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View Diary: Unwarranted Demise of Mar Vista Middle School (42 comments)

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  •  Read that whole article, by the way. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 12:09:52 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I read the article (6+ / 0-)

      A 753 API is not terrible, by the way. It's really right in the hunt for the target 800, and looking at the history you see substantial gains in API. For schools to vary 50 points plus or minus year to year is fairly common. If all you're doing is hitting the numbers, watching the increase in API would give you confidence that the existing regime is successfully improving this school.

      The State of California has a "Similar Schools Ranking" that is supposed to compare demographics and assign a percentile. It's a bit of voodoo that I don't totally understand as I've watched the rankings of schools that I'm personally familiar with, but it's worth noting that this school earns a 7/10 for 2011 - above the middle. It scores 5/10 for all schools without regard for socioeconomic status. This is not a numeric profile of a failing school.

      (That data is conveniently listed here: http://www.greatschools.org/...)

      Although the school has been in Program Improvement for 10 years, the diary states that the reason is not its overall performance but its subgroup performance. The subgroup scores can indicate that the school just doesn't give a rip about kids in those groups... but it can also be just unlucky, especially when the numbers are relatively small. Disabled kids especially often have unrealistic targets given their medical status. And while you'd like to see good EL group results, a school that has a stable percentage of EL kids who enter the system that way as kindergarteners has a totally different problem than one that gets EL kids for the first time when they are in upper grades, as may be the case for schools near the border or with a large migrant worker population. The rules make no distinction.

      If this were a high school, there would be a WASC accreditation report, which would involve educators visiting it and making evaluations and recommendations. I think it would be tremendously useful for a WASC type evaluation to occur in schools of any grade level before they are closed and restructured in this way.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 02:44:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  WASC comment is cogent. (5+ / 0-)

        I worked at a high school three blocks from MVM, Southwest High School when it went through WASC. It of course failed NCLB for the same reasons as MVM but the WASC team could not have been more effusive in their praise. I am convinced this testing never was about improving schools. It has always been about getting at those education dollars!

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