Data Walls -- Desperate or Determined?

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I've gotten a couple of emails about data walls in schools, an initiative apparently being pushed by the folks at the central office to highlight student performance in schools.  Is this desperate, or just determined?  You make the call:

"Designed for display in a public area of the
school, the wall will remind every student, from the lowest to the
highest scorers, just where they stand in relation to their peers, sort
of like those reading groups of old where the poor readers were
labeled blackbirds and the highest, the bluebirds  I do not understand
how anyone who claims to care for children could resort to
humiliation  as a tactic to raise test scores, but it has come to that
and it makes me sick. I feel
this is like communist Russia -- let's sacrifice the dignity of the
individual for the collective good."

That's one educator's view of the idea. What do you think?  Do they have these walls up in your school?  How do the kids and teachers react? 

Comments

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  • Are there going to be names associated with scores? If so, isn't that a FERPA violation?

  • The pictures of these walls with the student scores have been sent via the Internet from the AMPs Office. Our school was quite shocked to see this--not only sent, but that the children would be embarassed in this manner.

  • Of course it violates FERPA laws, but why would the AMPs office or the Huberteam even know this? Ignorance is no excuse.
    And with such hubris in their souls, why would AMPs or Huberteam ask an educator or the law department about past practice or advice or the policy or what is moral?

  • Prior to getting my current position, I was a CADRE sub for 3.5 months. I never saw data walls but I did see plenty of classrooms where individual student ISAT scores from the last year were posted, usually right next to the door. It made me think that it was something required by the area officers, as that's where a lot of those mandated papers and posters are placed.

    I think it's absolutely shameful and will be having words with my principal if this becomes mandated at my school.

  • Get tenure first before you do that teacherkate. Good luck.

  • It's required in the classrooms at our school, and there's a big one near the office.

  • Thanks! I never rock the boat even though I think many of the superficial classroom decor mandates are silly. I just don't know if I could stomach this one.

  • illegal activity and you all just let it go like sheep to the slaughter believing the butcher will give them mercy when they are next in line.

    Booo

  • If ever a cause called for "conscientious objection" this is it. Teachers need to grow a pair and just say "no".

  • Dear 8:32 and 8:37--we CPS teacehrs are sheep in line for the slaughter. Where is CTU and the principals assoc. on this?

  • well 8:32--you did not sign your name and who are you Libby Booker? If you work for CPS i admire your chutzpa, but if not--walk a mile in our shoes....

  • The CTU and CPAA are corrupt. Don't wait for them to shine an ethical light.

  • someone told me the allocation is $14k per school.
    can that be right?

    also -- please someone take a cell phone pic of one of these walls or ISAT postings and send it here -- we'll redact the kids' names but people really need to see this to believe it.

    /ar

  • It never ceases to amaze me how often central office asks us to invest in activities that are in direct opposition to student learning. How about mandated unintelligible objectives formulated in educatorese?

    Or should I say, "I find scaffolding to be most conducive to the curricular development of all stakeholders as we collaborate to enrich the human capital initiatives of all parental choice data driven cultures of calm.

  • Chicago tax payers have a right to know what the CAO's are doing with the money each of them got to support "teacher professional capacity" at each school! They got over a million dollars each. So what is up?!!! Maybe Monique Bond can let us know what they are doing with that money. It seems early reports are that CAO's are only following the hatchet policies of Huberman.

  • Does anyone know how the new CAOs are doing? Have any of them instituted anything noteworthy?

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    A million dollars to each CAO! I want to know how each are spending our money! Monique Bond, what is our money being spent on by the CAO's? Maybe we need an investigation...

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    the pattern actually is that huberteam is firing anyone and everyone that knows how to have success with students. one would say that strange. no not really, in the time of privatization and the shock doctrine that is exactly what is necessary. vallas was phase one, Duncan is phase two. huberman is phase three(if not stopped) will like a New Orleans style dissolution of the entire system. and you all know who helped with that one. so it is all planned but if teachers and the community get together to stop the destruction and take back what has been stolen by mayor daley then the destruction of the chicago schools can be stopped. the one problem is that teachers are still scared to fight back because they still believe "it won't happen to them."

    if there is this million dollar allocation how come it was not made public? if you think about it where are the area offices and who works there? it is just another theft of municipal funds. strange how we are in a budget crises but can give out money like that to places that parents do not even know exist.

    it is more of the same. in the beginning the huberteam was fun to investigate and go after to see what new ways they would steal money from chicago children but its seems like straight patronage and graft. it is now only a matter of time before one or a few of them locked up.

    "I've got this thing and it's f---ing golden"

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    The CAO's sure did get $1 million each to use at their discretion. Let's not forget the money that schools were given for their 'data inquiry' work a few weeks ago - another bunch of dollars with no guidelines at all attached.

