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Here are some interesting articles we received and discovered this past week…


Understanding the Limits of Education Technology and Risk Taking in Schools

Quote from Article:

Eva Moskowitz, the founder of New York City’s Success Academy, set the tone for this year’s NY Edtech conference by telling the crowd of 1,400 techies, entrepreneurs, researchers and educators that she may have some “unpopular perspectives” on edtech. Then, through her opening speech, she set out to put technology in its place.

“I think there is a tendency to see edtech as the savior of American education. I do not believe it is. I do not believe we get to extraordinary excellence or equality through edtech,” says Moskowitz, who spoke alongside school leaders from BASIS Charter Schools and East High EPO. “While that may be heresy, I believe education is a fundamentally human endeavor that involves motivating and inspiring students to develop a passion for learning. In that sense, edtech is not the answer.”

District Deeds Synopsis:

One of the key quotes in the article was the following: “Take Chances, Make Mistakes and Get Messy—Just Not in the Classroom”

District Deeds posted a story about the deeply diminished IT Support in the San Diego Unified School District in “1 IT Tech for 2,300 Classrooms“.  The SDUSD is clearly taking chances with the education of our Students in thousands of classrooms that has inadequate IT support.

There is no way that these huge IT layoffs due to gross budget mismanagement by Supt. Marten was part of the i21 Interactive Classroom plan.

With another huge budget deficit looming this year, how many more IT cutbacks will Supt. Marten make to cover her budget mismanagement disaster in 2018?

The One Simple Way to Help Poor Kids Stay in School

Quote from Article:

When middle-class kids stumble academically, their parents will often enlist pricey private tutors to get them back on track. No parent who can afford to intervene wants to risk their child falling behind or losing crucial tenths of a point off their class ranking. But that one-on-one remedy doesn’t exist for poor students. When they fall behind in subjects such as math, which depend on cumulative mastery of skills, they often stay that way. And the persistent failure of poor students to make up ground has become accepted as proof that no intervention—not even tutoring— can reverse the slide once a student has reached a certain age.

But a recent study run out of the University of Chicago’s Urban Labs of high school students in Chicago has proven that the conventional wisdom is wrong. And the results have the potential to change the ways educators think about one of the most confounding problems they face: How to keep kids on track academically.

In the 2013-14 school year, Chicago officials brought in a tutoring system created in the Match Charter Public School in Boston and ran a randomized controlled trial of 2,718 boys in 9th and 10th grade from a dozen public high schools in some of the poorest areas of the city. The students were matched with tutors, many of them recent college graduates with only about 100 hours of training. The results: higher math test scores, higher math grades, fewer math failures, and even fewer failures in nonmath courses. The improvement in math grades was the equivalent of going from a 1.77 GPA to a GPA of 2.35 (effectively a jump from a C- to a C+), says Meghan Howard, chief academic officer of Harvard’s Education Innovation Laboratory.

District Deeds Synopsis:

Our big takeaway from this article is that rather than the SDUSD practice of promoting poorly monitored computer based credit recovery classes that just pumps up phony graduation rates, investment in strong tutoring programs taught by actual HUMAN BEINGS can provide a diploma that actually means the student has been fully educated.

The Chicago Public School controlled trial proves that learning from Charter Schools and implementing best practices is the very best way for Public Schools to compete with the Charters that are taking their students.

Unfortunately the current SDUSD Senior Leadership including Supt. Cindy Marten and her crony Board of Education is woefully unprepared to compete with local charter schools, let alone have the bravery and wisdom to learn from them.

The Feds are Right: California Students Deserve to Know How Their Schools are Performing

Quote from Article:

The state’s system for assessing the performance of schools, which for too long counted test scores as the only measure of a school’s worth, was in need of broadening, but the color grid dashboard is a failed effort. It is far too complicated for anyone short of a metrics expert to parse, but far worse, it gives no clear idea of how well a school is functioning overall. Would you want your child to attend this school or that one? There’s very little way to tell.

The new dashboard doesn’t enable the state to determine which of its schools are among the lowest 5%, though the law requires it to identify those schools and intervene to help them improve.

The Department of Education rightly criticized the state for the dashboard and many other shortcomings. It called for a clearer explanation of whether the state is counting actual performance — test scores, graduation rates and the like — as more important than suspension rates and parent engagement, which are supposed to be the means by which schools improve their performance.

Nor does the overall California accountability plan make clear how low-income students will be provided with quality teachers or how the state will intervene at low-performing schools. The state lacks a plan for improving high schools and does little to make sure that schools don’t discourage their lowest-achieving students from staying home on days when state tests are held (something that has been done in some states over the years to ensure that schools look good when the test results are in).

In other words, this is more like a non-accountability system than a plan for producing a better-educated population.

District Deeds Synopsis:

more like a non-accountability system”…Sounds like the  propaganda speech given by Marten that we exposed in our “DOUBLE CROSSED! – The REAL San Diego Unified School District “2017 State Of The District” Series“.

Between the rollout of the new Common Core curriculum, the removal of the “No Child Left Behind” AYP standards and now the weak implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act dashboard by the State of California, Supt Marten and her senior leadership has been able to hide the massive educational damage they have done to our students.

In a pure stroke of education policy conversion luck and SDUSD leadership corruption, Marten has been held to ZERO accountability by the Board, the State or the Federal Govt. since she was illegally appointed Superintendent with virtually no management credentials.

We can only hope that Marten’s luck will run out and the County and U.S. Secretary of Education DeVos will decide to dig deeper into the SDUSD improper financial and educational mismanagement and force her and the SDUSD Board of Education into full accountability and transparency.

Here is the Quote of the Week:

Technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master.

– Christian Lous Lange 

Have a Great Week!



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