K-12 Teaching Standards - Cheating Administrators and Sources of Corruption.
Validity is not a property of data.
It's a property of interpretation of data (inference).
INCENTIVIZED CHEATING - PERSONAL GAINS
2016 A city principal and four teachers promoted cheating on standardized tests by changing student answers, providing answers to students and improperly reviewing questions prior to administering the tests. Cortez gets 10 years probation and 100 hours of community service teaching literacy. She will likely lose her pension.
PSSA scores (a state achievement test) have been climbing at the school since 2008.
After the cheating stopped in 2012, the schools test scored dropped dramatically, Kane noted. In 2008-09 state proficiency tests, Cayuga's fourth graders excelled: 88.8% pass math and 83.9% pass reading. By 2012-13, the most recent numbers available, fourth graders at the school struggled with 31% passing math and 25% passing reading. Charged are: Evelyn Cortez, 59, Dresher, Montgomery County; Jennifer Hughes, 59, Jeffersonville, Montgomery County; Lorraine Vicente, 41, Philadelphia; Rita Wyszynski, 65, Philadelphia; and Ary Sloane, 56, Philadelphia.
This is similar to the cheating scandal in Atlanta, where 35 educators from 44 schools were indicted. In Atlanta, administrators, principals, and teachers were charged with racketeering, conspiracy, making false statements, and related offenses.
2014 When State test scores go up school principals get promotions. Former Cayuga Elementary School Principal Evelyn Cortez admitted that she directed teachers and students to change answers on the state PSSA exams between 2007 and 2011.
8/11 What Do We Do With Teachers and Administrators who CHEAT? The cheaters in Atlanta, D.C., Philadelphia, Houston, Baltimore and elsewhere took advantage of the neediest and most vulnerable children and changed their scores so it would appear they had mastered material, when they in fact had not. They weren't thinking about the kids, of course, but only about themselves and the appearance of success. Kids were numbers, nothing more, nothing less. The scale of unethical behavior in Atlanta is staggering: According to the report from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, of the 56 schools investigated, 44 cheated; so did 38 principals and 178 teachers (about 80 of whom have already confessed). But the lack of integrity did not start at the school level, and it appears to the investigators that the rot went all the way to the top, to Superintendent Beverly Hall.
12/2009 Restructuring Schools Under NCLB Found to Lag By Catherine Gewertz
A Washington research group is raising questions about the wisdom of the U.S. Department of Education's favored strategies for turning around the lowest-performing schools with stimulus funding, saying that its research shows that similar federal school restructuring strategies have not been effective.
The questions raised by the new study were on the agenda Monday as the Center on Education Policy, which issued the report, hosted a forum on its findings that included a top Education Department official. The exchange highlighted tensions in the debate over “turning around” low-performing schools as federal officials prepare to hand out billions of dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for that purpose, and as they gear up to advocate school improvement strategies for the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
The center studied what 23 school districts and 48 schools in six states learned during the past five years about improving struggling schools. It found that the five strategies for restructuring spelled out in the No Child Left Behind Act, the current version of the ESEA, did not offer much help to schools that were trying to improve after five or more years of failing to make adequate yearly progress under the law.
More than 5,000 schools were in restructuring in 2008-09, in fact, up from 2,300 two years earlier, according to the center and the Education Department.
At the forum, Jack Jennings, the center's president and a former aide to Democrats on the education committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, said that in light of the center's research, he wondered whether the department was acting “on a hunch rather than on evidence” in requiring states to use one of four specific turnaround models when spending stimulus dollars.
The models—closing the school and sending students elsewhere; handing it over to a charter-management group or other outside entity to run; replacing most of the staff; or “transforming” it through changes in personnel, curriculum, and other areas—build on, but are not identical to, strategies called for in No Child Left Behind. They apply to the Race to the Top competition for states, to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, and to the Title I School Improvement Grants under the stimulus and are seen as a template for what the Education Department hopes to pursue under the next version of the ESEA. “We don't think the evidence base is there to say that any one strategy will succeed,” Mr. Jennings said. 'Too Prescriptive'?
Judy Wurtzel, the deputy assistant secretary in the Education Department's office of planning, evaluation, and policy development—which helps shape the department's school improvement strategy—said states and districts are encouraged to draw on multiple strategies in revamping their poorest-performing schools. The four models the department now advocates, she said, “go far beyond” the catchall “other” option allowed under NCLB, which was chosen by more than 80 percent of restructuring schools in the center's study.
