compile a series of posts where I look at what states have done to achieve their executive granted waivers from federal legislation. Yeah… let's be clear here, that all of this starts with an executive decision to ignore outright, undermine intentionally and explicitly, federal legislation. Yeah… that legislation may have some significant issues. It might just suck entirely. Nonetheless, this precedent is a scary one both in concept and in practice. Even when I don't like the legislation in question, I'm really uncomfortable having someone unilaterally over-ride or undermine it. It makes me all the more uncomfortable when that unilateral disregard for existing law is being used in a coercive manner - using access to federal funding to coerce states to adopt reform strategies that the current administration happens to prefer. The precedent at the federal level that legislation perceived as inconvenient can and should simply be ignored seems to encourage state departments of education to ignore statutory and constitutional provisions within their states that might be perceived similarly as inconvenient.
    Setting all of those really important civics issues aside - WHICH WE CERTAINLY SHOULD NOT BE DOING - the policies being adopted under this illegal (technical term - since it's in direct contradiction to a statute, with full recognition that this statute exists) coercive framework are toxic, racially disparate and yet another example of misplaced blame."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Large Political Stones, Methodological Glass Houses - 0 views

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    "Earlier this summer, the New York City Independent Budget Office (IBO) presented findings from a longitudinal analysis of NYC student performance. That is, they followed a cohort of over 45,000 students from third grade in 2005-06 through 2009-10 (though most results are 2005-06 to 2008-09, since the state changed its definition of proficiency in 2009-10).

    The IBO then simply calculated the proportion of these students who improved, declined or stayed the same in terms of the state's cutpoint-based categories (e.g., Level 1 ["below basic" in NCLB parlance], Level 2 [basic], Level 3 [proficient], Level 4 [advanced]), with additional breakdowns by subgroup and other variables.

    The short version of the results is that almost two-thirds of these students remained constant in their performance level over this time period - for instance, students who scored at Level 2 (basic) in third grade in 2006 tended to stay at that level through 2009; students at the "proficient" level remained there, and so on. About 30 percent increased a category over that time (e.g., going from Level 1 to Level 2).

    The response from the NYC Department of Education (NYCDOE) was somewhat remarkable. It takes a minute to explain why, so bear with me."
Jeff Bernstein

Parsing Charter School Disability Enrollments in PA and NJ « School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "Here are a few quick figures that parse the disability classifications of children with disabilities served by charter schools in Pennsylvania and New Jersey."
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