    But my question is...where's the outrage about everything that's happening at CPS? People commenting on this blog have blamed central office personnel for 'complicity' and 'silence' - why do I have to stand up alone? Where are the principals? The LSCs? The teachers? The parents? The students? The newspapers? The community groups? The universities?

    Where are you all - and why aren't you standing behind me?

    -yellowdart

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Yellowdart, my heart goes out to you. But, if you're still employed by CPS, you aren't being as brave as you think you are. If you aren't a CPS employee, then that's another issue. But there is NO ONE LEFT at CPS who has stood up to the nonsense and who is still employed there. They were either "laid off" or they quit so as not to be complicit.

    It's very similar to what happened at Blago's office last year. The really ethical people were horrified from day one by his behavior, tried to change the system, failed, tried again, ditto, and were either downgraded or quit. And anyone who thinks Quinn is doing the right thing is NOT paying attention.

    So, Yellowdart, fight the good fight. There's a natural (or unnatural) order to whistleblowing. The only thing you can control is your own actions. Do the right thing.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    I agree that I'm only about 20% brave - the other 80% is concerned that I don't have another job lined up yet and I can't afford to lose this one right now. But just this week several more senior-ish people have told me they're leaving. It's simply becoming too hard for us at CO - we thought we'd be able to make a difference, and we can't. I'm looking for my own exit, but I feel ashamed to be abandoning the kids.

    But you should be careful what you wish for - if only the PM junkies are left in CO you won't have anyone there on your side. I wonder if sometimes the most effective persons turn out to be the internal subversives.

    -yellowdart

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Sorry--tere is no such thing as whistleblower protection at CPS. When you go to the IG with documented proof, CPS blows YOU away!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    8:39, that's right. So if someone is still employed at CPS, it's proof they aren't being as "brave" as they want to think. And staying there is a net loss. Sometimes you just have to go.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    The people still at CO are there for numerous reasons. Some have decided their fat paychecks and promotions are enough to justify being part of the machine. Others thought that surely the Huberteam would realize they were failing, and would begin to accept advice and engage in discussion. It's only become clear to many of us in the last months that this will never happen. Many more will now go - as soon as they can find other jobs. Then there are the folks who don't want to leave because they say "who will protect the kids when I'm gone? I can only protect them if I'm still in the system." In this administration I don't think they'll be successful, but I have to admire their reason for staying.

    -yellowdart

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    No one intelligent believes "who will protect the kids when I'm gone? I can only protect them if I'm still in the system." But "intelligence" is in short supply at the CO now. It's all about people being self-serving.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    For a school to be sanctioned under FERPA, it'd have to not have a FERPA policy. Strangely, violating that policy is not what is punished. CPS has a policy, so doubt it'd get sanctioned. Almost no school has been punished under FERPA, by the way. (I could be wrong on this. If so, let me know.)

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    10:09, I don't really understand your post since FERPA is a federal regulation (like HIPAA). But here's the section about grades:

    POSTING GRADES

    The public posting of grades by the student's name, student identification number, or social security number is a violation of FERPA. This includes the posting of grades to a class website and applies to any public posting of grades for students taking distance education courses. Even without the name, using a student I.D. number or any part of a social security number in relation to the posting of grades violates FERPA, as the information may be personally identifiable to the student. Instructors can use code words or randomly assigned numbers that only the instructor and individual student know. Even then, the posting of grades should not be in alphabetical order. Faculty who wish to send grades to students via e-mail need to be extremely careful with this distribution process. An inadvertent and unauthorized release of grades to someone other than the student (or, if the student is a minor, his/her parent and/or guardian) would be a violation of FERPA.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    Therefore, and someone who is a lawyer here needs to correct me if I'm wrong (I'm a psychologist), if a school is violating FERPA (particularly if it is doing so because of a directive handed down from Central Office), the district could lose federal funding. Furthermore, a parent could sue on behalf of a student who was harmed by the posting.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    Parents cannot sue for monetary damages. The only sanction a district faces is that it may have to refund federal money.

    And that is not about to happen to the nation's third largest school district.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Parents can sue for monetary damages under the ISSRA. And they can sue indirectly under FERPA by proving, for instance, that their child was traumatized by having their score posted.

  • In reply to EdMentor:

    You obviously aren't knowledgeable about this topic.

    In 2002, the SCOTUS ruled (Gonzaga University vs. Doe) FERPA does not create any federal privacy rights and, therefore, students and parents may not sue for damages in federal or state court when schools violate the law.

    --Danny

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Actually, I checked with a both a local circuit and state judge about this issue. They directed me to the "FERPA and ISSRA Principal's Manual" that backs what I posted.

