DJUSD High Performing But That’s Apparently Not Good Enough

schoolscat.pngHow does one have high performing schools as rated by the California Department of Education (CDE) and yet fall into the category of “Year One Program Improvement” under the federal No Child Left Behind Law (NCLB)?  That is the puzzle that is the federal legislation that has been a subject of much controversy for several years now – and things are about to get much worse, especially in California where funding is collapsing due to statewide economic problems.

So here’s the skinny.  The Academic Performance Index (API) compiles scores out of a possible 1000 points).  Any school that rates over 800 is considered by the CDE to be a “high performing school.”  Davis not surprising has had every school in the district achieve in that range.

However, the system is set up as a sliding scale, the better you do, the higher the expectation for the future.  And so when Montgomery Elementary fell in their franking from 869 to 847 it placed them into the Year One Program Improvement under the NCLB.

Does that make a lot of sense?  The Enterprise reported on Tuesday that the Montgomery did not meet all of the new benchmarks under the NCLB specifically student proficiency percentages for Hispanic students, low SES students, and English learners.

The Enterprise explained in Tuesday’s paper that even schools with rankings over 800 are given bench marks that they must hit and show steady improvement in test schools.  One can of course debate whether it is practical or even possible for high achieving schools to hit continual growth targets.

Explained Assistant Superintendent Clark Bryant:

“Even when we demonstrate increased (student) proficiency … in some cases it may not keep pace with the rising expectations of NCLB.”

So at Montgomery while the number of English Learner students who were proficient increased at a higher rate than the subgroup population itself grew, it was unable to grow fast enough to meet the new bench mark.

As we learned from an article back in December of 2008, the the targets for English-proficiency go up and they go up fast.  So in 2006-07 that number was 22.3 percent of the students–a standard that most California high schools met and DJUSD exceeded by plenty.  However the growth rate goes up fast and to levels that appear to be completely unrealistic.

By 2007-08 the expectionat was 33.4 percent proficient, for 2008-09, 44.5 percent proficient.  By 2011-12, the number reaches 77.8, then 88.9 and then in the final year, it calls for 100 percent of high school students to be proficient in English-language arts–where no one can flunk and no one can drop out.

I want high achievement as much as the next one, but the idea that we can obtain 100% is ludicrous.  The idea that we can obtain those kinds of score increases over a five year period is ludicrous.  And that doesn’t even take into account the economic and fiscal realities.

Those that do not reach these requirements over a period of time go into the category “Program Improvement”–a program that is extremely controversial.

As the Enterprise reported in December:

“The long list of benchmarks each district must meet under NCLB creates plenty of opportunities for a school district to run afoul of expectations. Even a high-scoring district like Davis, in which all schools are considered “high performing” by the state, with a ranking of 800 or higher in the state’s Academic Performance Index, is likely to run into problems with NCLB in the next few years.”

And now Montgomery is in that category despite being the in the high achieving category for five years in a row.  Such things make little sense and the sense is that by 2014 more and more schools will go into Program Improvement status in Davis and elsewhere.  What that means remains to be seen at this point.  But clearly something is amiss in a measurement system that would put that kind of burden on high achieving school districts.

Achievement Gap Grows in Davis

Meanwhile, the achievement gap in California shrank slightly in the data released by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell.  Said Mr. O’Connell:

“The API results also show a slight narrowing of the achievement gap that historically has left Hispanic or Latino and African American students trailing behind their peers who are white or Asian. I am delighted to see this trend of progress continue.”

More important than perhaps closing the gap, all students improved on their scores at the state level.

According to a release from CDE and Superintendent O’Connell:

“The 2009 API report shows that all student subgroups statewide demonstrated improvement between 11 and 15 points. African American, Hispanic or Latino, and socioeconomically disadvantaged students increased their API this year by 15 points, while the API of white students increased by 14 percentage points and the statewide increase for all students was 14 points. Despite this slight narrowing between subgroups, white, and Asian students continue to have significantly higher API scores, a major indicator of the achievement gaps that persist in California schools.”

However, in Davis the news was less good as not only did the gap widen but the the gap widened because of falling scores.

According to the Enterprise, the API for African-American students fell by 8 points to 753, for Hispanic students it fell by 10 points to 734, for SES disadvantaged students it fell by 11 points to 714, and for English Learners it fell by 17 points to 737.  Meanwhile Asian Students’ API rose to 939 and white students rose to 894.

