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New report from Center for American Progress

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  • Todd Groves
    To my friends waiting for full funding of public schools, a new report by the considerably left-leaning Center for American Progress challenges that
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 20, 2011
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      To my friends waiting for "full funding" of public schools, a new report by the considerably left-leaning Center for American Progress challenges that assumption. When such stalwart Democratic think tanks abandon the premise of underfunded schools, it's game over. If the fat lady hasn't sung, she is at least beginning to warm-up. We will not be getting more money.

      http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/dwwroi_exec_summ.pdf

      Our political class has coasted on four decades of relatively easy choices. We now face a point of transition. Our decision-making mechanisms make it all to easy to subordinate the diffused interests of students and families to those of well-defined and financed ones. You can be certain these mechanisms will be at work when the budget tightens.

      The general quality of instruction in this district in unacceptably low. In the upcoming budget battles, we will fight to preserve existing programs and practices at the expense of innovation. We will fight hard to preserve our neighborhood schools that fail to educate large swathes of their students. We will ensure our poorest students have few choices, consigning them to near certain failure. All in the hope that someday, this mythical "full funding" will be restored.

      It doesn't have to be this way. We could be ruthless about anything that doesn't provably help kids. How much does CSR help if a teacher is ineffective? How can we justify administrative salaries for people who routinely fail to execute?

      We need a body absolutely focused on student interests, even at the expense of the district or its employees. We need Danville quality expectations to win families back. 70% of families above a certain elevation send their kids to private schools instead of our schools. Winning them back will improve prospects for all students.

      Todd Groves
    • reducingandreusing
      This is a very interesting report. A couple of note-worthy stats: After adjusting for inflation, education spending per student [in the U.S.] has nearly
      Message 2 of 5 , Jan 20, 2011
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        This is a very interesting report.

        A couple of note-worthy stats:

        "After adjusting for inflation, education spending per student [in the U.S.] has nearly tripled over the past four decades."

        And:

        "Besides Luxembourg, the United States spends more per student than any of the 65 countries that participated in a recent international reading assessment, and while Estonia and Poland scored at the same level as the United States on the exam, the United States spent roughly $60,000 more to educate each student to age 15 than either nation."



        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Groves" <tag1022@...> wrote:
        >
        > To my friends waiting for "full funding" of public schools, a new report by the considerably left-leaning Center for American Progress challenges that assumption. When such stalwart Democratic think tanks abandon the premise of underfunded schools, it's game over. If the fat lady hasn't sung, she is at least beginning to warm-up. We will not be getting more money.
        >
        > http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/dwwroi_exec_summ.pdf
        >
        > Our political class has coasted on four decades of relatively easy choices. We now face a point of transition. Our decision-making mechanisms make it all to easy to subordinate the diffused interests of students and families to those of well-defined and financed ones. You can be certain these mechanisms will be at work when the budget tightens.
        >
        > The general quality of instruction in this district in unacceptably low. In the upcoming budget battles, we will fight to preserve existing programs and practices at the expense of innovation. We will fight hard to preserve our neighborhood schools that fail to educate large swathes of their students. We will ensure our poorest students have few choices, consigning them to near certain failure. All in the hope that someday, this mythical "full funding" will be restored.
        >
        > It doesn't have to be this way. We could be ruthless about anything that doesn't provably help kids. How much does CSR help if a teacher is ineffective? How can we justify administrative salaries for people who routinely fail to execute?
        >
        > We need a body absolutely focused on student interests, even at the expense of the district or its employees. We need Danville quality expectations to win families back. 70% of families above a certain elevation send their kids to private schools instead of our schools. Winning them back will improve prospects for all students.
        >
        > Todd Groves
        >
      • Charles Rachlis
        I thought we were censoring discussion of things outside the district. Since when has Oshkosh, Estonia or Luxumburg been in the WCCUSD? As for the document it
        Message 3 of 5 , Jan 20, 2011
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          I thought we were censoring discussion of things outside the district. Since
          when has Oshkosh, Estonia or Luxumburg been in the WCCUSD?

          As for the document it is an executive summary where is the data?



          ________________________________
          From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
          To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thu, January 20, 2011 8:50:02 PM
          Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: New report from Center for American Progress


          This is a very interesting report.

          A couple of note-worthy stats:

          "After adjusting for inflation, education spending per student [in the U.S.] has
          nearly tripled over the past four decades."

          And:

          "Besides Luxembourg, the United States spends more per student than any of the
          65 countries that participated in a recent international reading assessment, and
          while Estonia and Poland scored at the same level as the United States on the
          exam, the United States spent roughly $60,000 more to educate each student to
          age 15 than either nation."

