Sunday, February 1, 2015

The RSD ACT Disaster

Mercedes Schneider reveals here the latest disastrous ACT scores for the Recovery District. Students graduating from the all charter NO-RSD schools in 2014 averaged only 15.7 on the ACT. That's not enough to get into anything but one of those rip off internet colleges. This average score is down from the 2013 score I reported in my post of December 2013  for the NO-RSD of only 16.3. Where is the miracle progress of the RSD? Unfortunately the progress is backward.

In my report on the ACT scores last year I concluded that only 80% of the New Orleans RSD graduates had taken the test although it had been mandated that all students take the test starting that year. Probably the drop in scores for the NO-RSD is due to more students taking the test this last year.

But that's not all. Last year the graduation rate for the RSD was only 59.5%. So over 40% of the students in the RSD are not getting a diploma at all, and those who do are poorly qualified for anything. But if you go into most of these TFA staffed charter schools you see banners plastered all over asking the question: "Where will you attend college?" Other banners respond:  "Harvard!, Columbia!, Yale!" etc. This is a terrible hoax being perpetrated on the students and their parents and also on the taxpayers of Louisiana.

Some of the teachers in those schools have complained that students in the RSD schools often brag to their teachers who are trying to get them to get serious about their school work: "I don't have to worry. If I flunk your class, I can just take a credit recovery course and get credit for the class in just a few days!"

When these schools were taken over by the RSD and given to various charter operators they were described as dropout factories. Now they can be described as dropout factories and diploma mills at the same time.

Ten years ago the legislature designated these schools as failures and handed them over to the RSD and then to the charter operators. In addition to all the MFP money, many of the schools got millions of dollars in grants from the federal government and many private foundations. At one time it was estimated that the average RSD school was getting about two times the state average in funding per student. They have frittered away all that money and given the students almost nothing.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

The kids already know they will move to high school no matter what their test score is, so THEY COULD CARE LESS HOW THEY DO ON THE TESTS IN MARCH!! They already don't try on the LEAP for science and social studies because they only have to pass math and ELA. So I guess our so called "baseline scores" will be so low we can only go up! The atmosphere in some schools is a feeling of absolutely desperate futility. Teachers are killing themselves trying to keep up with common core and so many students could care less because they will "pass" anyway. Teachers with 12-15 years are trying it figure out if they can retire!

Michael Deshotels said...

Anonymous what you are describing is the insanity of placing all the responsibility on teachers for factors over which they have no control. Our so called state education leaders have set our schools up for failure. How are supposed to trust them to lead us when their performance in running the RSD is an absolute failure?

Anonymous said...

Is it true that if a student opts out of the PARCC test, he will not be promoted?

Michael Deshotels said...

I believe that is being left up to each local school system. I don't see how any school system could fail a non-test taker when a student taking the test could score a zero on the test and still get promoted. But you can be sure that the La Dept. of Education is doing everything they can to scare parents out of opting out. Just talk to your local superintendent and school board member.

Anonymous said...

Trying to manage a classroom of students who echo the disrespect of their parents is a daily challenge. The great students keep you going! No student gets in trouble since we're told that lowers our scores, removes them from class and all the Test Prep! Writing a referral is pointless, nothing happens, and the kids know this. Teachers do emails, write objectives and agendas on the board daily, make phone calls, post all sorts of info on Web pages and do reminder mass emails and parents and kids claim they don't know what is due or what the homework is!!! You can drive by any local public school and see the same cars in the teacher parking lot 12, 13, 14 hours a day! In the schools' attempts to raise school performance scores we are forced to accept any and all behavior or excuse and give do overs and the great students must endure chaos in the classroom. Mike, what exactly counts against a schools performance score??

Michael Deshotels said...

This is to answer the question: " What exactly counts against a school performance score?"
For grades K-8 the only thing that counts now is the scoring of students on the state annual tests in math, ELA, science, and social studies. So it is not true that suspensions lower the SPS. In some parishes however, the LDOE is dictating how discipline policy is to be changed to restrict suspensions. The PBIS program is often used to violate state law concerning removal of extremely disruptive students. State law is supposed to trump any local policy but unless educators are willing ot file grievances and even lawsuits when state law is violated, nothing will be done. I believe that the breakdown of discipline and lack of accountability of parents is the 800 lb gorolla in the room preventing real progress in improving student performance. But our LDOE which is run by a bunch of amateurs does not have a clue. Notice however that the favored charter schools are allowed to dump their disruptive students back into the public schools where LDOE then interferes with discipline.

Michael Deshotels said...

Answer to question above continued for high schools:
"High schools (9-12): Half of the school grade is based on student achievement (25 percent on the ACT and 25 percent on End-of-Course assessments). Half of the school grade is based on graduation (25 percent on the graduation index, which rewards achievements like Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exam credit, and 25 percent on the cohort graduation rate, the percentage of students graduating in four years). Schools may also earn points for significant improvement with students who are academically behind."
Some administrators however, take the position that any student who is suspended or removed from class may lower the school performance score by scoring more poorly on the required tests. So they refuse to suspend or even allow the teacher to remove disruptive students. That is a violation of state law!

Anonymous said...

PBIS is destroying our schools. Administration celebrates no referrals! That's like celebrating no speeding tickets or no deaths in a hospital! Kids who have been behavior problems for three years just get passed to the next grade! Parents who are known to verbally attack and insult teachers get parent conference after parent conference because "they have a right to meet with the teacher" ; who has done nothing wrong and everything right and now gets to sit and be accused of picking on little Becky! Students are given rewards for doing homework or not being tardy or not getting a referral; we used to call this "following the rules", now it is "great behavior"!?! Kids can be smart mouthed and disrespectful over and over and unless you have tried proximity, redirecting, seat change, privately talking with the student, time out, counselor request, three parent phone calls and a parent conference...for each disrespectful student NOTHING is done!!! We have some wonderful parents and students but teachers have no time for them!