A few years ago closing the Achievement Gap was one of the top priorities for the district.  I don’t want to suggest that these efforts fell by the wayside as a result of the fiscal crisis, but it seems obvious that the fiscal crisis had to have more immediate attention.  Moreover economic cuts are likely to hurt those students at greater risk first and more severely.  Given that, it is somewhat surprising to see that the achievement gap shrunk slightly and scores rose modestly at the state level.

In May, the Vanguard had asked Superintendent what he would rather be working on rather than the budget crisis, his response was telling:

“I would rather be working on ways to develop more instructional practices at every site for kids that are not achieving at grade level—particularly for Hispanic/ Latino children or African-American children who traditionally don’t score as well on our STAR assessments.  I wish I had more time to focus on the instructional leadership and best practices and provide more embedded professional development for teachers and classified staff to support students slipping through the cracks.”

As we might surmise, if students are falling through the cracks in a relatively wealthy district that while it has not gone through economic crisis unscathed, but has weathered the storm better than other districts, what is likely to happen in many of the poorer districts?

Overall, while I certainly understand the need for high performing schools to improve, from my standpoint if the district is going to focus its limited resources it ought to be focused on the achievement gap rather than the fact that Montgomery went from one level to a slightly lower level but still in the high performance category.  The system is not set up well for this however.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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50 Comments

  1. wdf

    Program Improvement under NCLB and the achievement gap are related issues. Montgomery elementary did not meet the federal NCLB targets for English language learner students or low socio-economic status students, although it actually did meet the target for Hispanic students. But Montgomery also did not meet the state targets for Hispanic students, nor did it meet the state targets for English language learners or low socio-economic status. It is very likely that these three groups intersect significantly as students from lower income families who mostly speak Spanish at home. But not all Hispanic students come from lower income families or are English language learners.

    There is an achievement gap between whites/Asian students and Hispanic/latino students, as well as between white/Asian and African American. If DJUSD can succeed in raising the scores for those students in the near future, then it will have also made progress toward closing the achievement gap for those groups (English language learners, Hispanic/latino students, and lower income students).

    This link is for the 2009 federal NCLB/AYP (adequately yearly progress) data for Montgomery:

    [url]http://api.cde.ca.gov/AcntRpt2009/2009APRSchAYPOverview.aspx?allcds=57726786118905[/url]

    This link is for the 2009 state API data for Montgomery:

    [url]http://api.cde.ca.gov/AcntRpt2009/2009GrowthSch.aspx?allcds=57726786118905[/url]

  2. wdf

    This is what happens when a school doesn’t meet AYP (adequately yearly progress) targets under NCLB:

    [url]http://www.educationsector.org/supplementary/supplementary_show.htm?doc_id=511103[/url]

    Apparently DJUSD has a year to figure out how to correct things on its own. If it fails to improve things, then further restrictions kick in.

  3. wdf

    If you are a subscriber to the Davis Enterprise and you log in to their website and you then go to this address —

    [url]http://www.davisenterprise.com/archive_pdfs/2008/20081214/pdfs/C1.pdf[/url]

    you’ll find a Dec. 14, 2008, pg. C1 article by Jeff Hudson explaining how NCLB works in this case. In the 2009 STAR test, at least 45% of students in all categories were expected to perform at proficient or above. This coming school year, 56% are expected to meet expectations. The percentage continues to go up each year.

  4. Frankly

    In terms of performance measures, it doesn’t matter what you did only what you are doing. NCLB is not perfect, but it is better than the non-existent school performance measured we had before.

    As for the increased achievement gap, I think this is a more important and possibly more relevant indication of school performance. Those of us with experience in the Davis public school system know that the high test scores are not so much a function of extra teaching quality as they are a function of the high percentage of academically gifted student, and involved academically gifted parents. In fact, this appears to be somewhat detrimental to the educational experience of the less academically gifted and less parental-involved child as the bar is set for the required level of educational and administrative help.

    Frankly, all the smart, involved Davis parents and the smart and parentally-assisted Davis students make the job of Davis school teachers and administrators easier, and they unconsciously and passively “take it out” on those students and families that lack the same resources because of the extra challenges they present. Certainly Davis parent’s high involvement provides challenges to Davis teachers and I hear the complaints about it from my Davis teacher friends. However, what job today does not have a supply of difficult customers? For the job of a teacher, it takes extra teacher effort to deal with involved parents while polishing the rocks into gems while also still attending to the existing supply of diamonds. This is why achievement gap measures are important and why pay for performance is necessary to raise the quality of education for the students that need it the most.