          --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Groves" <tag1022@...> wrote:
          >
          > To my friends waiting for "full funding" of public schools, a new report by the
          >considerably left-leaning Center for American Progress challenges that
          >assumption. When such stalwart Democratic think tanks abandon the premise of
          >underfunded schools, it's game over. If the fat lady hasn't sung, she is at
          >least beginning to warm-up. We will not be getting more money.
          >
          > http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/dwwroi_exec_summ.pdf
          >
          > Our political class has coasted on four decades of relatively easy choices. We
          >now face a point of transition. Our decision-making mechanisms make it all to
          >easy to subordinate the diffused interests of students and families to those of
          >well-defined and financed ones. You can be certain these mechanisms will be at
          >work when the budget tightens.
          >
          >
          > The general quality of instruction in this district in unacceptably low. In the
          >upcoming budget battles, we will fight to preserve existing programs and
          >practices at the expense of innovation. We will fight hard to preserve our
          >neighborhood schools that fail to educate large swathes of their students. We
          >will ensure our poorest students have few choices, consigning them to near
          >certain failure. All in the hope that someday, this mythical "full funding" will
          >be restored.
          >
          >
          > It doesn't have to be this way. We could be ruthless about anything that
          >doesn't provably help kids. How much does CSR help if a teacher is ineffective?
          >How can we justify administrative salaries for people who routinely fail to
          >execute?
          >
          >
          > We need a body absolutely focused on student interests, even at the expense of
          >the district or its employees. We need Danville quality expectations to win
          >families back. 70% of families above a certain elevation send their kids to
          >private schools instead of our schools. Winning them back will improve prospects
          >for all students.
          >
          >
          > Todd Groves
          >







          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Ramosla@aol.com
          To win back parents of a certain elevation from private schools or transferring into other districts, we must be willing to have the uncomfortable
          Message 4 of 5 , Jan 20, 2011
          • 0 Attachment
            To win back parents of a certain elevation from private schools or transferring into other districts, we must be willing to have the uncomfortable conversation. The conversation is uncomfortable because unfortunately there is a kernel of truth to it even if we don't want to acknowledge it. For me personally I could not in good faith send my child to his "middle school" because a two very real concerns to me: 1. He would have fallen between the cracks and would not have made the educational strides necessary for success in High School nor in the world, he is a kid that just needs more; more attention, more help in understanding of what is expected of him, etc. and 2. He would be an easy target for bullying. He has been bullied essentially since he started school. At first, I did not recognize what was going on, but my son went from generally being the most genuinely, happiest kid who loved everyone, to the most miserable child ever. But the real kicker was that the perpetrator of the bullying was the Teacher and then in turn, the students in Kindergarten. His first grade year was good and second grade was OK but third it went downhill fast. The Teacher was great, but frankly overwhelmed by the shear madness of his class, he got all of the tough customers in that grade. And the bullying was subtle and grew in intensity as the school year progressed. The Principal was ineffective, even though I believe she did her best. The fourth grade was tough and his Teacher was not helpful. Fifth grade was excruciating with no Principal or real leadership at all. That was it for me, how could I justify sending my child to a school or to another District School, when after all I had done, as a Very Active Parent, and still have this outcome for him. So I went and found, and luckily got into, a very nurturing and effective learning environment at Manzanita Charter Middle School. There is real leadership, real responsibility for your actions or inaction, and parent participation is a must or you are out. And for me that was it, parent participation. When parents do not take the time to know their child's Teacher, and not just as an educator but as a person; when they don't take the time to look at what the child is learning and if makes since; and if they don't involve themselves as a leader (or participant) at the school, then children do not thrive. Some kids do better where there are fewer kids, when there are more opportunities, where there are more parents on campus, when the teachers are there to really teach and are not being hamstrung by ineffective curriculum or are just waiting to retire, or falling down, toxic school buildings. And the other part of the uncomfortable conversation is expectations. In other School Districts, and in Private Schools there is a certain expectation that child will learn and do well and go to college, no if and or buts, it's a given. A lot of our kids in this District have it bad, a lot worse than we would like to think. These kids are living lives we cannot and do not want to know about. Their personal stories are not being told, and therefore, they can not relate to the material that they are expected to learn, they can't see themselves in the curriculum. Why, because their stories are hard, as adults we don't want to hear them, we don't want our children to hear them, so we do not let those stories be told, and in doing so, the adults are comfortable and the children are lost. Until we as adults, Parents, Teachers and Administrators are willing to be uncomfortable and allow our children to tell their stories, their true stories, we can not educate them in any real way. And ever happened to asking. Ask why the Parent is leaving or better yet left the District? I'm sure that they had to explain why their child should go somewhere else but that answer is probably not the entire truth, after they have left they may be more honest. Go to Madera and ask the parents why they transfer to Albany School District and what are they affraid of with this District at the Middle/High School level. Is it because we don't really want to know why?

