It Seems That CSCOPE is the Root of All Evil (Part 1 of 4)

Note: CSCOPE is a vertically aligned scope and sequence used by hundreds of school districts. I’ve been informally following the anti CSCOPE loonies for a while, mostly for entertainment purposes.  I find the anti-CSCOPE’rs to be a lot like the anti-children vaccination parents who seemingly believe, “Science, research and significant benefits aside, my opinions matter…

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…

LYSers Write… Sustained Excellence

In response to the recent posts listing top ten schools the following comments were sent in. First up: SC, I love to see this. As a graduate of Ed White Elementary School, I am glad to know that great education is still taking place in spite of urban challenges. As a matter of fact, my…

Top Ten High Schools – Student Excellence (LYS Performance Score)

The following list presents the ten high schools that had the greatest percentage of their fragile learners score at the commended level on all sections of the TAKS test (2010/2011). 10. Bellaire HS^ (Houston ISD) 9. Cisco HS# (Cisco ISD) 8. Vista Ridge HS^ (Vista Ridge ISD) 7. Palacios HS# (Palacios ISD) 6. Poth HS^…

Top Ten High Schools – Student Competency (LYS Performance Score)

The following list presents the ten high schools that had the greatest percentage of their fragile learners pass all sections of the TAKS test (2010/2011). 10. Plains HS^ (Plains ISD) 9. Petrolia HS# (Petrolia ISD) 8. Pottsboro HS* (Pottsboro ISD) 7. Industrial HS^ (Industrial ISD) 6. Lago Vista HS* (Lago Vista ISD) 5. Harper HS#…

Overall Top Ten Texas High Schools – LYS Performance Scores

The following list represents the top ten high schools that had the highest performance over adversity scores for the 2010/2011 school year. 10. Rivera High School^ (Brownsville ISD) 9. Lee High School^ (Houston ISD) 8. Del Valley High School# (Ysleta ISD) 7. Hastings High School^ (Alief ISD) 6. Skyline High School^ (Dallas ISD) 5. North…

Top Ten Middle & Junior High Schools – Student Excellence (LYS Performance Score)

The following list presents the ten middle and junior high schools that had the greatest percentage of their fragile learners score at the commended level on all sections of the TAKS test (2010/2011). 10. Stevenson MS# (Houston ISD) 9. Lago Vista MS# (Lago Vista ISD) 8. Garcia MS# (Fort Bend ISD) 7. Veterans MS* (Rio…

Top Ten Middle & Junior High Schools – Student Competency (LYS Performance Score)

The following list presents the ten middle and junior high schools that had the greatest percentage of their fragile learners pass all sections of the TAKS test (2010/2011). 10. Timpson MS# (Timpson ISD) 9. Pin Oak MS* (Houston ISD) 8. Veterans MS* (Rio Grande City ISD) 7. Whitewright MS* (Whitewright ISD) 6. Austin MS* (Galveston…

Top Ten Elementary Schools – Student Excellence (LYS Performance Score)

The following list presents the ten elementary schools that had the greatest percentage of their fragile learners score at the Commended level on all sections of the TAKS test (2010/2011). 10. Dyess ES* (Abilene ISD) 9. Aloe ES# (Victoria ISD) 8. Gonzalez ES* (Edinburg CISD) 7. Homer Drive ES* (Beaumont ISD) 6. Devers ES# (Devers…

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…

Quit with the Early Benchmarks

My head nearly exploded last week, and it wasn’t due to the sinus infection that I am currently fighting. I was in two different districts during the 2nd week of school where they had already shut down instruction to give a release TAKS to every student, to see where they are. At these struggling, high…

An Exercise in Coaching Dialogue – The Summative Evaluation

A lot of non-LYS’ers ask me what exactly we do and why do principals use us. My answer is always the same, “We believe in successful schools, teachers and principals. We build that success though coaching and honest dialogue.” Below is one example of what this looks like. It is a conversation between me and…

A Reader Writes… (A Look in the Mirror – Part 3)

In response to the 5/24/11 post “A Look In The Mirror,” a LYS Principal writes: SC, You know our TAKS scores were not great. But we did have a 130% increase in the number of students who passed all sections of the test! SC Response Your campus is a great example of three important concepts.…