  5. Against Big Brother

    This is what happens when you allow the federal gov’t to interfere with what should be a state issue. The federal system is silly beyond belief. Once a school hits a certain level of proficiency, that should be good enough. Otherwise the school system will have to spend inordinate amounts of money for very little improvement.

    Funny how the Davis schools have a degrading achievement gap, right after closing Valley Oak Elementary School, which had the best ESL program! The DJUSD/School Board shot themselves in the foot when they chose to close Valley Oak. But of course we all know how much more important it was for Da Vinci to be housed at Valley Oak, right?

  6. question

    “Funny how the Davis schools have a degrading achievement gap, right after closing Valley Oak Elementary School, which had the best ESL program!”

    Did they fire all the people running that ESL program? Are they still employed in the district? If so, I would think those people are continuing to benefit the students who go to Davis schools.

  7. ol timer

    to DPD:
    I appreciate that this posting is not on-subject but I fear that the opportunity to comment on-subject on the WHR ballot statement issue may not be seen very often in the next 7 WEEKS before the voters go to the polls to cast their vote on Measure P. It is clear that the poster interest in these issues has been extraordinary and my reading of them suggests that a Measure P victory has not been advanced by the Vanguard offering the voters a vehicle for open “dialogue”.

    David… you suggested that everyone “cool it” concerning the ballot statement and that we would all be satisfied with the outcome of your reported on-going “negotiations”. This was some time ago and it is now just 7 weeks before the election. As far as I can tell, nothing has been offered to the voters concerning this and you have written nothing further about your reassurance concerning the upcoming changes to the ballot statement. It does appear as if the plan is to “run out the clock” and your silence is deafening.

  8. David M. Greenwald

    We just ran two stories on WHR, I think the appropriate place to have raised this issue would have been there. I wrote that because at that point the issues were not finalized, especially the fiscal analysis, there was a lot of speculation and it seemed that a lot of the issues would be settled–some of them were, some of them were not–I’d prefer to keep this as an education thread, this is the first article I have written on DJUSD in a long time. At this point the issues are what they are, I tried to present to the best of my ability issues that were raised at the meetings on Monday and Tuesday. I would say at this point, what is out there is what you’re going to get, so go to the article from yesterday and lay out the issues you want to see. You are also welcome to submit a guest commentary for publication as well.

  9. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]Funny how the Davis schools have a [u]degrading[/u] achievement gap, right after closing Valley Oak Elementary School, which had the best ESL program![/quote]Degrading?

    It seems likely to me that one year performance measures, up or down over the previous year, should not have high statistical relevance. It’s entirely possible a 30 point increase or decrease in any one subgroup’s API scores are just statistical blips.

    [i]”According to the Enterprise, the API for African-American students fell by 8 points to 753, for Hispanic students it fell by 10 points to 734, for SES disadvantaged students it fell by 11 points to 714, and for English Learners it fell by 17 points to 737.”[/i]

    Expressed in percentage terms, these are the changes:

    A-A: -1.05%
    Hisp: -1.34%
    EL: -2.25%

    None of those [i]declines[/i] seems all that worrisome to me. The bigger questions are 1) what does the trend show over 3, 4 and 5 years? And, 2) if there is a performance gap (beyond that which is caused by factors outside of the classroom), are there proven teaching methods (or curriculum decisions) being used by other districts to erase it that we should be copying? Likewise, are there teachers within our district whose methods are especially effective at bringing up the scores of underperformers whose methods ought to be copied by their peers?

  10. Frankly

    are there proven teaching methods (or curriculum decisions) being used by other districts to erase it that we should be copying? Likewise, are there teachers within our district whose methods are especially effective at bringing up the scores of underperformers whose methods ought to be copied by their peers?

    I agree that this could be a statistical blip and possibly too small of a deviation to justify the action, but why would any school ask these questions and seek these improvements without NCLB?

  11. Frankly

    are there proven teaching methods (or curriculum decisions) being used by other districts to erase it that we should be copying? Likewise, are there teachers within our district whose methods are especially effective at bringing up the scores of underperformers whose methods ought to be copied by their peers?

