A Reader Asks… So Why are We Collecting Data

A recently relocated LYS Teacher asks the following: SC, “Are we (the campus) using data to help our students improve or are you (leadership) using students to gather more data for your use?” Here’s the background to the above question (which I was “smart” enough to say out loud). In a planning meeting with leadership,…

A LYS Principal Shares… Our STAAR Results

An old school LYS Principal shares her STAAR results. SC, Happy to report that once again, the Foundation Trinity has proven itself to be the Alpha and Omega of school improvement methods.  Check out our results and the results of our two closest peer schools.  And to increase the degree of difficulty (which is how…

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of May 20, 2012

I just came across an app that allows the to student alert the teacher if he or she is confused or needs some assistance. Seemingly a great use of bootleg technology and a tool that makes the teacher more efficient. Except that it isn’t.   The power of bootleg technology isn’t its ability to replace good…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of March 18, 2012

You may have missed it last week but the Encyclopedia Britannica is going all digital from this point forward. Let’s all stop and think about that for a minute. The Brit was a good friend of mine in elementary school. Somewhere around the middle of second grade my teacher figured out that the best way…

A LYS Principal Submits… A Waste of Instructional Time

A frustrated LYS Principal submits the following: One of the many things I learned from E. Don Brown is that there is a simple litmus test for every decision you make as an instructional leader. If it’s good for adults, look carefully, because it is probably bad for kids. As you know, last week, classroom…

A LYS Superintendent Asks… Hot Water?

A LYS Superintendent asks the following: SC, Do you think Commissioner Scott will be in hot water for his Mid-Winter testing remarks? SC Response Here is my analysis of the situation. It is pure conjecture and opinion. I don’t think that there is any hot water. In fact, I think that the comments were a…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of January 29, 2012

Every time I think we are making progress on the understanding of how critical it is to embrace the power and potential of Bootleg Technology (see the post from 1/22/2012), I will see something that reminds me how far we still have to go. I’ll give you two quick examples. Recently, I was visiting a…

STAAR, EOC and Final Grades – Part 2

In response to the 1/10/2012 post, “A Reader Asks… STAAR, EOC and Final Grades,” A LYSer answered: SC, This is a complicated issue with no simple answer. When I say no simple answer, I mean every solution has a potential trap. Remember back in 2008-2009 when TEA tried to come up with a standardized GPA…

Readers Write… STAAR, EOC and Final Grades – Part 1

In response to the 1/10/2012 post, “A Reader Asks… STAAR, EOC and Final Grades,” LYSers answered: SC, Regarding EOC & 15%, be sure to check your local policy EIA. And SC, Perhaps you’ve seen this? It’s ESC 10’s, SYNTHESIS OF FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS RELATED TO 15% REQUIREMENT http://portal.esc20.net/portal/page/portal/doclibraryroot/publicpages/STAAR/STAAR%20Administrators/B023F1FFAD2FB5EFE040640A06874CEC After reading your last post, I thought…

A Reader Asks… STAAR, EOC, Finals and Grades

A LYS Assistant Principal asks: SC, With the new EOC format and state-required 15% of final grade weighted into averages, we are unsure on how to address the awarding of credits at mid-term in the core classes when no score is yet available. If students fail enough in the Fall where they are not able…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of December 18, 2011

And we’re back. Happy New Year’s to all and I hope that you had a safe and restful holiday. In regards to bootleg technology I often get the question, “Where should we start?” Let you people try their bootleg technology at a personal level, first. And this is the best time of the year do…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of December 11, 2011

Christmas Holidays are beginning, so here is my bootleg technology advice for this week. Take this time to start using it. Read an e-book, download some apps, play a game, and/or do some research. Just play with a new gadget and have some fun. Who knows what you might be inspired to try when school…

A Principal Asks… So What is Your Scheduling Alternative

A LYS Principal asks the following: SC, So if eight and nine period days are so awful, what does a good schedule look like? Seven periods? I am loaded with electives, what do I do with those folks? My E/LA department believes and have shown through scores that if they are not blocked that they…

A Superintendent Submits… Why We have to Keep Coaching

A LYS Superintendent submits the following: SC, This is why the work of LYS’ers is nowhere near being complete. I recently was sharing with my staff that based on the early released STAAR test questions, business as usual will not prepare our students to be successful. I pointed out that we are going to have…

The Big Easy Writes… (A Look in the Mirror – Part 2)

In response to the 5/24/11 post “A Look In The Mirror,” The Big Easy writes: SC, I thought your reflection on the TAKS scores was great advice. I am reminded of a couple of quotes: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” Robert Schuller. And several college football coaches have been quoted as saying,…

A Reader Submits… Finance Driven Epiphanies

A LYS principal shares the following:The current finance issue in Texas has lead to some very interesting conversations. One of the conversations this week ended for me in a moment of epiphany. Now, before I start describing this conversation, understand I am not against extracurricular activities. Given sufficient funding, I am for funding everything. But…

A Reader Writes… (Curriculum Myth – Part 2)

In response to the 12/10/2010 post, “Curriculum Myth,” a LYS Principal writes: Sean did a good job of fielding this one. Let’s look at your opening statement: Shouldn’t curriculum, instruction and assessment all be standards-oriented, research-based and data driven? The answer to this question is “YES” From a curriculum theory standpoint, you have the taught…

A Reader Asks… Grading Policy

A LYS reader asks: In light of the new STAAR tests (upcoming Texas state accountability test), don’t we need to look at grading policies. Maybe put more weight on assessment scores rather than teacher created daily work? SC Response Great question. STAAR test or not, we need to look at grading policies, or as I…
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