Saturday, September 25, 2010

Congratulations Cassidy !

Forgive my unabashed bias, but congratulations to the students, faculty, parents and leadership at Cassidy School on their cool Transition Index of 123. Very nice.

This finish places Cassidy back on top among elementary schools in Fayette County.

Other Fayette County Notables include:

Rosa Parks @ 122
Veterans Park @ 119
Scapa At Bluegrass @ 118
Meadowthorpe Elementary @ 117 !
Maxwell Spanish Immersion Elem @ 114
Dixie Elementary Magnet @ 114
Glendover Elementary @ 113
Stonewall Elementary @ 111
And check out ....Ashland Elementary @ 111

And ...All above 100

Athens-Chilesburg Elementary
Clays Mill Elementary
Picadome Elementary
Yates Elementary
Julius Marks Elementary
Sandersville Elementary
Lansdowne Elementary
Liberty Elementary
Squires Elementary
Northern Elementary
Garden Springs Elementary

Overall, the FCPS elementary scores looked pretty strong to me. Yes, I know the popular rhetoric is that we must do more quicker. That's true enough. But some historically unproductive schools have really turned around and that means more children of poverty are getting off to a better start in life.

We all do better when we really try.

In fact only one Fayette County elementary school showed a steady decline in performance and that was the Booker T Washington Academy. The data say that school is going in the wrong direction.

Somewhere....Peggy Petrilli is smiling.

Check out the numbers for your favorite schools at KASC.


Anonymous said...

Peggy Petrelli is smiling. And we all be smiling when Stu Silberman leaves.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous said...

I remember an academic at Harvard University complaining about the Ph.D. octopus at the turn of the century. Quite simply, the learned Harvard professor failed to see the utlity of the newly emerging doctoral degrees.

And so it is with testing. I fail to understand the mania, but I'm aware it is here to stay thanks to George Bush jr. Testing has become the ultimate end-in-itself, our modern day octopus.

Too bad many schools in Fayette County are not measuring up when it comes to testing, in spite of the efforts of Dr. Stu Silberman and his minions.

This viewer eagerly awaits the next episode of "Silberman and Company." Will Stu be the next Michelle Rhee closing poor performing schools and pink slipping teachers he feels have outlived their usefulness? One thing is clear, Stu will not take any of the blame and he will not berate parents for being part of the problem. We can also be certain the Herald-Leader will, as it has done in the past, avoid criticism of Stu or his methods.

Gentle Peggy Petrelli, you have every right to be smiling now. Though you clearly bought into Stu at the beginning, you learned fast what a group of zealous parents could do. It is clear, though, that schools cannot succeed unless there is a principal like you running the show.

Anonymous said...

The elementary scores look pretty strong, except for those schools in north Lexington. Sandersville jumped, Northern held steady and William Wells Brown increased 3 points. BTWA actually went up 2 points. Russell Cave went up, too. Arlington, Mary Todd, Harrison and Deep Springs all fell. In any event, of the 33 elementary schools in Lexington, 7 (our of 9) of the north Lexington schools are in the bottom ten in Fayette County. Bryan Station High is among the worst performing high schools in the state and failed to meet AYP for 8 straight years. Not good. At least the middle schools in that end of town are in better shape.

Richard, since all of these schools are in an area of town that is witnessing a contested board election (Tinsley/Duncan/Barnett), do you think these results may impact that school board race? If I'm not mistaken, Tinsely was on the SBDM at Deep Springs prior to being appointed to the board.

Richard Day said...

A couple of corrections: I incorrectly indicated the scores were available at KASA. That should be KASC. I'll change it. The link is correct however.

The trend is dow2n but September 27, 2010 11:28 AM is correct to say that BTWA gained 2 points this year. BTWA scores look like this:

Booker T Washington Academy Elementary 2007 (96); 2008 (93); 2009 (80); 2010 (82); Projected 2014 (64) Designation: Declining

Test scores contribute to an overall impression of a school district (arguably more than they should, and yet, they are indispensible). America has had what Ellen Lagemenn calls a "romance with quantification." Numbers are esay. They appear to tell "the truth" and are therefore, convincing.

I suppose they could contribute to a school board race if the public tied success (or lack thereof) to an individual candidate. I'm not sure that happens with school counsel members. But I suppose someone might try to make that argument, see how their opponent reacts,and see if it worked. What's the downside?

Universities at the turn of the last century were mostly interested in getting the high school curriculum under the control of (university) educated individuals (using science to benefit "the least of these" among us). These educated elites were to be preferred to the dreadful trustee system (local control by the relatively uneducated, many of whom rejected science in favor of religion) that predeeded it. This was the essential nature of the larger progressive movement which traces its roots to the social gospel movement following the civil war.

Testing is more a matter of science.

In the future, perhaps you will be able to place an electronic cap on your child's head and derive scientifically how much he knows and is able to do. The best we have today are tests. Group tests are very much like polls of other kinds. When used properly, they provide useful estimates to teachers and parents alike.

But they're only so good. And using them beyond their design is irresponsible, an perhaps someday may be found illegal.

I can't tell Bush education policy from Gates education policy from Obama education policy. Duncan has been compared to Margaret Spellings more than once. But Obama has boldly put more a lot more effort into education and seems to be moving the issue to the front burner. Given our nation's economic and educational trajectory, surely this will become a large political issue over the next couple of years.

Bush had the right idea with NCLB testing but he screwed it up. ...and teachers are paying for it.

The thing is....the ideological fight is essentially among Democrats. One group seeks solutions thorugh the schools by turning up the heat. The other says that many factors outside of schools must also be addressed.

I expect "Waiting for Superman" to become a major iconic moment (a la A Nation at Risk).

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure how much stock I put into the KASC projections for 2014, especially for Fayette County. I say this because nobody knows the impact that redistricting will have on BTWA and Sandersville and the impact the new school in Wellington will have. I would hope that kids being moved from Sandersville, where performance has been high, will keep scores at BTWA from declining that dramatically because those kids have already tested well. I just think that this could only help BTWA. Personally, I think this, more than any overcrowding argument, is why FCPS pushed for redistricting in the first place.

Richard Day said...

The interim projections were not designed to responsive to changes like school attendance zone changes. It can only project the current trend and that can certainly be impacted by boundary changes.

Redistricting is intended to balance. Your suspicions may well be correct.