  • In reply to EdMentor:

    A friend's daughter sued Columbia after a professor posted the class grades on the course website in alphabetical order (which was in violation of FERPA). The daughter sued for some sort of mental distress claim and there was a cash settlement. More important, to my mind, is that the professor was sanctioned.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    The source EdMentor cites says: "There is no private cause of action for violations of FERPA. Parents and eligible students are limited to complaining to FERPA officials, who may withhold federal funding to the school for serious violations of the Act."

    Thus he is wrong when he writes parents can sue under FERPA.

    As far as the anecdote SPA gives (I don't suppose you have any proof of this?), it's rather hard to believe. Granted, cash settlements aren't decided court cases, but the school should have known they didn't have to pay anything. They can't be sued under FERPA, and ISSRA doesn't apply to private schools.

    --Danny

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Danny, keep reading...

    "For violations of ISSRA, parents may sue the school and school officials in state court. However, court cases have emphasized that parents must exhaust all of the remedies available to them under ISSRA before filing an action in circuit court." And this is why the judges referred me to this document.

    Additionally, I think Spalexander is referring to a well-known case at Columbia University. So ISSRA wouldn't apply to a New York case.

    Let's hope someone with standing, and courage, finds a remedy for this egregious CPS behavior.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Dear edmentor and others: There are still some of us with intelligence left in the CPS system. We are survivors of CPS with hope and faith and experience, even after slings and arrows are shot at us and have even made their mark. We may be underground, but we are a force, always with the mission of the education of our students. We may be in the shadows, but we can see the light. We have survived the vallas and the duncan. And yes, this huberteam is the most disappointing and foolish, but we will continue on with the good fight. Do not fret. Vive le Resistance!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    12:49, but you're NOT resisting. The Huberteam functions because every office at 125 is doing its bidding. The people who didn't, left or were canned. And if you've been there back to Vallas, that says it all. And it's not good.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    I really admire the people who have left CPS and who are now working for the kids on the outside. That's the only hope for the district.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    dear edmentor--we are not all at 125 (though there are those there who are part of the underground.) We have learned from those who were under vallas and duncan on how to plan and how to resist and how they become a thing of the past. There is movement, may not be fast enough for you, but there is. We will see the daylight again.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Dear 2:15, I know you think you and your "comrades" are part of a noble movement. But, if you look at the history you yourself are outlining, it's a history of failure upon failure. The ethical, smart people have moved on. And they are doing extraordinary things for the children without selling out.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Yes, there those of us who have survived under many inept central office administrations but this is the worst one yet. Not only do we have unknowledgeable people hired through patronage channels but now we have some very disturbed administrators from other states.

    Anyone who would tell teachers to list children's test scores on a wall for everyone to see should be fired. What about the rights of the children with disabilities who may always be at the bottom of a test score list. Isn't this an ADA violation?

    As a special education teacher I do not have access via IMPACT to check on my students'grades. Whenever I need to see my students' grades I have to have the general education teacher pull up the grades. This is very time consuming for both teachers. How ridiculous is this and how is this best pratice for inclusion?
    I was told this was due to confidentiality yet CPS is promoting data walls which erase all parameters related to privacy.

  • In reply to anniesullivan:

    Isn't is hilarious that when an administrator doesn't want to share key information about your students with you so you can make educational decisions (which FERPA completely permits!), they'll throw up "confidentiality" concerns? Then, they'll do something like this ("data walls"). Surreal.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Dear EdMetor you state: ethical, smart people have moved on...they are doing extraordinary things for the children without selling out." Who are these people? How are they doing extraordinary things for CPS students? Are they paid? At least one example please.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    They are running the anti-violence initiative is West Garfield Park, and the college-readiness program in Englewood, and the intergenerational mentoring program in Rogers Park. Two are paid, as far as I know, although not what they're worth. And two are going back to school for doctorates (one at Harvard).

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    How about a thread on the good, the bad, and the ugly at CPS? All these comments about good and bad central office administrators. Who are they, past and present? Instead of a data wall, how about a wall of fame and a wall of shame for central office administrators that either have fought the good fight or contributed to the decline.
    It would be fun to hear peoples' opinions

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    Why can't parents sue for monetary damages? It's happened in the LAUSD for other infractions.

    And I, too, believe this is a FERPA violation if, indeed, it is happening. Please, someone with access to a "wall," post a picture.

