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Leaving Children Behind in Irvington Middle School: subgroup performance scores

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  • cijohn Verizon
    Hello everyone ‹ Dan Knowler¹s post, below, arrives at a timely juncture in our district¹s history. At last night¹s board meeting, the IUFSD
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 10, 2007
      Leaving Children Behind in Irvington Middle School: subgroup performance scores
      Hello everyone —

      Dan Knowler’s post, below, arrives at a timely juncture in our district’s history.

      At last night’s board meeting, the IUFSD administration presented a “Student Performance Review.”

      One fact in particular, I am told, leapt out at members of the audience: the number of black and Hispanic students passing the 8th grade state assessments in math and ELA.

      That number is zero.

      In 2007, not one of IUFSD’s 15 8th-grade black and Hispanic students earned a score of 3 or 4 on the state assessments in math and ELA.

      The comparison figure for black and Hispanic students on the 2007 grade 8 math assessment across the state is 34%.

      I haven’t looked up the comparison figure for grade 8 ELA, but, whatever it is, it’s not going to be zero.

      The one piece of good news here is the fact that these statistics were provided to the community at all. When we tried to obtain disaggregated data on subgroup performance in November, 2006, we were denied access:

      From: cijohn Verizon [mailto:cijohn@...]
      Sent: Monday, November 27, 2006 11:57 AM
      To: Joseph Witazek
      Cc: Jennifer M. McArdle; Ed Berenson
      Subject: we'd like to get the student subgroup breakdown
      Hi Joe -
      We’d like to get the student subgroup breakdowns – race & gender - for the new ELA scores.
      Catherine & Ed

      On Tuesday, November 28, 2006 we heard back:  
      Catherine and Ed,
      Unfortunately, I am unable to provide that information at this time.  I will let you know when it becomes available.  Thanks.
      Joe Witazek

      And that was the end of that.  

      So: we are seeing improvements in transparency.

      This is a welcome change, but it will mean that the community must grapple with problems that have been obscured by the steady flow home of always-cheerful newsletters and fliers in the backpack.  

      There is no question in my mind that the Irvington community — educators, parents, and citizens alike — is capable of meeting the challenge these figures present. But we can do this only if the administration works with us.

      For that is what it will take: a collaboration, not the top-down relationship of hierarchy and silence to which we have become accustomed.


      Below, in full, is New York state’s message to parents and educators concerning our obligation to educate all children in our schools:

      Analysis of Student Subgroup Performance

      Historically, on State assessments the average performance of Black, Hispanic, and Native American students has been lower than that of White and Asian students. Similarly, students from low income families have not performed as well as those from higher income families. A high priority of the Board of Regents is to eliminate these gaps in student performance. In addition, Title I of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act includes explicit requirements “to ensure that students served by Title I are given the same opportunity to achieve to high standards and are held to the same high expectations as all students in each State.”

      This section of the school report card provides performance data for two years by racial/ethnic group, disability status, gender, English proficiency status, income level, and migrant status. The purpose of the student subgroup analyses is to determine if students who perform below the standards in any school tend to fall into particular groups, such as minority students, limited English proficient students, or economically disadvantaged students. If these analyses provide evidence that students in one of the groups achieve at a lower level than other students, the school and community should examine the reasons for this lower performance and make necessary changes in curriculum, instruction, and student support services to remedy these performance gaps. If your school did not report data for the 2002-03 school year for a subject and grade, a table showing data for subgroups in that subject and grade will not be included in the Analysis.

      Overview of School Performance
      English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Science and Analysis of Student Subgroup Performance for Dows Lane (4-5) School in Irvington Union Free School District February 2004  
      March 19, 2004
      Main Street School 4-5
      page 8


      Irvington Union Free School District
      Accountability and Overview Report (pdf file)
      Comprehensive Information Report (pdf file)
      Irvington Middle School reports:

      New York state education statistics

      Schools in Westchester County:

      New York state school report card


      Similar Schools

      Information and Reporting Services
      English Language Arts and Mathematics Assessment Results
      Information and Reporting Services

      Information and Reporting Services
      ELA & Math (including 2007)

      What is nySTART?

      Grade 3-8 Math Tests Results, NY state (slides)
      Slide 20
      grade 8
      2006  0.283 (multiply by 100) 28%
      2007  0.344 (multiply by 100) 34%
      The percentage of Black students meeting the standards increased significantly at every grade level, except grade 4.
      Percentage of Students Scoring at Levels 3 and 4

      Slide 21
      grade 8
      2006 0.33
      2007 0.404
      The percentage of Hispanic students meeting the standards increased significantly in the middle grades.
      Percentage of Students Scoring at Levels 3 and 4

      Slide 22
      grade 8
      2006   68%
      2007  72%
      The percentage of white students meeting the standards increased by varying amounts at every grade level. The achievement gap narrowed, since the increase was greater for Black and Hispanic students.
      Percentage of Students Scoring at Levels 3 and 4

      Slide 24
      grade 8
      2006 0.171  17%
      2007  0.207  21%

      Slide 26
      low need disability
      Grades 3-8
      2006 0.521
      2007  0.59


      On 10/9/07 10:24 AM, "Dan Knowler" <zip82da@...> wrote:

      I've been thinking about establishing a mechanism that
      will permit parents and guardians to privately, but
      effectively, communicate to the Board about specific
      staff and administrative issues. The Board should be
      our champions. We elected them, didn't we?

      The intention is to get better results than are often
      rendered by direct contact with the schools. More
      specifically, it means naming names and accruing
      positive results, all without fear of unintended
      negative effects on our children.

      This will affect both day-to-day teaching as well as
      the granting of tenure.

      Interested parents:  please respond affirmatively so
      we can productively discuss this. Don't send the
      actual complaints, please!

      Dan Knowler--

      Cell 646 872 9556--

      Home 914 478 5480


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