    I agree that this could be a statistical blip and possibly too small of a deviation to justify the action, but why would any school ask these questions and seek these improvements without NCLB?

  12. ol timer

    “I think the appropriate place to have raised this issue would have been there.”

    As to your explanation, your posting some time ago strongly suggested to me(and others?) that you knew something about on-going plans to “fix” the ballot statement which was THE issue being discussed. I therefore waited some time before writing this post. Your suggestion that its correct location would have been to add it to the thread now cold and,I would guess, rarely visited was obviously not my choice.

  13. David M. Greenwald

    I think there have been as many if not more comments in yesterday’s thread as today’s on this day. What I suggested when I posted that is that there were talks under way, I didn’t know what the outcome would be. The result of those talks were an agreement with the city to create fiscal neutrality.

  14. Johny Kozol

    No Child Left Behind was the classic Bush years kind of do exactly the opposite of what it says nonsense. It was a term coined by the Children Defense Fund and coopted by Bush. NCLB was always school reform on the cheap to make it look like Bush was doing something when in reality it was always about funneling money to the test publishers at McGraw-Hill, busting the teachers unions and the promotion of Charter Schools. The targets you talk about culminating in 100% proficiency in 2014 were always unacheivable but were in the legislation from the get go. The idea was to dump it on Bush’s successor so Bush could benefit politically from the run up in scores that was sure to occur as the schools adapted to the program. By ramping up the targets in the out years Bush could claim that we were on a path toward literacy without spending the kind of money it would really take to address the underpreformance of minority and poor subgroups. The punitive consequences of noncompliance would lead to demands for reform and more charter schools and nonunion style institutions. Why Ted Kennedy signed on I have never understood.

  15. Rich Rifkin

    [quote]No Child Left Behind was the classic Bush years kind of do exactly the opposite of what it says nonsense. It was a term coined by the Children Defense Fund and coopted by Bush.[/quote] You should not underestimate the role Ted Kennedy played in crafting NCLB. Here is a recent article which describes how Kennedy designed the program. ([url]http://educationfrontblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/08/ted-kennedy-and-no-child-left.html[/url]) While I personally think that the notion of treating all children the same — treating them as if everyone should get a college prep education in their K-12 years and presuming that those who don’t get or want a college prep education have failed — is a mistake, there is a systemic benefit to demanding better performance from schools in general. The greater your expectations, the greater your outcomes. Were it up to me, though, I would change the focus of what should be expected of students, based on what the student (and his family) wants to get out of his K-12 education. If that means learning a trade, for example, then being judged on his progress toward college prep makes little sense to me.

  16. DonShor

    There was nothing all that wrong with NCLB in principle, it was just severely underfunded. For that matter, there is nothing really wrong with charter schools in principle either. The more education choices the better. My kids both benefited from alternative options, although in our case it was within the system (-)SIS). The problem comes when funding for one school option comes at the expense of another. I also agree with Rich that a bias toward college prep schooling is unfortunate. There should be more vocational options at all levels.

  17. Anon

    “Funny how the Davis schools have a degrading achievement gap, right after closing Valley Oak Elementary School, which had the best ESL program!”

    “Did they fire all the people running that ESL program? Are they still employed in the district? If so, I would think those people are continuing to benefit the students who go to Davis schools.”

    You cannot disband an entire program, and then “resurrect it” somewhere else at the same level of excellence. It just doesn’t work that way. It will take time to rev up the ESL program to where it was before.

    “It seems likely to me that one year performance measures, up or down over the previous year, should not have high statistical relevance. It’s entirely possible a 30 point increase or decrease in any one subgroup’s API scores are just statistical blips.”

    And it is also just as possible (and more likely) the degradation was the result of the closure of Valley Oak, and the best ESL program in town.

  18. Anon

    “There was nothing all that wrong with NCLB in principle, it was just severely underfunded. For that matter, there is nothing really wrong with charter schools in principle either. The more education choices the better.”

    I agree. I’m all for charter schools – it gives a bit of competition to the public school system, which is sadly lacking. In the inner cities, charter schools are making a real difference. Da Vinci is now a charter school, so that it can stay afloat financially, and not be the first one eliminated bc of budget cuts.

