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NECAPS Are Out…

September 25, 2010

…and our schools are still terrible. 

I have been pointing out since before no tax impact kindergarten was passed that the longer kids are in the Timberlane schools, the worse they perform academically.  This year’s NECAP results once again support this observation.  Our high school has been categorized as SINI (School In Need of Improvement) for Reading and Restructuring/Level 5 for Math.  The math designation means that our high school has not made AYP for the sixth year (it’s a really, really, really bad school — bottom 5%).  Our middle school is nearly as bad.  Its math status is Restructure Planning/Level 4 which means it has not made AYP for the fifth year (also bottom 5% of schools).  All elementary schools except Pollard have been designated acceptable (not designated as in need of improvement).  Pollard is SINI Year 1 for both math and reading.  If you live in Plaistow, chances are your student has never attended an acceptable school.  And we are paying $15k/year for that.

That’s the bottom line.  I urge you to examine the school report cards (as well as your student’s individual assessment) to understand how bad our schools are.  Be sure to attend the Tuesday 9/28/2010 when ‘experts’ from SAU 55 and the NH DoE try to convince us that there is no need to test our high schoolers.

Report Cards

  • TRHS Reading:SINI Year 2 Math:Restructuring/Level 5 AYP: No/No
  • TRMS Reading:Acceptable Math:Restructuring/Level 4 AYP: Yes/No
  • Atkinson Reading:Acceptable Math:Acceptable AYP: No/No
  • Danville Reading:Acceptable Math:Acceptable AYP: Yes/Yes
  • Pollard Reading:SINI Year 1 Math:SINI Year 1 AYP: No/No
  • Sandown Central Reading:Acceptable Math:Acceptable AYP: No/Yes
  • Sandown North Reading:Acceptable Math:Acceptable AYP: Yes/Yes

What do the designations mean?

  • School In Need of Improvement (SINI) Designation. A school is designated as in need of improvement (SINI) when it does not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same performance indicator (i.e. Reading, Mathematics, Attendance Rate/Graduation Rate). A school can be designated for multiple areas at the same time. The school in need of improvement (SINI) designation is removed once the school has made AYP for two consecutive years in the same indicator that caused the designation.
  • Acceptable. A school or district not designated as in need of improvement.
  • SINI/DINI Year 1. A sanction for a school or school district not making AYP for two consecutive years in the same performance indicator. The term “Year 1” does not indicate the number of years the school or district may have been in need of improvement; the term indicates the sanction level of the school or district.
  • SINI/DINI Year 2. A sanction for a school or district in need of improvement that has not made AYP for the third time in the indicator causing the original designation.
  • Corrective Action/Level 3. A sanction for a school or district in need of improvement that has not made AYP for the fourth time in the indicator causing the original designation. Note: Title I schools and districts are subject to federal sanctions under the No Child Left Behind Act as well as state sanctions; non-Title I schools and districts are subject to only state sanctions. At this sanction level, Title I schools and districts enter Corrective Action.
  • Restructure Planning/Level 4. The restructuring (planning year) sanction applies only to Title I schools that have not made AYP for the fifth year in the indicator causing the original designation.
  • Restructuring/Levels 5 and 6. The restructuring (implementation year) sanction applies only to Title I schools that have not made AYP for the sixth year (Level 5) or seventh year (Level 6) in the indicator causing the original designation.

Aren’t all schools struggling?

No.  Despite the rationalizations spewed by the SAU staff, our schools are particularly bad.  These spinmasters talk about cohorts, subgroups, and internal metrics, but there is only one important measurement — how much do the kids know when they get out of high school.

The answer is: not much.

For the last year tested, our 67% of our 11th graders were proficient or better in reading, 31% were proficient or better in mathematics, and 40% were proficient or better in writing.   Compared to third graders testes in the same year of whom 83% were proficient or better in reading and 86% proficient or better in mathematics.

In 2006, these 11th graders were tested as 8th graders.  Before being subjected to our high school, they 73% were proficient or better in reading, 53% were proficient of better in mathematics, and 56% were proficient or better in writing.

My theory is very simple.  Pollard is a terrible school.  Because Social Engineering Principles will not allow the schools to stigmatize these kids, the middle school lowers its teaching standards to the level of the incoming Pollard kids.  After three years of inclusiveness, none of the kids are ready for a high school education.

A new building isn’t going to fix this.  Getting rid of Big Tests isn’t going to help.  We need new teachers, a new curriculum, and a new calendar that has the kids learning the right things from good teachers 180 full days per year.

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