            Laura








            -----Original Message-----
            From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
            To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Thu, Jan 20, 2011 8:50 pm
            Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: New report from Center for American Progress





            This is a very interesting report.

            A couple of note-worthy stats:

            "After adjusting for inflation, education spending per student [in the U.S.] has nearly tripled over the past four decades."

            And:

            "Besides Luxembourg, the United States spends more per student than any of the 65 countries that participated in a recent international reading assessment, and while Estonia and Poland scored at the same level as the United States on the exam, the United States spent roughly $60,000 more to educate each student to age 15 than either nation."

            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Groves" <tag1022@...> wrote:
            >
            > To my friends waiting for "full funding" of public schools, a new report by the considerably left-leaning Center for American Progress challenges that assumption. When such stalwart Democratic think tanks abandon the premise of underfunded schools, it's game over. If the fat lady hasn't sung, she is at least beginning to warm-up. We will not be getting more money.
            >
            > http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/dwwroi_exec_summ.pdf
            >
            > Our political class has coasted on four decades of relatively easy choices. We now face a point of transition. Our decision-making mechanisms make it all to easy to subordinate the diffused interests of students and families to those of well-defined and financed ones. You can be certain these mechanisms will be at work when the budget tightens.
            >
            > The general quality of instruction in this district in unacceptably low. In the upcoming budget battles, we will fight to preserve existing programs and practices at the expense of innovation. We will fight hard to preserve our neighborhood schools that fail to educate large swathes of their students. We will ensure our poorest students have few choices, consigning them to near certain failure. All in the hope that someday, this mythical "full funding" will be restored.
            >
            > It doesn't have to be this way. We could be ruthless about anything that doesn't provably help kids. How much does CSR help if a teacher is ineffective? How can we justify administrative salaries for people who routinely fail to execute?
            >
            > We need a body absolutely focused on student interests, even at the expense of the district or its employees. We need Danville quality expectations to win families back. 70% of families above a certain elevation send their kids to private schools instead of our schools. Winning them back will improve prospects for all students.
            >
            > Todd Groves
            >









            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Todd Groves
            Someone requested the core report from CAP. You can find the whole thing here
            Message 5 of 5 , Jan 21, 2011
            • 0 Attachment
              Someone requested the core report from CAP. You can find the whole thing here
              http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/educational_productivity/report.html

              Of particular interest is the interactive map. Our humble district is scored among the lowest achieving, but we do so at a low relative cost. However, when screened by predicted efficiency, we see WCCUSD becomes glaringly troubled. The index has us as a very inefficient district. We can fault the index, point at its flaws and call it on missing metrics, but it does stack up with general observations.

              Laura's story is unfortunately not remarkable. We fight charters, new evaluatory methods, and practically everything that represents change. I know many on this list seethe at people who leave the district, often blaming them for our dysfunction. "If those families didn't leave, we wouldn't have these problems," is a core belief.

              When I talk with families who leave, I hear how nice it is to have a phone call answered, or be given the right information at the appropriate time, or how their children are supported. Until we resolve to fix the issues that drive people away, nothing will change! We have to attract families to our district by offering service of the highest quality.

              We must start making it easier to get rid of ineffective employees, especially at executive levels. Laura is absolutely right about getting uncomfortable. We adults avoid the tough issues at the measurable expense of our students.

              We must surrender the notion of closing the achievement gap within the district. Our present emphasis drives down achievement at the top. I look at my graduated daughter's Kindergarten cohort. White and Asian students generally excelled, while African American, Latino and White working class kids tanked. They received the same instruction sitting side by side, the very definition of equity.

              The district decided the issue could be fixed through scripted curriculum. My younger daughter was compromised by a level of learning completely inappropriate for her. Yet the results for the class ended up the same, her White and Asian classmates are still years ahead of their African American and Latino classmates. The major difference is my older daughter was prepared to enter the Ivy track and my younger daughter is not. Lowering expectations did not bring the bottom up, rather it brought the top down.

              We have a great number of our decision makers focused on equity in the abstract. The underlying premise is giving kids the same exposure will produce the same results. I witnessed the absolute failure of this premise in two different cohorts. Why will it be different this time?