    I have no problem with the federal gov’t setting basic standards that all schools should strive for, and have students tested nationally. I don’t even have a problem with repercussions if a school is not adequate. What I do have a problem with is a sytem that requires constant improvement, even if the school is already sufficiently good. All that does is allow the federal gov’t to meddle where it doesn’t belong, and push for more funding in the classroom for schools that really don’t need it. That is really what is at play here.

  19. Frankly

    There was nothing all that wrong with NCLB in principle, it was just severely underfunded.

    It is interesting how there is little discussion at the national level for just how little return we get on our public school investment. According to UNESCO, in 2005 the US spent about 22% of GDP per capita on primary school education. This is slightly over the average for all of North America and Western Europe. Germany and France by example spend less than 17% of GDP.

    It is also interesting that Obama and the Democrats have selected the “crisis in healthcare” as their first social (ideological?) battle and not education.

    All we hear at the local and national level is that schools and related programs are underfunded and teachers are underpaid. This is often the excuse given for dismal school performance especially in inner cities. So, from the current Democrat strategy, we should pump more money into a public education system that is failing the majority while we gut and dismantle a private healthcare system that works for the majority.

    I feel another tea party coming on.

  20. skeptic

    “And it is also just as possible (and more likely) the degradation was the result of the closure of Valley Oak, and the best ESL program in town.”

    On what basis do you say that Valley Oak had the best ESL program?

  21. skeptic

    “All we hear at the local and national level is that schools and related programs are underfunded and teachers are underpaid.”

    It’s a reality, locally. Davis schools cut ~$5 million already with another $3+ million scheduled for cuts this coming round.

    This is the starve the beast strategy that some conservatives have hoped for. I suppose there’s cause for some to celebrate.

    With shrinking revenues available, utilitarian strategies usually win the day. Helping at risk kids is more expensive and doesn’t fit this model.

    I’m impressed that DJUSD even managed to raise its overall API score on less money, but not surprised that scores for ELL, lower income, hispanic students fell.

    “I feel another tea party coming on.”

    yeah, whatever…

  22. Johny Kozol

    Jeff you are misunderstanding the data. Figure 1 show the percent of GDP spent on education. For the North America and Europe about 1.5% for primary and 5.6% total.

    Figure 2 shows the percentage of the per capita GDP to educate one person. So what they are saying is if you divide GDP by the population you get GDP per capita. If you divide that by the cost of educating one person you get cost of education per capita as a percent of the total. Since only a fraction of the population is in school at any point in time the cost to society is much lower as reflected in figure 1.

    Still your point about how Europe spends less per capita is an interesting one but can be the result of many factors although just looking at the figures alone doesn’t explain the reason for the differential.

  23. Anon

    “All we hear at the local and national level is that schools and related programs are underfunded and teachers are underpaid. This is often the excuse given for dismal school performance especially in inner cities. So, from the current Democrat strategy, we should pump more money into a public education system that is failing the majority while we gut and dismantle a private healthcare system that works for the majority. I feel another tea party coming on.”

    Right on! I’ll bring the tea. Can you bring cups? Let’s PARTY!

  24. skeptic

    “”On what basis do you say that Valley Oak had the best ESL program?”

    This is well known in this town, a fact which came out during the fight to save Valley Oak.”

    That’s not evidence, that’s hearsay generated by school pride and propoganda. Do you assert that Valley Oak’s API scores for English language learners were consistently higher than Montgomery’s or Patwin’s?

  25. Frankly

    Jeff you are misunderstanding the data.

    Johny, I do understand the data. This is a more accurate measure for comparing the cost to educate. Your comment “can be the result of many factors” is also true for simply counting the total national cost of education compared to the GDP. Taking it down to a cost per student compared to the percent of GDP per capita provides us a better indication of the true relative cost.

    The US total cost of education as a percent of GDP, despite from being higher than most countries that consistently demonstrate better education results, is a media-propped farce in support of leftist dogma and teachers unions. You want an example of media bias…then ask yourself why we don’t read about our education costs relative to our education performance? ALL we hear and read about is the tragedy of underfunding. If not bias, then at least this is proof of gross negligence from our esteemed profession of journalism.

