For the record, I am an advocate for school accountability. I believe in keeping score, raising the bar and the constant pursuit (and redefining) of excellence. I love winning. But more importantly, I don’t fear losing. There is a profound sense of calm that comes when you give your absolute all and still come up short. For a brief time, your limit is clear and your next goal is just sitting there, barely beyond your grasp. That being said, I also recognize that nearly all school ranking systems suffer from a mathematical and philosophical flaw that make their objective use nearly impossible. The flaw? Nearly all rating systems are weighted to benefit schools with the greatest number of affluent students. In practical terms, this means that affluent schools are under assessed and poor schools are over assessed. You are, of course, encouraged to debate this, but do know that I have been studying this bias to systems for a long, long time. Now, as experienced LYSers know, it is poor leadership to point out problems and not have a viable solution or recommended course of action. So as many of you are aware, and as was alluded to in the 1/12/2012 post, “The Power of LYS Doctrine,” we have a campus ranking solution. LYS ranks campuses based on their performance in the face of adversity. Essentially, the tougher row you have to hoe, the more credit you receive. Some of the adversity factors that are considered in the LYS formula include grade levels, campus size, LEP populations, Economic Disadvantage populations, true academic competency, and true academic excellence. We don’t share this information with the general public (and even most educators) because, frankly, most people don’t understand what we are measuring, why we are measuring it, and how to interpret the results. However, a number of you have requested that I share the Top 10 list (Texas) just so you know what is the standard and what schools you should chase. That argument is appealing and is in line with my competitive nature. So, over the next couple of days I will present the schools in Texas that are the tops in getting exceptional student performance in the face of significant external adversity. First up, the overall top ten elementary schools (2010/2011). 10. Sutton Elementary* (Houston ISD) 9. Aoy Elementary* (El Paso ISD) 8. Kennedy Elementary* (Houston ISD) 7. White Elementary* (Houston ISD) 6. JP Henderson Elementary* (Houston ISD) 5. Ramirez Elementary* (Rio Grande City ISD) 4. Park Place Elementary* (Houston ISD) 3. Hobby Elementary* (Houston ISD) 2. Lyons Elementary* (Houston ISD) 1. Field Elementary# (Dallas ISD) * = TEA Exemplary / # = TEA Recognized Think. Work. Achieve. Your turn…

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  • Upcoming 2012 Presentations: Oklahoma Association of Middle School Principal’s Mid-Winter Conference; Region 16 ESC Leadership Academy (Keynote Address); NASSP Conference; NASB Conference