Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dismal MAP Test Growth Results -- Real or Not? Is the D181 Spin Machine Once Again Cranking Up to Avoid Accountability?

By now the news is spreading like wildfire across D181. The Fall 2015 to Spring 2016 MAP test Student Growth results are ABYSMAL!

On Monday, the D181 Administration posted the MAP test Student Growth summary results (District Wide and School by School) on Board Docs for the May 9, 2016 BOE meeting. The two reports can be accessed in their entirety at the following links:

District wide Results:$file/2015-2016%20Fall-Spring%20Growth%20Summary%20Reports%20-%20District.pdf

School by School Results:$file/2015-2016%20Fall-Spring%20Growth%20Summary%20Reports%20-%20Schools.pdf

Rather than show you images of each page of the report, we have created our own Comparative Chart that highlights the Grade Level Growth for each school.

We expect that you will have the same reaction to the results that we did -- one of shock and disappointment in how D181 has let our children down.

We begin by reminding our readers that D181 students in Grades 2 through 8 took the MAP test last Fall and this Spring. Each time the students take the MAP test, they are given a projected growth target of how many RIT points their new score is projected to increase from their prior score by. Each student has a different growth target. The MAP Reports D181 ordered from NWEA (the Northwest Evaluation  Association) show the percentage of students that met their Projected Growth Target. We have highlighted in RED the lowest % growth target met in each grade in Math and Reading.

Grade 2                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                37                                                         47
Elm                                                              31                                                         38
Madison                                                       44                                                         56
Monroe                                                        32                                                         31
Oak                                                              38                                                         68
Prospect                                                       26                                                        53
The Lane                                                      51                                                        41
Walker                                                          36                                                        49

Grade 3                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                 37                                                         47
Elm                                                               44                                                         50
Madison                                                        41                                                         52
Monroe                                                         28                                                         43
Oak                                                               58                                                         60
Prospect                                                       28                                                         48
The Lane                                                      40                                                         41
Walker                                                          19                                                         32

Grade 4                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                 41                                                          47
Elm                                                               45                                                          45
Madison                                                       43                                                           37
Monroe                                                         28                                                          35
Oak                                                              59                                                           59
Prospect                                                       51                                                           70
The Lane                                                      23                                                           48
Walker                                                          41                                                           45

Grade 5                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                  37                                                           51
Elm                                                                52                                                           54
Madison                                                         50                                                           52
Monroe                                                          38                                                           44
Oak                                                                46                                                           54
Prospect                                                        37                                                           56
The Lane                                                       29                                                           47
Walker                                                           26                                                           47

Grade 6                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                 36                                                            56
CHMS                                                           40                                                            56
HMS                                                              33                                                            55

Grade 7                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                 45                                                            50
CHMS                                                           52                                                            48
HMS                                                              37                                                            51

Grade 8                                   % Met Math Growth Target       % Met Reading Growth Target
District Wide                                                 26                                                            33
CHMS                                                           30                                                            27
HMS                                                              27                                                           38

In looking at these results, the question to be asked is "What percentage of students should be meeting their growth targets?"

Let us recall that in 2013, there was much discussion at the Board table about this because NWEA (the testing company) had historically told school districts that 70% of students in high achieving school districts should be meeting their growth targets. At the June 10, 2013 board meeting, when the 2012-2013 MAP data was presented, Kevin Russell, former Director of Curriculum and Assessment, stated that despite this statement being included in the Fall 2012 MAP results letters that D181 parents received, NWEA now was taking the position that the new goal was that 50 to 60% of students would meet the target.  (See June 13, 2013 Blog Post.) For those of you with a good memory, in the months that followed, the BOE formed a committee to set growth goals, culminating in a goal that at least 55% of students should meet their growth targets. This goal has continued for each school as documented in the 2015-2016 School Improvement Plans presented at the November 9, 2015 BOE meeting.  (Click to open 2015-2016 School Improvement Plans.)

With the watered down goal from 70% to 55%, parents have a right to expect that the schools at each grade level will meet this growth target. So, there is no question that  the percentage of D181 students who met their individualized growth targets for the 2015-2016 school year is unacceptably low.

How many schools (7 elementary and 2 middle)  had 55% or more of the students meeting their math and reading targets?