Even the “transformation” model permitted for stimulus spending is “not an 'other' model, but a comprehensive set of interventions,” Ms. Wurtzel said. Both the “transformation” model and No Child Left Behind's “other” option have been criticized as escape hatches that schools can use to avoid deeper, tougher changes. Mr. Jennings said he thought federal officials were being “too prescriptive” in making awards of school-improvement grants contingent on using the four turnaround models, since versions of those approaches had not yielded much success among the schools, districts, and states the center studied. But Ms. Wurtzel said states have had a good deal of flexibility in trying to improve their lowest-performing schools, and have not delivered the results the Education Department would have liked to see. Her comments were similar to those made by department officials in issuing the final regulations for the school improvement grants on Dec. 3.
“After nearly a decade of broad state and local discretion in implementing, with little success, the school improvement provisions of the ESEA, the department believes, for the purpose of this program, it is appropriate and necessary to limit that discretion and require the use of a carefully developed set of school intervention models in the nation's lowest-achieving schools,” the final regulations say. ("Final Rules Set for School Turnaround Grants," Dec. 9, 2009.) The Education Department's view of school turnaround work aligns with the center's findings in key ways, Ms. Wurtzel argued. For instance, she said, it agrees that states have sometimes identified too many schools as needing improvement without targeting supports to those most in need, making it hard to use state resources effectively in helping them improve. That is why the department advocates identifying the lowest-performing 5 percent of schools and proposing intervention strategies when states vie for federal stimulus dollars, she said. States that lack the capacity to help all their lowest-performing schools right away, she said, can reserve some of the money to spread the work into the following year or two. “We're concerned as much about quality and sustainability as we are about quantity,” Ms. Wurtzel said.
In drafting its ESEA reauthorization proposal, which it hopes to complete in the first quarter of 2010, Ms. Wurtzel said, the Education Department plans to incorporate language that better targets aid to schools most in need of improvement, and places more emphasis on progress in student achievement, among other things. The department also will collect detailed information from its school improvement stimulus grantees to help inform its judgments about what works, and will make the data public, she said. Two other evaluations will contribute to its understanding of school turnaround work as well, she said: a case study of 50 schools that are doing such work this year, and a coordinated evaluation of the school improvement grants and other stimulus-funded programs.
In the center's study, all the schools examined found that multiple, coordinated strategies were needed to improve achievement enough for them to “exit” restructuring, and that those strategies needed to be revised as the work proceeded.
Sobrante Park Elementary School in Oakland, Calif., for instance, got out of restructuring in 2006-07, but has had to reshape its work to preserve and advance its progress. The following year, the school sharpened its focus on classroom instruction in particular on students who were falling behind. It kept the early-morning tutoring and earlier start to the day that it had adopted during restructuring, but added an intervention teacher to work with small groups during the day. A second such teacher was added in 2008-09.
That year, after noticing that students' reading fluency was improving, but their comprehension was not, Principal Marco Franco paid teachers extra to allow them to develop better strategies for teaching reading comprehension.
Case-study schools that successfully moved out of restructuring status also cited frequent analysis of student-achievement data as central to their efforts. Still, none of the schools reported that restructuring solved all their problems, and just 11 of the 48 schools in the study improved enough to leave restructuring.
Most of the schools that got out of restructuring said they had replaced staff members—a hotly debated element in the Education Department's turnaround models—and that it helped improve things in some cases, but that firing educators could also have unintended negative consequences.
Replacing many staff members in an area where qualified replacement teachers or principals are hard to find, or in a school that lacks a widely publicized vision to help it overcome its reputation as a “failing school,” hampered school improvement efforts, according to the center's study.
One district in Michigan helped its middle school plan for an entire year for the upcoming restaffing, the study found. A high school in Annapolis, Md., also got significant help in restaffing from its district the year before, including a job fair specifically for that school, and a temporary co-principal who took charge while the principal held job interviews.
Sometimes new hires were the first to go, however, when layoffs occurred because of declining enrollment. The younger, less senior teachers who had restaffed two secondary schools in Detroit fit that pattern.
At the state level, all six states in the study devised ways to aim tailored supports at the schools most in need. Four of the states—Georgia, Maryland, New York, and Ohio—are piloting “differentiated accountability” systems to do that. Under those systems, the states give more help to schools that failed to make enough progress schoolwide than they give to schools that failed to do so only for a few student subgroups.
