Logical and Reasonable Can Be A Treacherous Path

The school year starts.  The campus has a mapped scope and sequence that is aligned to state accountability requirements. If the mapped scope and sequence is followed with rigorous fidelity, state accountability standards will be met or exceeded.   Then the real world happens.  There are weather days; teachers are absent; students don’t pick up…

Pacing Matters

Every year, I talk to principals and teachers that complain about having too much to teach and state test scores that don’t improve, even though the quality of delivered instruction is seemingly improving.   This can actually be the case.  There are two factors at play with state testing. Has all the required content been…

Focus on the Test That Matters

I was working with a Texas secondary campus last Monday. On Thursday, district unit tests were scheduled, in STAAR tested courses. Planned instructional activities for the week were as follows: Unit test review on Tuesday; unit test review on Wednesday; administer the district unit on Thursday.   Here is the brutal math, a mere 5-weeks…

Why Are We Testing in the Spring

  Time for a little crazy talk.   I was recently on a campus that is struggling to meet state accountability requirements.   The campus is not struggling because of weak leadership, poor instruction or unmotivated students. Leadership is engaged, teachers are working, and students are trying. The campus is struggling because the test is…

Why Schools Fail

Are there bad public schools? Absolutely. But schools don’t fail because of bad teachers and bad kids. Schools fail because of leadership failure and/or political design.   Show me a school that is failing, and nine times out of ten it is failing because of one or more of the following reasons:   A Weak…

It’s All About The Test… And It’s Not About The Test At All

Yesterday’s post, “School Performance Drivers – Instruction,” addressed the need to provide teachers with a scope and sequence that is aligned to tested accountability standards. That is fact.  However, that fact releases a torrent of emotions and opinions about testing. On one side, people arguing that education is not about a “TEST.” On the other…

The Third (of Many) Problem with the A-F School Rating System

Last week I wrote that the Texas School Accountability System in its current form is designed to further an anti-public school agenda. There are a host of reasons why this is the case, but today I will focus on only one… Value Added Performance   The Anti-Public School Politician needs a school’s accountability system to…

The Second (of Many) Problem with the A-F School Rating System

Earlier this week, I wrote that the Texas School Accountability System in its current form is morally flawed.   Again, this from a person who believes that school accountability done correctly is good for the profession.   Here is why I know this is the system is morally flawed.   The bureaucrats defending the system…

The First (of Many) Problem with the A-F School Rating System

Yesterday, I wrote that the Texas School Accountability System in its current form is intellectually dishonest.   And, just to remind everybody, I’m a school accountability advocate.   Here is the reason why “intellectually dishonest” is more a statement of fact and less an opinion.   First, there is a significant positive correlation between a…

The Texas A-F School Rating System

This Summer, school leaders is Texas wanted to know if I had an opinion on the Texas A-F School Ranking System. The short answer… Yes, I do.   The longer answer: The Texas A-F Rating system is an intellectually dishonest, morally flawed system. It has been built to further an anti-public school agenda. And it…

School Accountability

I am constantly asked what I think about school accountability. Here is the short answer:   School Accountability is needed and necessary. Without accountability, schools do what is good for some students and create justifications for not doing what is good for students that are difficult to reach. This is not an indictment, simply an…

School Accountability – Backwards and Forwards

The original idea behind school accountability has its roots in the work of Demming and forward thinking stewards of Public Education, such as Rod Paige, Bob Brezina, Sonny Donaldson and Shirley Neeley. They believed that if we are hard-working, deep thinking professionals, we ought to have processes that allow us to maximize outcomes while efficiently…

What’s the Use of a Flawed System

In Texas, the state’s accountability gurus and minders, when pressed, will admit that the state’s accountability system is MORE accurate for schools serving the lower ends of the economic scale than at schools serving the higher ends of the economic scale.   Let that sink in for a minute.   What that means is that…

Top LYS Tweets – May 22, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   For five years U.S. Senator John McCain woke up every…

Top LYS Tweets – May 14, 2018

If you are not following @LYSNation on Twitter, then you missed the Top 10 LYS tweets from the past week when they were first posted.  And if you are on Twitter, you might want to check out the Tweeters who made this week’s list.   There is a simple logic to rating schools A-F. Meaning,…

The Unfair A-F School Accountability Rating

The A-F school accountability rating system is inherently unfair. In spite of the massive spin campaign by our state politicians and TEA employees, when the primary driver of a school’s rating is its poverty level, the system is flawed.   Essentially, the system repeatedly produces the following ratings:   Wealthy Students + Bad Instruction =…

The A-F School Accountability Rating

There is a simple logic to rating schools A-F.  Meaning, that to the Simpleton, an “A” school is exceptional, a “F” school is not, and all the other schools are some shade of “Not Good” or “Not Bad.”   The problem is what exactly are we rating?   Student performance? Maybe.   Campus poverty levels…
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