In 2nd grade, 0 in math and 1 in reading.
In 3rd grade, 1 in math and 1 in reading.
In 4th grade, 1 in math and 2 in reading.
In 5th grade, 0 in math and 1 in reading.
In 6th grade, 0 in math and 2 (of 2) in reading.
In 7th grade, 0 in math and 0 in reading.
In 8th grade, 0 in math and 0 in reading.

But worse than only a few schools having 55% or more of the student meeting their growth targets, was the absurdly low percentile seen at some schools and the very clear discrepancy shown between schools. Two examples will show the discrepancy: While 58% of Oak's 3rd graders met their Math growth targets, only 19% of Walker's 3rd graders did. And while 68% of Oak's 2nd graders met their Reading growth targets, only 31% of Monroe's 3rd graders did.

How can this be? Same district, same grade, yet shockingly different growth results. And those two examples are just the tip of the iceberg.

Now, in all fairness to the administration, we have listened to the May 9, 2016 BOE meeting podcast, and during the meeting, when a couple of BOE members raised concerns about the results, Dr. Carol Larson, the Director of Assessment and Program Effectiveness, made the following statement:

The results "misrepresent the total percentage of students who are meeting growth goals and there's a long explanation to it but I just happened to find it out by going through the data set and coming across a discrepancy and so when I contacted NWEA they said 'yeah that is a discrepancy' and they are actually looking into doing some revision work with their growth summary reports because there are people who are complaining about that -- it's misleading.  But again, I would need all the visuals to really explain it more thoroughly."  (5/9/2016 Meeting Podcast, Counter 2:10:21.)

She explained that she is going to be presenting a more detailed report to the Learning Committee at the upcoming May 16 committee meeting (to be held at the Administration Center starting at 6 p.m.) (Click to open Board Docs Agenda for upcoming 5/16/16 Learning Committee Meeting.)

Our reaction to Dr. Larson's statement is that it appears that the administration may once again be cranking up the old Spin Machine in an attempt to minimize the growth results and deflect attention away from the obvious questions -- the WHY questions -- that would explain how so few of our students are achieving appropriate growth after one year of learning.

The following are questions that we hope are answered at the Learning Committee Meeting next Monday:

1.  What DISCREPANCY is Dr. Larson talking about?  She shouldn't have needed VISUALS to give a brief explanation to the seven, intelligent BOE members!

2.  Why the heck would the Administration post growth reports for the BOE and community to read and react to that it believed were incorrect?  Even if the Board President asked for the reports in her 5/9 Board Member questions, wouldn't it have been more responsible for the administration to decline the request and answer that the reports that the District received were possibly erroneous and the BOE needed to wait for the corrected reports? (See 5/9/2016 Board Member Questions.) You will note that the answer provided simply states that the Reports would be posted and THERE WAS NO INDICATION that there might be a problem with the reports. Just what exactly was the Administration thinking when it published these reports?  Perhaps the answer is that IT WASN'T THINKING!  Or perhaps Dr. Larson hadn't advised Dr. White of the possible problems with the report?  Why else would they KNOWINGLY publish reports for the community that they SHOULD HAVE ASSUMED would cause serious concerns to be expressed by BOE members and Parents?

3.  Or is it the case that Dr. Larson is simply hoping that there will be a way to spin the data if NWEA creates a second set of reports that may focus on something Dr. Larson wants the testing company to focus on?

4.  If Dr. Larson is correct and caught a "discrepancy" that invalidates all of the reports, has this discrepancy existed in prior years' reports thus invalidating them as well?

5.  For years now, placement metrics for the D181 tiered classes have relied on MAP data. Last fall, 8th grade MAP scores were also used by D86 to place the incoming fall 2016 Freshmen into their classes. If Dr. Larson is correct and NWEA has been generating erroneous reports, then what else might be wrong with past and current reported MAP test data?  Could the RIT scores also have been reported incorrectly for one or more students? Could the NORMS that NWEA has created over the years also been faulty? HOW CAN ANY D181 PARENT (or teacher, for that matter) TRUST THE MAP DATA?