Of the other two states examined, California focuses on districts with the most severe problems, and Michigan conducts audits and dispatches special teams to schools to help them make changes. States in the study used assessments of schools' needs and on-site monitoring more often in figuring out the restructuring puzzle. They also leveraged support by teaming up with other agencies or organizations.
California approved outside providers to size up what districts need to do to turn around their worst schools. In partnership with Mass Insight Education and Research Institute, a Boston-based group that has developed a school turnaround framework, Maryland is developing a “breakthrough center” that will act as the central brain trust and services coordinator for schools in need of improvement. Vol. 29, Issue 15
[ Align H.S. Graduation Standards With College-Placement Standards ]
Help elementary and secondary schools align their graduation standards with college-placement standards. It's embarrassing when students get straight B's, or even better, in high-school English, pass the state high-school exit exam, and land in remedial English at the local community college or state university. And yet it happens all the time in English and math. Nationally, an alarmingly high number of first-year students in community colleges get shunted into remedial courses.
STATE OMITTING MINORITIES TEST SCORES
A loophole in the No Child Left Behind Act not mentioned:
An Associated Press computer analysis has found that nearly 2 million children whose scores aren't counted when it comes to meeting NCLBs requirement that schools track how students of different races perform on standardized tests. The AP found that states are helping public schools escape potential penalties by skirting that requirement. And minorities -- who historically haven't fared as well as whites in testing -- make up the vast majority of students whose scores are excluded. The Education Department said that while it is pleased that nearly 25 million students nationwide are now being tested regularly under the law, it is concerned that the AP found so many students aren't being counted by schools in the required racial categories.Under the law signed by Bush in 2002, all public school students must be proficient in reading and math by 2014, although only children above second grade are required to be tested. Schools receiving federal poverty aid also must demonstrate annually that students in all racial categories are progressing or risk penalties that include extending the school year, changing curriculum or firing administrators and teachers. The law requires public schools to test more than 25 million students periodically in reading and math. No scores can be excluded from a school's overall measure. But the schools also must report scores by categories, such as race, poverty, migrant status, English proficiency and special education. Failure in any category means the whole school fails. States are helping schools get around that second requirement by using a loophole in the law that allows them to ignore scores of racial groups that are too small to be statistically significant. Suppose, for example, that a school has 2,000 white students and nine Hispanics. In nearly every state, the Hispanic scores wouldn't be counted because there aren't enough to provide meaningful information and because officials want to protect students' privacy. State educators decide when a group is too small to count. And they've been asking the government for exemptions to exclude larger numbers of students in racial categories. Nearly two dozen states have successfully petitioned the government for such changes in the past two years. As a result, schools can now ignore racial breakdowns even when they have 30, 40 or even 50 students of a given race in the testing population.
2007 Patrick J. Buchanan: Corruption in the Schools http://buchanan.org/blog/?p=682
Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind Act mandates "that all children should reach a proficient level of academic achievement by 2014."
Fifty years ago this October, Americans were jolted by the news that Moscow, one year after drowning the Hungarian Revolution in blood, had put an 80-pound satellite into Earth orbit.
In December, the U.S. Navy tried to replicate the feat. Vanguard got four feet off the ground and exploded, incinerating its three-pound payload. America was humiliated. Khrushchev was Man of the Year. Some of us yet recall the Vanguard newsreels and the humiliating laughter.
Stunned, America went to work to improve education in math and science, and succeeded. The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores of high school seniors began to rise, reaching a high in 1964.
However, test scores for high-school students have been falling now for 40 years. In 1984, the Reagan administration issued "A Nation at Risk," documenting the deterioration of American public education.
More trillions of dollars were thrown at the problem. And if one judged by the asserted toughening up of courses and rising grades of seniors, it appeared we had made marvelous progress. On March 4, The Washington Times reported: "In 2005, 17 percent of graduates had completed a 'standard' curriculum, 41 percent completed a 'midlevel' curriculum, and 10 percent completed a 'rigorous' curriculum. Fifteen years earlier, the percentages were 9 percent (standard), 26 percent (midlevel) and 5 percent (rigorous). Grade point averages (GPA) increased, as well. The average overall GPA increased from 2.68 in 1990 to 2.98 (virtually a B level) in 2005.
However, it is all a giant fraud, exposed as such by the performances of high school seniors on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exams known as the "nation's report card." An NAEP test of 12th-grade achievement was given to what the New York Times called a "representative sample of 21,000 high school seniors attending 900 public and private schools from January to March 2005."
What did the tests reveal?
