14 August 2008

Megan's grade level scores proficient! Carlos got hired!

Megan works at a school in Richmond which -- according to the metric setup by the state under their mandate from "No Child Left A Dime Behind" -- is "low-performing". This means they are monitored and threatened so they'll "teach to the test" and improve enough students' scores to prevent the state from taking over, firing the administrators, then teachers, etc.

Students can get 5 score levels:
Advanced
Proficient
Basic
Below basic
Far below basic

Only "advanced" and "proficient" count toward the school's performance - the point of NCLB is to get all kids in every school at proficient or better within 10 years (i.e., the 2013-2014 school year) so if you have a school (actually each grade level is what they consider, but let's keep it simple) with
100 students
40% of whom were proficient in 2004
Then you need to have 6 more proficient students become proficient each year over 10 years.

5 years of not meeting adequate increases in proficiency in a row = huge problems for the school.

Megan's school is less at risk of being taken over because her class did well (again) this year, better than they did in the prior grade actually.

Oy, it's a long story, but she's doing well for the school and that means she's monitored and threatened less so she can focus on what she finds helps her students most (rather than what the school wants her to force feed them).

And my friend Carlos just got hired by a local fire department to work in their ambulances! He's a sharp dude and great at rock climbing so those of you who find yourselves in hard to reach places while seriously injured and possibly on fire ... you're a little safer today.

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