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A lot of the conventional wisdom about DC Public Schools is simply WRONG. Testimony to Agency Performance Oversight Hearing on Fiscal Year 2009 - 2010 Budgets, Committee of the Whole, DC City Council, Monday, March 15, 2010 by Guy Brandenburg, retired 30-year veteran DCPS math teacher.
Testimony to Agency Performance Oversight Hearing on Fiscal Year 2009 - 2010 Budgets, Committee of the Whole, DC City Council,
Monday, March 15, 2010
by Guy Brandenburg,
retired 30-year veteran DCPS math teacher
Especially if the ones being overseen play fast and loose with statistics, or just make things up!
The US has a dire shortage of workers in science, technology, engineering, and math, which will cause us to fall behind the rest of the world.
We graduate many more native-born PhD’s and engineers in the US than there are jobs. Many of them drift into other fields of work that are easier and pay better. However, for people born in the 3rd world, low-paid tech jobs here in the US look great.
Also, that report about “A Nation at Risk” was issued 27 years ago. Those who were in school then are beginning to run the country now, and mostly, they are doing OK.
American students do terribly in international comparisons.
Students in DC Charter schools do much better than those in DC public schools.
I calculate that 45% of DCPS students tested ‘proficient’ in reading last year, as opposed to 48% of charter students.Not a big difference.
“….under a new principal at one school, student reading proficiency went from 24 percent to 85 percent in just four years, and from 10 percent to 64 percent in math. In another, only 9 percent of the students were on grade level, when just down the street in a successful charter school, over 90 percent of students were. Same kids, same neighborhoods and exposure to violence, same poverty, hunger, and parent education levels. At the successful schools, the primary difference was the team of adults who decided it was possible for lives and outcomes to move in other directions.”
This “new principal” was Wayne Ryan, who is in at least his 9th year as a principal in DCPS, and the school was Noyes. Here is a table of its academic ‘pass’ rate on the SAT-9 and DC-CAS:
What if we instead compared the lowest-achieving charter school with the highest-achieving regular public school?
Green: veteran teachers, various impoverished neighborhoods across the country.
Dark blue: TFA teachers, same neighborhoods.
13th to 17th percentiles are all bad, if you ask me.
"Test scores of schools with new principals outscored the District average," she [Rhee] says. "We did the right thing by replacing principals."7/19/09 “Chancellor Rhee settles in for the siege” “Washington Examiner”, Harry Jaffe http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Chancellor-Rhee-settles-in-for-the-siege-7988873-51052702.html
“If you look at the gains, the academic gains that we’ve seen over the last two years, the data shows that our new principals are actually seeing better than average gains, which means we really have succeeded in bringing in some really, really strong new leaders who are making the difference in our schools.”8/17/09, PBS Podcast, “Two Years of Talks with Michelle Rhee & George Parker - Snowball Effect” http://learningmatters.tv/blog/podcasts/michelle-rhee-in-dc-podcast-snowball-effect/2510/
My blog has factual data that you can’t easily find elsewhere, compiled by me. It’s not just rants. Council members, please be prepared when you question the chancellor of DCPS.