    But, to placate the concern about “other factors” causing the percent of GDP per capita comparison, just compare the actual cost per student and what we pay teachers…

    Take a look at this table for a comparison of what countries spend on primary school:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_spe_per_pri_sch_stu-spending-per-primary-school-student

    And this table for the costs for secondary school:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_spe_per_sec_sch_stu-spending-per-secondary-school-student

    Now take a look at this table for a comparison for what teachers make:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_pri_tea_sal_per_hou_aft_15_yea-per-hour-after-15-years

    Out of the 21 countries at the top, we have the 3rd higher per student cost for primary school, the 4th highest cost for secondary school, and the 8th highest teacher pay.

    Now check out math, science and reading literacy where the US is 18th, 14th and 15th respectively:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_mat_lit-education-mathematical-literacy
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_sci_lit-education-scientific-literacy
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_rea_lit-education-reading-literacy

    Certainly there are state and local issues with funding, but the bigger picture tells us that US public education is providing us a dismal return on investment. We spend about 3-times the national average on DC public schools and they have some of the absolute worst student performance results.

    What irks me more than anything is the Democrats’ success at moving the national discourse from the crisis in education to a manufactured false healthcare “crisis” (we have problems, but not a crisis) just to seize the moment and win the Ted Kennedy liberal Democrat contest for achieving socialized European-style healthcare. Every child that is failed by our public schools is a huge personal tragedy for that child and his family. People without health insurance will get critical care. A child that misses the education boat will forever be scarred with a much more challenging life: lower prosperity, less happiness and lower life expectancy.

    I still feel like throwing a tea party.

  26. Lipton

    “Right on! I’ll bring the tea. Can you bring cups? Let’s PARTY!”

    Absolutely! Bring out the good china, sugar, and cream. Let’s all look like effete whining tea drinkers who think that the problems of the day are too big to solve.

  27. skeptic

    “We spend about 3-times the national average on DC public schools and they have some of the absolute worst student performance results.”

    So DC schools are still not improving, even with the new policies of DC schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee? I thought I had read that DC schools had improved in the last year or two, but I don’t remember the source.

  28. anonymous

    “Absolutely! Bring out the good china, sugar, and cream. Let’s all look like effete whining tea drinkers who think that the problems of the day are too big to solve.”

    I always used to think tea was somewhat of a typical liberal beverage. Now I’m supposed to think of it as an anti-tax conservative drink. That’s a tough one for me. That’s a bit of miscalculated symbolism on the part of the movement.

  29. Frankly

    I always used to think tea was somewhat of a typical liberal beverage. Now I’m supposed to think of it as an anti-tax conservative drink. That’s a tough one for me. That’s a bit of miscalculated symbolism on the part of the movement.

    We are talking kegs and steins of iced-tea to help cool down all the hot heads… not those little porcelain cups filled with the luke warm version and handled with protruding pinky fingers.

    I assume you know the real symbolism, but just in case… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party

  30. Frankly

    So DC schools are still not improving, even with the new policies of DC schools chancellor, Michelle Rhee? I thought I had read that DC schools had improved in the last year or two, but I don’t remember the source.

    I think I have read that DC school test scores were improving marginally… not hard to do when you are already at the bottom. Now Obama has canceled the DC voucher system which allowed some low income families to send their kids to the elite schools. This is another example of left-learning media bias, because there was little coverage on this. Obama is sticking it to these kids to pay back the teachers’ unions and the most of the media just gives him a pass. It should have been front page news. I assume that most of these families voted for Obama… I wonder how they feel about him know that he has forced their children back into crappy DC public schools that spend three times as much as the national average to provide the worst public school education in the nation.

  31. anonymous

    “I assume you know the real symbolism, but just in case… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Tea_Party

    I do. But when I first heard the reference to “tea party” recently, it really wasn’t the first image that came to mind; the British raised pinky thing was.

    And then there was the unfortunate incident where protesters were enoucouraged to “tea bag” Obama by mailing in tea bags, not realizing that “tea bagging” also has somewhat embarrassing pornographic references (also available for look up on wikipedia if anyone cares to know).

  32. Anon

    Skeptic: “”On what basis do you say that Valley Oak had the best ESL program?”

    Anon: “This is well known in this town, a fact which came out during the fight to save Valley Oak.”

    Skeptic: “That’s not evidence, that’s hearsay generated by school pride and propoganda. Do you assert that Valley Oak’s API scores for English language learners were consistently higher than Montgomery’s or Patwin’s?”

    It is evidence placed in front of the Yolo County Bd of Ed by the proponents. Are you telling me the proponents put false evidence before the Yolo County Bd of Ed? Can you prove that?