  • In reply to EdMentor:

    It's a violation of the law, alright. But, if the Feds never pull funding from school districts that violate the law, then CPS isn't going to care about its violations very much. Ditto on ADA and IDEA.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    Daley owns this debacle. How many new hires for each CAO have been made and what is their job description? The "data analysis" jockeys are the key people who will be used to justify any punitive actions by the area. The question that is NEVER asked is what is done by CPS and CAO's do qualitatively to improve schooling and develop professional capacity? Just smoke and mirrors. Folks under the CAO need their jobs so they go along with the CAO's. For neighborhood schools who need more resources instead of less, there is no talk of providing more instruction time and built in time for effective collaboration among teachers. I know that Huberman and his CAO's know what is needed but they are not providing it! That is a crime! Chicagoan's there is a way to judge Huberman's and his CAO's work with benchmarks. Let us put them on trial!

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    Again, if someone can take a picture of one of the walls that lists students names and scores, it's grounds for a lawsuit and for penalties under FERPA (assuming that all of the parents/guardians did not agree to the posting, which I doubt).

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    This has Huberman written all over it: People who are diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder use splitting as a central defense mechanism. They do this to preserve their self-esteem; by seeing the self as purely good and the others as purely bad. The use of splitting implies the use of other defense mechanisms, namely devaluation, idealization and denial.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    i have a better diagnosis, huberman is a patronage hack who violates the law and hurts children while misusing government funds. he should be put in jail.

    by the way technology in cps means using a keyboard to answer questions on a crt monitor.

  • In reply to kuglerjohn:

    This has Huberman written all over it: People who are diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder use splitting as a central defense mechanism. They do this to preserve their self-esteem; by seeing the self as purely good and the others as purely bad. The use of splitting implies the use of other defense mechanisms, namely devaluation, idealization and denial.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    Check out VOISE, which is part of Area 25. I believe they have a wall with student GPA or grades posted. Students with Fs are on a warning section of the wall to humiliate them.

  • In reply to SPAlexander:

    VOISE-'where tradition meets technology'--check out their website, god awful--and this is a tech school?
    Shame on them for humiliating students by posting this for all to see. Do the parents know? They have a lawsuit if this is true. Damages y'all.

  • Area 9's CAO is off base and does not know what she is doing. Her Principals are treated like chattle.--she has no principal or AP expereince and just got a type 75 THIS past Summer. Where did she do her mandated intership y'all?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Wow! Did not know that Huberman would hire someone to lead principals without being a successful urban school principal herself. Seems par for the course. Since Huberman does not know what kind of folks are needed to be hired to lead real school reform, he hires administrators who like himself who have no real experience in running a high performing urban school or district. Fellow Chicagoans, why do we put up with Pee Herman running the Chicago Public Schools!!! Chicago deserves so much better.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Who is the Area 9 CAO? What is her name?
    I would like to find out more about her since she is running my area schools.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    good news, everyone -- the data walls may be defunct. at least that's the story that i'm hearing from some readers. one wrote in "The data wall at our region 13 school has been put on hold, as has staff distribution of the memo from Barbara Watkins with color pictures of examples. I imagine that the 299 expose had a role in stalling or halting this misguided initiative. The power of the media! Thanks for drawing attention to the issue.Merry Christmas!"

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Classic example of how the AMPs people do not even know they are violating and harming students! How's that for not having principal experience or CPS teaching or even a type 75!
    Thank you Alexander--Your blog had a lot to do with this.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    The data walls were dropped because of FERPA, and the complaint came from a "lay" person, not from a principal, teacher, or main office employee.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    And kudos to her. She stopped by the Dirksen with a photo. Potential involvement of the US Attorney's Office got 125's attention. And shame of BEW for her involvement.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    get that memo! get that memo! post it russo! post it russo! [staff distribution of the memo from Barbara Watkins with color pictures of examples]

    it would be a nice gift to show what cps does.

    show everyone what criminals lurk in cps!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPBS7dVrE1U

    Happy Holidays!

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    from a reader: "I was in the PD when the memo/photos were passed around. By Friday, the individual copies of the memo, promised Monday, had still not appeared in mailboxes, and teachers said things were on hold -- they were not coming in over break to construct walls and suck up the allocated $14,000 overtime pay, as previously directed. I'll keep you updated on the issue, including memo, which I'll bet has been recalled/shredded by now."

    anyone else attend one of these meetings / see the data wall flyers?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    anyone have that data wall memo? I could use it for something.

    John
    kuglerjohn@comcast.net

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Goes to show how BEW is not on her game--or just following trends from the no-nothing AMPs people. They are really vipers by the way--they coddle their principals, but one wrong move (like at Nightengale) and you are done-for.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    AMPs should have known about FERPA and there were many on this blog who are teachers, who complained about this horror of publishing student scores and at 1 school, mocking those who were failing. There were othr than 'lay' person--what do you mean by that? read Alexander's 8:12.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    And 9:40, there are over 50 comments on this string before Alexander's good news. If you don;t think Ronnie's Huberteam are not monitoring this blog--well, I have some snow to sell you.

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