Failing Schools: Everyone's Got A Different List

ISBE’s application for Race to the Top dollars doesn’t list Chicago’s priority schools by name.  But there’s another recent document from ISBE that has a list with lots of D299 schools. And there’s an explanation of sorts on page 40 of this ISBE appendix:

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So if I understand correctly CPS is going to turn around schools based on its own smaller list of Tier I Schools rather than the broader, state-defined list of Priority Zone Schools.  Right?  Wonder what the Tier I list looks like, how it’s defined, and whether it matches up with the turnaround/probation list. 


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  • This list is very interesting. Five of the nine elementary schools managed by AUSL are on this list. This the same AUSL that will manage the turnaround of most of the schools on CPS' recently released list. CPS may call this data-driven decision making, but I would call it rewarding failure.

  • HCR-your stat is grossly misleading.

    Dulles became an AUSL school this year.
    Chicago Academy High School became an AUSL school this year.
    Bethune became an AUSL school this year.
    Morton became an AUSL school last year (so one year of change from extremely low performing).

    Only Sherman has been AUSL for long enough to register test scores. They started at 26% of students meeting standards in math and are now at 59%; they started at 31% students meeting standards in reading and are now at 48%. Who's rewarding failure?

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Sherman's test scores have increased (although they are still on the State of Illinois list); however, they have increased at exactly the same rate as the area as a whole. Sherman increased from 30.5% in 2006 to 46.4% in 2009. The area went from 44.5% to 60.4%. AUSL does not seem to have added any value. Harvard (another AUSL school on the list) became an AUSL school in 2007, and Morton became one in 2008. Harvard has increased faster than its area. Morton, however, has actually seen its test scores decline by 8% in the year since it became an AUSL school, while the area as a whole continued to advance. We expect to evaluate teachers on a single year of data. I'm not sure why AUSL shouldn't be held to the same standard.

  • In reply to hcricks:

    You don't know what Sherman would have done if they had merely stayed in area with the same leadership. Maybe they would have seen similar growth. Keeping the same leadership, though, I doubt it. You don't suddenly start getting growth when you've gotten none. Maybe it's all in the leader--maybe the teachers shouldn't have been fired, but the truth is, new leaders often see a lot of turnover in the first couple of years. It's possible that if a new leader came in, it would have just taken LONGER to do what the turnaround process does, which is at least match average growth. But we don't know any of this because we don't have a true counterfactual.

    We do judge teachers on one year of data, but we also have different expectations for a first year teacher and the expected growth vs. a veteran (4+ year) teacher and the expected grwoth of their students. But if the veteran teacher hasn't gotten results for years and years, why shouldn't she be fired? That's essentially what's happening in these schools.

    We should look at AUSL against the same standard-judging on one year. After one year, we should ask ourselves, "what's the standard growth on ISAT during a principal's first year?" That will give us an accurate data point to compare to.

    There's a reason that principals get 4-year contracts.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Also, I ran the numbers for Area 13 from the REA data that's posted, and I can't figure out where you're getting your numbers. My calculation shows an increase in reading from 51% M/E to 59% M/E from 2006-2009. In math, the increase is from 53% M/E in 2006 to 62% M/E in 2009.

    That means Sherman is handily outpacing the area.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    there was also prrof that AUSL kicked out some poor scoring kids when they first took over sherman. Plain old CPS schools cannot do this. Great way to get scores up quick-btw.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    What is interesting in the charters that fail is that they were free of CPS controls and constraints--they are not making it with even extra money, choosing children and a free ride from the rules. CPS was supposed to learn from the success of charters. It is time to look at the neighborhod schools and let them be free of some of these rules that hold thm back--yes, still NOT be able to kick kids out, like charters do, but let the schools determine what they need for PD and curriculum instead of some 5 month old CAO from Texas, etc. breathing down their necks amking them do things that they know did not work 2-3 years ago.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    Too bad there is not a centralized place to post the machinations by CAO's they shove their Performance Management crap down the schools throat!

    Second, how about a place for documenting incompetent managers in SCRMA who have no clue in regards to best practices.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    thanks for the info, hcr -- where do you get your area by area data? i'd love to let other folks see what you're showing.

  • In reply to AlexanderRusso:

    CPS provides data at Go to "School Profiles," enter the school you want, then click on the ISAT tab. You will be able to download a pdf called "ISAT Meets or Exceeds Overtime - FINAL." The data is contained in that report.

  • In reply to hcricks:

    Thanks for sharing, hcr. The "area" data in that report is the data for all AUSL schools [Area 28].

    So you're right -- it is growing at the same rate as the area. Well done, AUSL! :)

    The data I pulled was comparing Sherman to schools that are in Area 13, which is the physical location of Sherman.

  • Too bad AMPS is not expanded for schools getting out from under the incompetent CAO's who have no clue.

  • Just proves that Public Education has been for sale in Chicago to the large text book and testing global companies. Literacy experts have noted some of the worst scripted "teacher proof" products were imposed in the African American Schools. A call to a human rights group should be in order for that crime! SCRMA is not done by bean counters with a check list made by the bureaucrats who have questionable knowledge of best practices. This is what happens when Daley hires amateurs run CPS! Daley shows no remorse nor acceptance of his crimes. We put him in office!

  • In reply to viniciusdm:

    SCRMA is run by bean counters.... not educators.

    My bad..

  • Doesn't Audrey Cooper-Stanton now work for AUSL?

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