Sutherland for Schools blog
I believe the key to credible school management begins with fair budgeting of school allocations. My earlier post regarding significant variances on school by school budgets was questioned by some readers who pointed out that the TEA report has different data. The data posted on the "information" page is budgeted data. A better yardstick uses actual expenditures, as the TEA uses (though their data is always an extra year old).
Finally! Last week the district hired and trained 50 more substitute teachers at its hiring fair.
Last night's presentation on student performance as seen by TEA also included a major presentation on our new reading program. Many kids are working at home --even on Christmas day!--even though many households have no internet access.
We have had some conversation about the equity in our funding and programs. There are some interesting disparities:
The New York Review of books for Feb. 9 has a major review of a new book, "The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter," by David Sax. Included in this review is Sax's summary of the results of computer-based learning and the fickle assertion that it will "transform" school districts.
Last week the CIA website posted a screen shot of a lot of links to online training for our elementary teachers. I have asked for an electronic copy of this as well as the instructions she sent out.
There was a major fight yesterday at Southwest High School between four students, a parent of one of the students, and an outside adult. The adults have been arrested. Severe disciplinary action is anticipated for the four girls, especially as it appears this was planned ahead of time.
Principal John Engel has done wonders with the school this year (his 2nd at SHS). But there is little support downtown to remove students from our high schools even when there are many instances of student referrals.
--To get a picture of the scope of the problem in our schools, I did a study two years ago of the office referrals at Paschal over a six-month referral. The worst TEN students at Paschal had 14% of the referrals. One student was caught with marijuana and, on ahother occasion, set a girl's hair on fire. None of these students was sent away from the school.
--last year I begged for money in the budget to provide additional help at the school sites and got zero in our $700 million budget.
This situation will not change until the public insists or until stronger board members are elected.
a high-stakes, standardized test that does not accurately measure student learning. There are also concerns about how the grades in each domain will be calculated. In short, I
> would say that, on the surface, letter grades seem relatively simple. But the calculations behind them are not
– they are complex and difficult to understand.
www.tasanet.org presents the proposed resolution and a list of all districts that have adopted it. I think it will be on the board agenda for Tuesday.
One of the reasons that administrators can "snow" the public with grandiose promises of student growth is that, in general, the public doesn't understand the tremendous range of student performance in the US. In one of my inner-city Oakland (CA) schools years ago, the eighth grade students were three YEARS behind, ON AVERAGE.ItThis is "average" per a recognized, nationally normed achievement test.