Thursday, September 25, 2008

[LCSD] Math Score Comparisons

CARES member Tre' Kennedy was handing these out at the last board meeting. I'm not going to go in depth, but I did notice a few things when looking them over (click each table to see a larger image):

1) The Sand Ridge scores are not very good. The last two tables in particular paint an ugly picture.

2) Lebanon's math scores are above the state average until 10th grade, when they drop precipitously.

3) Oregon City and Forest Grove are doing something right. It seems like a good idea, like some parents are doing, to figure out what they're doing differently.

What do you all think?


Anonymous said...

Yes, the Sand Ridge scores are not very good, but I would like the numbers behind them. How many Sand Ridge kids are taking the test? A couple kids from Sand Ridge doing worse than usual may affect the graph more dramatically then a couple kids from Lebanon because the denominator is much larger.

And I'll ask it again: why is Tre doing the research on this? Should't this be the job of the administration?

Dennis said...

Good points/questions.

I suspect the sample for Sand Ridge isn't large enough to be statistically viable, but it does raise the question of where all those claims of Sand Ridge's excellence come from.

As to your question: Yes, albeit a qualified yes. Lebanon at least knows how it compares to the state average - that information has been presented to the school board. Whether or not anyone from the DO has done the comparison to Sweet Home, Corvallis, Forest Grove or Oregon City is anyone's guess. The LCSD has not been in the habit of publicizing their work.

I've still never figured out how the parents learned about what Forest Grove and Oregon City are doing differently.

Anonymous said...

The parents figured out that the other schools are doing better by going to the ODE website. They found the schools that are doing the best on state testing, then called them and set up meetings. Many thanks to Tre and company.

Anonymous said...

Obviously LCSD is doing something very right in the grade schools and something is very wrong at the high school. Is it coincidental that the greatest resistance to the changes that Robinson has initiated at LCSD has come from the high school, and specifically the teachers there?

The proper role for the community here is to say to our administrators that we support whatever changes are necessary to improve and what can we do to help? At the same time we need to let them know that we will hold them accountable if we don't see improvement - and the same with staff.

Anonymous said...

A Sand Ridge parent that was at the Sand Ridge meeting last night reported back how Mary was so upset about these results last night that she came up with every excuses in the book. Mary claimed that it was not correct and it was them versus us. She asked this parent to work the phones to ask other parents to vote no on the recall. The parent decline the assignment because she felt that all Mary was saying was the School District is against Sand Ridge. She does not feel it was true even though she is on the committee to raise runds against the RECALL.

So if you want to know who is behind funding for Rick and Josh's campaign against the Recall, look no further but to Sand Ridge.

Anonymous said...

Actually it is not good to compare Lebanon to Forest Grove or Corvallis for that matter. In a comparison of this type you need to have similar groups and conditions. Forest Grove and Corvallis are both college towns which tend to have high support for education and high expectations for their students. The also support the schools to a greater degree in general. Corvallis has an additional local tax, Forest Grove spent a lot of money on their curriculum change.
To be valid, Lebanon should compare themselves to a rural school with low socio-economic status. Also, the business climate needs to be taken into account. Lebanon has very few high-skilled businesses and therefore many do not see the need to get a good education. Even Lowe's will hire non-graduates so long as they meet the work requirements. Thus Lebanon needs to find a town that is more like Lebanon one that is having success and find out what is happening there.

Dennis said...

Anon @ 5:21 PM - great comment. You're technically correct, but in a way, it doesn't matter.

You're right insofar as to truly compare apples to apples, yes, we should be comparing Lebanon to districts with similar size and population.

However, it ultimately doesn't matter insofar as students who graduate from Lebanon will have to compete against students from better-funded districts regardless. So while a short-term goal might be to have Lebanon students score higher than students from comparable districts, a longer-term goal might be to have the scores of Lebanon students be comparable to students from better-funded districts. That would quite the accomplishment.

Anonymous said...