              Todd Groves



              --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, Ramosla@... wrote:
              >
              >
              > To win back parents of a certain elevation from private schools or transferring into other districts, we must be willing to have the uncomfortable conversation. The conversation is uncomfortable because unfortunately there is a kernel of truth to it even if we don't want to acknowledge it. For me personally I could not in good faith send my child to his "middle school" because a two very real concerns to me: 1. He would have fallen between the cracks and would not have made the educational strides necessary for success in High School nor in the world, he is a kid that just needs more; more attention, more help in understanding of what is expected of him, etc. and 2. He would be an easy target for bullying. He has been bullied essentially since he started school. At first, I did not recognize what was going on, but my son went from generally being the most genuinely, happiest kid who loved everyone, to the most miserable child ever. But the real kicker was that the perpetrator of the bullying was the Teacher and then in turn, the students in Kindergarten. His first grade year was good and second grade was OK but third it went downhill fast. The Teacher was great, but frankly overwhelmed by the shear madness of his class, he got all of the tough customers in that grade. And the bullying was subtle and grew in intensity as the school year progressed. The Principal was ineffective, even though I believe she did her best. The fourth grade was tough and his Teacher was not helpful. Fifth grade was excruciating with no Principal or real leadership at all. That was it for me, how could I justify sending my child to a school or to another District School, when after all I had done, as a Very Active Parent, and still have this outcome for him. So I went and found, and luckily got into, a very nurturing and effective learning environment at Manzanita Charter Middle School. There is real leadership, real responsibility for your actions or inaction, and parent participation is a must or you are out. And for me that was it, parent participation. When parents do not take the time to know their child's Teacher, and not just as an educator but as a person; when they don't take the time to look at what the child is learning and if makes since; and if they don't involve themselves as a leader (or participant) at the school, then children do not thrive. Some kids do better where there are fewer kids, when there are more opportunities, where there are more parents on campus, when the teachers are there to really teach and are not being hamstrung by ineffective curriculum or are just waiting to retire, or falling down, toxic school buildings. And the other part of the uncomfortable conversation is expectations. In other School Districts, and in Private Schools there is a certain expectation that child will learn and do well and go to college, no if and or buts, it's a given. A lot of our kids in this District have it bad, a lot worse than we would like to think. These kids are living lives we cannot and do not want to know about. Their personal stories are not being told, and therefore, they can not relate to the material that they are expected to learn, they can't see themselves in the curriculum. Why, because their stories are hard, as adults we don't want to hear them, we don't want our children to hear them, so we do not let those stories be told, and in doing so, the adults are comfortable and the children are lost. Until we as adults, Parents, Teachers and Administrators are willing to be uncomfortable and allow our children to tell their stories, their true stories, we can not educate them in any real way. And ever happened to asking. Ask why the Parent is leaving or better yet left the District? I'm sure that they had to explain why their child should go somewhere else but that answer is probably not the entire truth, after they have left they may be more honest. Go to Madera and ask the parents why they transfer to Albany School District and what are they affraid of with this District at the Middle/High School level. Is it because we don't really want to know why?
              >
              > Laura
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: reducingandreusing <valerie.snider@...>
              > To: wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Thu, Jan 20, 2011 8:50 pm
              > Subject: [wccusdtalk] Re: New report from Center for American Progress
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > This is a very interesting report.
              >
              > A couple of note-worthy stats:
              >
              > "After adjusting for inflation, education spending per student [in the U.S.] has nearly tripled over the past four decades."
              >
              > And:
              >
              > "Besides Luxembourg, the United States spends more per student than any of the 65 countries that participated in a recent international reading assessment, and while Estonia and Poland scored at the same level as the United States on the exam, the United States spent roughly $60,000 more to educate each student to age 15 than either nation."
              >
              > --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "Todd Groves" <tag1022@> wrote:
              > >
              > > To my friends waiting for "full funding" of public schools, a new report by the considerably left-leaning Center for American Progress challenges that assumption. When such stalwart Democratic think tanks abandon the premise of underfunded schools, it's game over. If the fat lady hasn't sung, she is at least beginning to warm-up. We will not be getting more money.
              > >
              > > http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/pdf/dwwroi_exec_summ.pdf
              > >
              > > Our political class has coasted on four decades of relatively easy choices. We now face a point of transition. Our decision-making mechanisms make it all to easy to subordinate the diffused interests of students and families to those of well-defined and financed ones. You can be certain these mechanisms will be at work when the budget tightens.
              > >
              > > The general quality of instruction in this district in unacceptably low. In the upcoming budget battles, we will fight to preserve existing programs and practices at the expense of innovation. We will fight hard to preserve our neighborhood schools that fail to educate large swathes of their students. We will ensure our poorest students have few choices, consigning them to near certain failure. All in the hope that someday, this mythical "full funding" will be restored.
              > >
              > > It doesn't have to be this way. We could be ruthless about anything that doesn't provably help kids. How much does CSR help if a teacher is ineffective? How can we justify administrative salaries for people who routinely fail to execute?
              > >
              > > We need a body absolutely focused on student interests, even at the expense of the district or its employees. We need Danville quality expectations to win families back. 70% of families above a certain elevation send their kids to private schools instead of our schools. Winning them back will improve prospects for all students.
              > >
              > > Todd Groves
              > >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
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