Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sorry Mr. Jefferson County Superintendent: It just isn’t so!

Jefferson County Superintendent talking mush about turning around low-performing schools


“I just don't think the transformation model is effective in producing immediate, dramatic change. It may have some long term benefits, but they are really long term.”

Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendent Sheldon Berman, quoted March 29, 2011 by the Louisville Courier-Journal


As I discussed in this blog back on March 2, 2011, we now have early evidence from the recently released PLAN and EXPLORE scores for the first group of 10 schools to be designated as Persistently Low-Achieving Schools. Trend arrows on the far right of the table below (click on table to enlarge) show the Composite Score trend in each school between 2009-10 and the 2011-12 school years (PLAN and EXPLORE are given early in each school year).

The trend arrows show that three of the four NON-Jefferson County high schools made improvements in their performance after they adopted the “Transformation Model” for school turn-around.

In sharp contrast, the majority of the Jefferson County Schools, all of which choose the “Restaffing Option,” showed declines in scores.

Only one Jefferson County school using the “Restaffing Option” in this list showed improvement.

So, if we are talking about evidence of fast indications of progress, the data shows the Jefferson County superintendent does not have “the right stuff.”

Most would call the Lawrence County High School’s one-year Composite score jump “dramatic.” Many would also consider Leslie County High School’s one-year improvement notable, as well.

So, I’ll go with Commissioner Terry Holliday on this one. Holliday is also recommending the “Transformation Option,” which ties teacher evaluations and compensation to student performance. Keep in mind, the commissioner has been able to look at other during-the-term testing results that have not been released to the public in addition to the PLAN and EXPLORE data above.

By the way, I don’t care if the teachers union in Jefferson County doesn’t like the “Transformation Option.” It is time to do something for the kids instead of the adults in our schools. It seems to be happening in places like Lawrence County and Leslie County.

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