Misalignment of Expectations

School leaders, here is some prep work you need to do in order to have some strategic, purposeful conversations with individual staff members prior to the school year getting away from us.   Make a list of the students who failed last year’s content specific state accountability tests and/or the district’s end of the year…

The School Calendar

I see this happen every year, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why smart people make the same mistake over and over again.   The state has an accountability test that is administered sometime between mid-April and mid-May.  The dates of these tests are published at least a year in advance.…

A Reader Asks… Checkpoints After The STAAR Test

NOTE: I know that the 2018/2019 school year is now over.  I’m posting this now so you can set up the practice for the 2019/2020 school year.   A LYS Principal asks the following:   SC,   We’re about to do them, but I thought we should check in first. Should we continue with our 3-week…

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…

Top LYS Tweets – April 22, 2019

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.   “Vouchers are corrupt.” (By @pastors4txkids)   More children were shot…

Top LYS Tweets – April 15, 2019

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.   Only 5% of praise statements from teacher to student are…

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…

Yet Another Stupid Public Education Idea From The Texas Senate

The Texas Senate, led by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, has proposed yet another stupid idea that combines everything that wrong with both Texas school funding and accountability.   Base campus funding on performance on the state accountability test (STAAR).   This is the same accountability test that has a significant positive performance correlation to the…

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…

Top LYS Tweets – November 26, 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.   How you teach, the daily instructional choices you make, either…

Top LYS Tweets – November 19, 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.   Leadership tip: Point out disappointing results. “We aren’t getting adequate…

Don’t Believe the Political BS About Public Schools

Recently, a political operative masquerading as an expert on education unleashed the following in the social-mediaverse…   “Today, 606,000 Texas children will sit in D and F rating (sic) schools, were (sic) they are not learning to read or do math at grade level. Is this fair to them? Do they deserve a choice? 1,279…

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…

Top LYS Tweets – October 8, 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.   Until the school grading system measures adult work as accurately…

Top LYS Tweets – October 1, 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.   The most important thing I learned in Kindergarten today. First,…

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…

Top LYS Tweets – September 10, 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.   Schools are better today than they were yesterday. How do…

Top LYS Tweets – September 4, 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.   Hey, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick! Why won’t you debate…

Top LYS Tweets – July 23, 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.   When did we start judging the quality of a man…

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…

So What Actually Is the Problem

There has been a lot of noise around the fact that more students have to take remedial courses in college than ever before.   The Anti-Public School’ers use this fact as a proof point that public schools are failing.   Higher Ed types use this fact as a reason to shake a condescending finger at…

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,…
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