Thursday, February 1, 2018

Achievement Gaps Within Schools and at Success Academy --Politico Education

"The report also found that gifted and talented public schools have similar results to Success's integrated schools, considering all students must test into those programs."... Politico
In other words, only Gifted and Talented and Success kids have the same narrowing of the achievement gap between races, seen nowhere else in the city, including other charter schools.

At last week's parent conference we heard how Success gets lists from the DOE of kids who took the Gifted and Talented test and then sent out loads of ads addressed to the kids directly. So they try to poach kids from day one who take the test.

This story at Politico has hints of the games Success plays.

ACHIEVEMENT GAPS PERSIST WITHIN INDIVIDUAL NYC SCHOOLS — POLITICO's Eliza Shapiro: It's a well-known fact of schooling in New York City that white and Asian students outperform their black and Latino peers on exams, and that students from higher-income families tend to outperform their lower-income peers. But a new report by the Center for New York City Affairs found that wide achievement gaps between students persist within individual schools, a striking finding that helps reveal the depth of the city's inequality crisis. Researchers mapped student performance on the 2016 state math exams and found that socio-economically diverse schools have some of the highest achievement gaps among the city's 1,800 public schools. This trend held up at some of the city's most popular, best-resourced schools in some of New York's wealthiest neighborhoods, including PS 8 in Brooklyn Heights and PS 183 on the Upper East Side. At those schools, black students scored a full score lower than their white and Asian peers on the standardized math exam — white students at PS 8, for example, scored an average of a 3.6 out of 4 on the exam, and black students at the same school scored an average of 2.7. 

But as with so much else in New York City schools, Success Academy is an exception to the rule. The charter school network's schools in middle-class neighborhoods, including Cobble Hill, are racially and socio-economically diverse but have relatively narrow achievement gaps on state math exams. Students at all of Success's 46 schools outperform the vast majority of their peers across New York City and the rest of the state, but the Cobble Hill school's results are particularly notable considering the school has one of the network's most diverse student populations. White students at Success Academy Cobble Hill scored an average of 4.2 on the math exam, and black students scored an average of 3.9 — meaning both groups were well over the proficiency benchmark of a 3. The report also found that gifted and talented public schools have similar results to Success's integrated schools, considering all students must test into those programs.
Read what one NYC parent wrote after reading it:
...those test results just indicate the extent of their sneaky creaming and skimming and extreme focus on test prep for those remaining. I know we've all run through this before, but, when I read the "results similar to gifted and talented" I assumed they are 1. Marketing heavily to students who applied to g&t, since we know they did marketing toward one girl in a family of three kids, but the only one who had applied to G&T was The only one who got the mailer. The NYCDOE apparently gives access to student information to a third party mailer used by S.A.

2. Applying barriers to entry that discourage applicants who are not interested in compliance or don't have the time or resources to devote to it, in other words, all those people who are already stretched to the limit who wouldn't be able to help their child succeed in school with stable home, steady, healthy meals, good childcare, homework help, etc.

3. Screening kids out once they are there, if they don't look like they will test well, through well-documented methods, like suspensions, punishment, shame etc, focused on the 'got to go' kids. Attrition means that the few remaining graduating students of multiple SA elementary schools get funneled to a single SA middle school in their area.

4. Denying entry at testing grades, so only the well-scoring take the test. Where there are openings, parents of entering students with lower test scores are told their child is not as advanced as S.A. and so their child will need to repeat the prior grade. Those parents then decide their child should not attend.

5. Sacrificing kids' curiosity, daydreams, imagination and flexibility of thought to make them little test taking machines, with eyes on the teacher, hands folded on the desk.

The high scores of this horrible franchise are yet more evidence the tests don't measure what really matters and of the distorting effects of high stakes tests.

The frequency of this type of coverage shows they have great PR people figuring out how to persuade journalists charters are better, like that dope who decided we'd be better off if we give up on public education and turned everything over to charters, loving SA. Did she not see that kindergartner-shaming video? Does she think that's okay? Apparently, yes. I am sure they have focus groups figuring out exactly what evidence, phrases, arguments and materials work the best.

1 comment:

  1. Do most kids at Cobble Hill come from two parent households?


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.