Something important is happening in Boston Schools

Greater Egleston and Boston Day and Evening Academy are two alternative high schools in BPS. They are for students who have had issues getting to graduation and need an alternative path.

Boston Schools administration and Superintendent Chang are not allowing students to register at Greater Egleston High School. Even kids who are two credits away from graduating high school are not being allowed to register at Greater Egleston. Students are being discouraged from registering at Boston Day and Evening. A high school that allows kids to go to class in the evening.

So while Marty Walsh has said that they aren't closing schools, he and his school administration are pulling shady shit like this. (It is shady because it is public policy not reviewed by the school committee and not disclosed to the public. And it's shady because low enrollment could be used as a pretense for closing the schools.)

The students and the teachers at these two high schools have not been told that their school are being shut down. No one has any information. Not the teachers, not the students, not the parents, not the school committee, not the residents of Boston.

Here is a story in the Christian Science Monitor about Boston Day and Evening.

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Comments

C'mon Marty put your plan on the table

This method of operation makes a joke out of good government.

bluemassgroup:

State’s Most Vulnerable Students Cheated by DESE’s Flawed Accountability Standards

The Massachusetts Department of Education is using a flawed performance accountability formula that falsely places healthy schools into underperforming turnaround status, costing millions of taxpayer dollars and cruelly disrupting the lives of students, families, and school staff.

The formula uses Student Growth Percentile (SGP) figures that cheat the most vulnerable students out of credit for improving their academic skills. In fact, the accountability formula gives zero SGP to many high-risk students: students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and the homeless, even the ones who score Advanced on the MCAS tests!

The accountability formula is the state’s method for measuring school performance. It includes categories like the Composite Performance Index (CPI), Student Growth Percentile (SGP), Attendance Rate, and Graduation Rate. This formula often misleads observers about the high levels of progress that are being made in many schools. Their progress does not count in the following ways:

1. The Composite Performance Index (CPI) awards points to schools based on student performance on the MCAS. This category shortchanges ELL students because…
A. students in ESL 1 and ESL 2 must take the test even though the MCAS is far above the performance standards for their language acquisition levels. The MCAS is an ESL 5 test. We are expecting students whose performance standards dictate simple sentences with simple words and concrete ideas to pass a test with Shakespeare and Spencer, containing college vocabulary and complex abstract thinking.

Read the rest.

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BPS mom pulls back the curtain on Walsh BPS plan, a little

Saturday night, a Boston Schools parent told the story about how BPS administration was blocking kids from enrolling in 2 schools--the topic of this post. The next day, Sunday, Boston Globe writes this story, 26 Boston schools at risk of being declared ‘underperforming’ in which the first source they cite is Superintendent Chang.

"many schools need more attention and resources in order to thrive," representing about 23% of students in BPS or 12,000 of 53,000.

By James Vaznis Globe Staff September 18, 2017

More than two dozen schools in Boston with low standardized test scores are at risk of being declared “underperforming” by the state, an action that can lead to the removal of principals and teachers, according to a School Department analysis.

The 26 schools are spread across nearly every neighborhood, from East Boston to West Roxbury. Officials are expected to learn the fate of each school when the state releases the latest round of MCAS data at the end of October.

If the state orders any of the schools to overhaul their programs, they would have three years to boost student performance or they could face a state takeover. Nine of Boston’s 125 schools are already designated as underperforming, while two others are in receivership

snip

.. [Superintendent Chang's] analysis flagged 11 schools for being at the greatest risk of being declared under performing because their MCAS scores rank very low in comparison to other schools statewide.

One of those schools is Roxbury’s Mendell Elementary School, which has been increasingly popular with parents and students.

Some parents said the data do not jibe with their experience, noting the school has expanded its arts programs and introduced robotics and it educates students with disabilities alongside other classmates in traditional classrooms.

Many former Mendell students are now landing spots at the city’s prestigious exam schools.

The Blackstone is also a case where loss of funding and slide in test scores puts it at risk for turnaround status and that would arguably be counter productive. What they need is the resources they lost to provide the interventions that help the students.

McKinley Schools for special ed are flagged as under performing. Walsh and Chang cut per student funding for kids with these designations significantly in FY16-17 budget.

Urban Science Academy is flagged as underperforming. This I don't understand. They outscore the district average in ELA.

Did Super Chang's analysis look at the populations of those schools so we know what kind of resources we need to provide for those kids to be successful? I ask because Marty Walsh's BPS turnaround effort at Mattahunt failed badly.

In the video below you'll hear a parent talk about her experience with that turnaround. She's disappointed and she's clear on why. the panel discussion on turnarounds includes BPS students, teachers and parents. Take note of the BPS math teacher who reverse engineered how the MCAS score is calculated. It is important because it's likely that growth is more significant for ELL than grade-level ability and growth is not weighted as you might expect. In addition schools quality is more than test scores though that is the narrow lens we use to measure the success or failure of a school.

BostonGlobe:

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General uhub question

By on

Can anyone just start a thread on uhub and post unlimited screeds on any subject they want?

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of interest to

By on

This topic is of interest to Boston Schools parents and people who follow education policy in Mass.

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Thanks, but...

By on

...that doesn't really address my question. I'm not speaking to whether this is of general interest or not, and I apologize if it seems like a derail, but the original post also seemed to come from left field, and I had to wonder if any-ol'-body with a registered account -- even if you're only identified as "Anonymous" -- could start a thread here on anything they want.

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Yes, you could

By on

But it would be up to me whether it gets on the home page.

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Put this post on the home page

It's getting quite a lot of buzz since the Globe article was called click-bait by a former Worcester School Committee member.

In addition the Globe's click-bait article didn't address the questions raised in the post: Why aren't students being enrolled in two BPS high schools?

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Bay State Banner picked up the story -> and cited this thread

baystatebanner:

When Andrew Martinez arrived at Greater Egleston High School Monday, he wasn’t prepared for the news he received, “You’re not enrolled here,” an administrator reportedly told him.

Although Martinez was planning to finish high school there this year, the 19-year-old is one of 104 students who were un-enrolled from the alternative high school this fall apparently without notification or explanation.

“I’ve been here three years already,” he said, standing in front of the School Street entrance to the building. “How can I be dropped?”

Nearby, also contemplating her educational future was Yokasta Baez, a 21-year-old Roxbury resident.

BPS declined to answer questions

Greater Egleston High School’s student count has dropped from 185 to 79, according to a posting from an anonymous source on the Universal Hub news website. The abrupt mass un-enrollment at the school comes just days before the district calculates official enrollment numbers — a process through which Boston Public Schools determines the per-pupil funding each school will receive.

So how did this happen? A BPS spokesman declined to answer questions about the un-enrollment or the implications for the school’s funding...

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