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 Writes… (A Look in the Mirror – Part 1)

In response to the 5/24/11 post “A Look In The Mirror,” a LYS Principal writes: The ‘troop rallying’ has already begun. During a post-TAKS conference, I reminded an individual teacher not to define herself by just two numbers. I was actually proud of her sincere disappointment at the sub-pop scores in her grade and content…

A TAKS Autopsy

A LYS Principal shares her TAKS autopsy for the just completed school year. Math results: Economic disadvantage, +1 percentage point; Hispanic, + 4% percentage points. Science: Economic disadvantage, +12 percentage points. Hispanic, +17 percentage points. ELA and Social Studies scores: All populations increased; All populations scoring at the recognized or exemplary level; Overall commended rates…

Pulling out the Rug that was TPM

If you are a regular reader you know that I have never been a fan of TPM. I believed that it was cheap political stunt that was bad for students and bad for schools (but it did help to get the Governor re-elected). A lot of grief that people are experiencing at this time would…

A Look in the Mirror

TAKS scores have been released to districts. And the reality of a world without TPM has cast a pall over schools and districts. And that’s OK. Remember that TAKS is just a program review. It tells us how well we taught the material this year and how many students mastered the material this year. TPM…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of May 1, 2011

I regularly have educators tell me that they want me to advocate for their district to provide them with cell phones, laptops and now I-Pads. And I always respond by telling them I can think of no idea that could be more career damaging. Not to my career, but to theirs. For years I have…

Top LYS Tweets from the Week of April 17, 2011

I’ll keep it short and to the point today. Bootleg technology is the real answer to 1:1 computing, stretching limited budget dollars, and keeping classrooms relevant in an ever-changing world. Now for the LYS’ers in Texas, go kick the last TAKS week square in the teeth. A number of you in the LYS Nation are…

Doc Seabolt Writes… (Common Assessment Data Analysis – Part 2)

In response to the 2/23/2011 post, “Common Assessment Data Analysis – Part 1,” Doc Seabolt writes: As to the first paragraph, I have to admit I am not familiar with “Test Blueprint,” however, I do agree with the writer, in theory. That is, it is certainly possible to construct an assessment instrument that tests at…

A TAKS Reminder From the LYS Elementary Coaching Team

LYS Coaches Lesa Cain and Barbara Fine share the following: The first round of TAKS (for Elementary and Middle School) is in the books. Some of you improved and some didn’t, but it is time to focus on what really counts for your accountability – the 2nd round. Those of you that we had the…

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 LYS Principal’s Open Letter to the Governor

The following was written by LYS Principal, Dr. Jerry Burkett. Governor Perry, I want to take this opportunity to invite you to my school. I am fortunate to lead a mid-sized elementary school in North Texas that is poised for greatness this school year. Although this is only my first year to lead my school,…

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…

Crunch Time Campus Common Assessments

I was meeting with two LYS school leaders (Suzy Meyers and Gail Ownby) yesterday and the conversation turned to data, assessments and the 30 days left until the state tests. Suzy has some areas of concern on her campus and needed a way to get timely data and ensure that classes are both catching up…

An Open Letter to LYS Principals

The following is a timely reminder from Lesa Cain and Barbara Fine (former LYS Principals, current LYS Coaches): TAKS writing is on Tuesday, March 1st. From January 18 to February 28 there are 30 days. Double and triple check your writing plan. 30 days will FLY by, so get on top of this now. Are…

A Reader Asks… Common Assessment Data Analysis

A LYS Teacher sent the following to a LYS Coach Lesa, I have a question that enters my mind every time I start analyzing data from our common assessments. Why do we not count the kiddos in our data that make between a 60 and an 80? For example, with these tests being 10 questions,…

Readers Ask… More Assessment Questions

There is a LYS district in Texas that is in the midst of implementing common assessments. The district is taking the lead on the six weeks assessments (awesome); the campuses are taking the lead on the three weeks assessments (awesomer). The following is a correspondence between the curriculum specialists (and new LYS’ers) and me that…

A Reader Asks… Special Case Common Assessments

A LYS Reader from Texas asks: Sean, We are implementing short-term common assessments in our district. But we just hit the wall on an issue and we don’t know what we should do. All we know is that we don’t want to mess this up. What do we do for the advanced student who is…
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