True, Lebanon students will have to compete against those of better funded districts. But if we try to implement reforms that are based upon assumptions that don't fit our demographics, those reforms will probably fail. We need to look at a successful comparable district first, get the improvements established and build from there. Once the staff and students especially realize success, it will be easier to build to the levels of a better funded district where the community supports education.

Dennis said...

Anon @ 8:40 - good point. Not sure how true it is, but certainly trying to implement a plan that requires a bunch of money that Lebanon doesn't have isn't going to work.

Not really sure anyone in Lebanon is foolish enough to try.

Anonymous said...

Well, I for one am foolish enough to think we should try. The point of the graphs show that Forest Grove started at the same point as Lebanon several years ago. They did something new, and their scores showed impressive improvement. The other school started a couple years later, made the same change, and now their scores are catching Forest Groves'. You talk about expense, what about the expense of repeating a class 6 times as LT talks about.

And anonymous 9:44, how long do we wait for the administration to improve the scores? You say we should hold them accountable if we don't see improvement in the scores. When? We have changed the math rooms around, split up their areas, gone to an academy system, and no improvement. When do we get the accountability part?

Anonymous said...

"Even Lowe's will hire non-graduates so long as they meet the work requirements. "

But I hear Lowes will not promote anyone to a supervisory position without a college degree.

It's unfair to our kids to lower the bar because we aren't an elite community.

Anonymous said...

I agree with making changes to improve the education of Lebanon students. I just believe we should look at districts that are similar to ours so that the implementation compares better. It will also have a better chance of success. Just because Forest Grove is successful with their program, it does not mean that it would be successful here. Especially if the demographics do not fit well. What happens if the improvement is the result of investing 3 million dollars in teacher training and technology? We don't have that money so we can't do what they are doing. I would rather look at a district like ours that is doing well and use their approach. It is more likely to work. Once we improve then we can look at passing other districts.

Dennis said...

Anon @ 7:10 - so should we not even look at Forest Grove and Oregon City and see if we CAN duplicate what they are doing? Because that seems to be the step we're at - look for a successful district and see if it is feasible to implement a similar plan here.

It's not like Forest Grove is a rich district, either. Not sure about Oregon City.

And from what I've heard about the two districts, a large part of the plan has been to have students take an additional math study hall instead of an elective. Certainly that's feasible here, right?

Anonymous said...

Sure we can look at Forest Grove and other places. I am just looking at the demographics of the places and seeing that while Forest Grove has a high Hispanic population they also have a community that highly values education. I do not see the same value placed on education in Lebanon. How can we require students to attend an after school program if they do not value it? The same goes for putting students into an extra math help class. I do not see this as effective. LHS already has a math lab class for extra help and it has been a failure for a variety of reasons. Chief among them is the lack of buy-in by the students placed there. We need to find a way to get the community to buy-in, that includes parents of all students. I notice on other blogs about Lebanon schools people are attacking the teachers. While this may be valid in some cases, no where do I see parents stepping up and saying they have not done enough to promote education. A big part of the success in Forest Grove and Oregon City is the commitment by the community. I just do not see that happening here.

Anonymous said...

If Sand Ridge is involved in campaigning to support (or oppose) any elected official, it is jeopardizing its federal tax-exempt status.

Straight from the IRS regs:
"501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office."

"...absolutely prohibited." No gray there. Sand Ridge should know this already, but someone might want to bring it to their attention.

Dennis said...

Anon @ 2:38 - that's a big if. I can believe that Sand Ridge supporters and employees are working against the recall pretty easily. I would be more surprised if official Sand Ridge time was being used. Best not to make that assumption.

Anonymous said...

While not making assumptions, I was just responding to some of the comments here, like those regarding Mary Northern. She is an employee of Sand Ridge (or PIE), and/or on the PIE board, and/or affiliated with Sand Ridge for many years. If she is indeed involved in urging people to support a campaign, one way or the other, she is jeopardizing the school's tax-exempt status and further jeopardizing its local reputation. My guess would be that the IRS would determine that none of her time could be used to campaign for or against the school board election or recall, as it would be nearly impossible for her to do so as something other than a representative of Sand Ridge.

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