  33. Anon

    “I do. But when I first heard the reference to “tea party” recently, it really wasn’t the first image that came to mind; the British raised pinky thing was.

    And then there was the unfortunate incident where protesters were enoucouraged to “tea bag” Obama by mailing in tea bags, not realizing that “tea bagging” also has somewhat embarrassing pornographic references (also available for look up on wikipedia if anyone cares to know).”

    Nothing like sidetracking away from the main issue. Most of us get the reference to the Boston Tea Party, and don’t think pornography or pinky finger. Problem for left leaning liberals is this whole Boston Tea Party thing is getting traction with the public, and they don’t know how to counter it.

  34. Anon

    “I think I have read that DC school test scores were improving marginally… not hard to do when you are already at the bottom. Now Obama has canceled the DC voucher system which allowed some low income families to send their kids to the elite schools. This is another example of left-learning media bias, because there was little coverage on this. Obama is sticking it to these kids to pay back the teachers’ unions and the most of the media just gives him a pass. It should have been front page news. I assume that most of these families voted for Obama… I wonder how they feel about him know that he has forced their children back into crappy DC public schools that spend three times as much as the national average to provide the worst public school education in the nation.”

    Now this is interesting. I always thought funneling more money into a failed system was a bad idea. I now have proof positive! And brother, is Obama a hypocrite, hypocrite, hypocrite. The teachers’ unions are going to be the death of us – not teachers – teachers’ unions!

  35. skeptic

    “It is evidence placed in front of the Yolo County Bd of Ed by the proponents. Are you telling me the proponents put false evidence before the Yolo County Bd of Ed? Can you prove that?”

    I have no idea what proponents put before the Yolo County Board of Ed.
    Perhaps you can enlighten us? Is there somewhere we can go online?

    Why was Valley Oak’s ESL program superior to anything else out there in Davis?

  36. wdf

    “I think I have read that DC school test scores were improving marginally… not hard to do when you are already at the bottom.”

    Link below says that the one year increase in her first year (2007-08) was 8-11 percentage points. It is still a ways to go, but a good start.

    [url]http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/13/AR2009061302073.html[/url]

  37. wdf

    DC standardized test score website w/ most current info:

    [url]http://dcps.dc.gov/portal/site/DCPS/menuitem.06de50edb2b17a932c69621014f62010/?vgnextoid=999ca887c2482210VgnVCM1000007e6f0201RCRD&vgnextchannel=b049fa5c266d1210VgnVCM100000b912010aRCRD[/url]

  38. Anon

    skeptic: “I have no idea what proponents put before the Yolo County Board of Ed. Perhaps you can enlighten us? Is there somewhere we can go online?
    Why was Valley Oak’s ESL program superior to anything else out there in Davis?”

    Sounds like you are an apologist for the DJUSD/School Board, who doesn’t question the closing of a school? Uncomfortable for you to take note of the fact that the achievement gap widened after the closing of Valley Oak? Or that Valley Oak is now occupied by Da Vinci, the pet project of a current school administator?

  39. skeptic

    “Sounds like you are an apologist for the DJUSD/School Board, who doesn’t question the closing of a school? Uncomfortable for you to take note of the fact that the achievement gap widened after the closing of Valley Oak? Or that Valley Oak is now occupied by Da Vinci, the pet project of a current school administator?”

    I just like to see claims like “Valley Oak had the best ESL program” supported with evidence. I’m just asking for the evidence, I’m not apologizing for anyone. Can you tell what or where that evidence is?

  40. Anon

    “I just like to see claims like “Valley Oak had the best ESL program” supported with evidence. I’m just asking for the evidence, I’m not apologizing for anyone. Can you tell what or where that evidence is?”

    Now why is it that evidence presented at the Yolo County Bd of Ed is not good enough for you? I suspect if you even saw something in black and white, you would find some way to argue the proof away bc you are an apoligist for DJUSD. How do you explain the interesting phenomenon that Valley Oak closed, served a lot of low income ethnic minorities with its ESL program, and the achievement gap has now widened?

  41. skeptic

    “Now why is it that evidence presented at the Yolo County Bd of Ed is not good enough for you?”

    It depends on what the evidence is. Can you share what the evidence is? If you can’t present or explain the evidence, can you just say so and end the silly arguing?

    So far you have been evasive.

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