* Since 1990, the share of students lacking even basic reading skills has risen by a third, from 20 percent to 27 percent.
* Only 35 percent of high school seniors have reached a
"proficient" level in reading, down from 40 percent.
* Only 16 percent of black and 20 percent of Hispanic students had reached a proficient level in reading.
* Among high school seniors, only 29 percent of whites, 10
% of Hispanic students and 6 percent of black students were proficient in math.
This is only the half of it. Among the kids whose test scores on reading and math were not factored in were the 25 percent of white students and 50 percent of black and Hispanic kids who had dropped out by senior year. [see pushed out]
Factor the dropouts back in, and what the NAEP test suggests is that, of black kids starting in first grade, about one in eight will be able to read at the level of a high school senior after 12 years, and one in 33 will be able to do the math. Among Hispanic kids, one in 10 will be able to read at a high-school senior level, but only one in 20 will be able to do high-school math.
Why are so many Americans ignorant of the depths of failure of so many schools? As Sailor explains, it is due to government deceit. "Not surprisingly, practically ever single state cheats in order to meet the law" mandating a rising academic proficiency.
"For example, Mississippi ... recently declared that 89 percent of its fourth-graders were at least 'proficient' in reading.
"Unfortunately, however, on the federal government's impartial National Assessment of Education Progress test, only 18 percent of Mississippi students were 'proficient' or 'advanced.'"
Hence, a huge slice of the U.S. educational establishment is complicit in a monstrous fraud that, if you did it in business, would get you several years at the nearby minimum security facility.
This is corruption. Teachers are handing out grades kids do not deserve. States are dumbing down tests to make themselves look good. Voters are being deceived about how much kids are learning.
As the Washington Times noted, according to the Digest of Education Statistics, spending for public education, in constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars, rose from $6,256 a year per student before "A Nation at Risk" to $10,464 in the 2002-2003 school year.
Taxpayers are being lied to and swindled by the education industry, which has failed them, failed America and flunked its assignment - and should be expelled for cheating.
Education INDUSTRY Statistics
The Condition of Education 2007
report by the U.S. Department of Educations National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The
increases in credits earned since the early 1980s are, in large part, a product of more graduates taking
advanced courses. The Condition of Education is a congressionally mandated report that provides an annual
statistical portrait of education in the United States. The 48 indicators included in the report cover all
aspects of education, from student achievement to school environment and from early childhood through
postsecondary education. The report shows that enrollment in U.S. public schools is becoming increasingly
diverse. Minority students make up 42 percent of public school enrollment. Twenty percent of school-age
children speak a language other than English at home. The rate of college enrollment immediately after high
school increased from 49 percent in 1972 to 69 percent in 2005. About three-quarters of the freshman class
graduated from public high schools on time in 200304.
A HALF-CENTURY OF LEARNING: Historical Census Statistics on Educational Attainment in the United States, 1940 - 2000
Source: U.S. Census
2006 New Report, National Spending Per Student Rises to $8,287. U.S. public school districts spent an average of $8,287 per student in 2004, up from the previous year's total of $8,019. In all, public elementary and secondary education received $462.7 billion from federal, state and local sources in 2004, up 5.1 percent from 2003." Summary Direct to Federal, State, and Local Governments 2004 Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NCLB TUTORING
FEW CHILDREN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NCLB TUTORING NYT
Four years after President Bush signed the landmark No Child Left Behind education law, vast numbers of students are not getting the tutoring that
the law offers as one of its hallmarks, reports Susan Saulny. In the nation's largest school district, New York City, fewer than half of the 215,000 eligible students sought the free tutoring, according to figures from the city's Department of Education for the school year that ended in June 2005. Yet New York's participation rate is better than the national
average: across the country, roughly two million public school students were eligible for free tutoring in the school year that ended in 2004, according to the most recent data from the Department of Education, yet only 226,000 -- or nearly 12 percent -- received help. City and state education officials and tutoring company executives disagree on the
reasons for the low participation and cast blame on each other. But they agree that the numbers show that states and school districts have not smoothed out the difficulties that have plagued the tutoring -- known as the supplemental educational services program -- from its start as a novel
experiment in educational entrepreneurship: largely private tutoring paid for with federal money. Officials give multiple reasons for the problems: that the program is allotted too little federal money, is poorly advertised to parents, has too much complicated paperwork for signing up, and that it has not fully penetrated the most difficult neighborhoods, where there are high concentrations of poor, failing students.