We fully expect that Dr. Larson will come prepared to answer not just these questions but all questions that the Learning Committee members may ask. We expect that she will not deflect or delay answering any of the questions and that by the end of the meeting, she will be in a position to prepare a WRITTEN REPORT for the FULL BOE that fully explains the statement she made at the May 9, 2016 BOE Meeting.

We will be waiting and listening for a full explanation and hope -- for the sake of our students and teachers -- that this isn't another instance of the SPIN MACHINE blowing at FULL SPEED.  The bottom line is that if 55% of every school's and every grade's students are not meeting their growth target, there is something very seriously wrong.  Is it a problem with the curriculum?  Is it a problem with the teaching?  Is it a problem with the professional development that our teachers have (or have not) been getting?  Is it a problem (again) with the Department of Learning Administrators?

There has to be accountability for such poor performance. The data cannot be ignored. How bad does the situation have to get before EVERYONE wakes up -- from all SEVEN board members, to ALL D181 Parents, to Dr. White -- that someone must finally be held accountable for this poor performance data?



Anonymous said...

D181's curriculum chaos never ceases to amaze me. At this point, nothing Dr. Larson says should be believed. Once you publish reports, you assume the responsibility of their content. Someone needs to be fired over this. It doesn't matter if NWEA or she can create new reports to spin the data, the only question that needs to be answered is have 55% of each school's and each grade's students met their growth targets? If the answer is no, then the BOE shouldn't allow any excuse making. Just like the ELA and upper level MATH programs have been watered down over the last few years, so have the growth target percentiles, from 70 to 55 %. Enough is enough!

It is clear that for at least 5 years now, D181 has had a non-functional Curriculum Department. The administrators from the top down -- Asst. Superintendents and Directors of Learning -- should never have been hired. They didn't have the qualifications, experience or skill sets to run the department. They brought horrible, destructive changes to the curriculum structure and the curriculum materials. They formed committees -- e.g. math -- that were headed by teachers who didn't have math backgrounds, rather sped backgrounds. The presentations given to the BOE on learning for all turned out not to have been grounded in any legitimate data. The teachers are complaining that they haven't had enough professional development. The list goes on and on.

One can only hope and pray that the 2 new administrators that are about to come onboard will be the miracle workers that this district needs to turn this mess around. Our children have been guinea pigs and lab rats for far too long and the results are disturbing.

The community should be demanding accountability from the administration, rather than allow the behind the scenes shenanigans to go on one day more. At the board meeting on Monday, Dr. White announced that the new SPED person is starting on May 23, rather than July 1. That's great, since Dr. Schneider is missing in action, but is Dr. White about to pay 2 salaries to 2 SPED Asst. Superintendents? If Schneider isn't coming back, necessitating bringing the new person on board 6 weeks early, then he should be let go. As for the Asst. Sup of Curriculum who is set to start on July 1, is the administration seriously going to hire a Director of Learning to work under her without first waiting for her to start and figure out if one is even needed? But one thing's for sure, the administration better not make the same mistake again -- it better not promote a building level administrator into this position because that hasn't worked in the past and there is no one in a lower level administrative position who has the qualifications or skill set in the area of curriculum to get such a promotion.

D181 Parent said...

I agree with 11:22. Until the district has the right people in place to run the Dept. of Learning, there should be no more talk of one to one technology or building a new middle school. I plan to vote NO on any future referendum until I can trust what is going on inside the existing buildings. A new building isn't going to fix the curriculum situation.

Anonymous said...

The district really needs to fix its curriculum before it buys new toys like new computers and schools. With pretty much an entirely new Department of Learning next year, I'm hoping they'll turn the district around. Sometimes, I think the district really needs to start from scratch and see what federal, state & local laws require the district to teach, how to teach it, and what other services (like IEPs) that must be provided. Offhand, I know the PARCC tests have LA, math and science, and districts are mandated to have daily PE classes. Start from there, figure out what's needed at each level, look at current and past data on our district & related district, see what research-based programs work best. Once we know how to teach the required subjects, and see what resources we have, then we could add additional subjects (art, music, foreign language, etc.).

I've talked to a bunch of teachers, staff, and administrators. They probably don't know about half the programs and textbooks we pay large sums of money for. Before we get new stuff, let's see what we have already, see if we really need it, and give training for the stuff we keep. It's ridiculous how much money we're spending for stuff we don't even know we have! Plus, the teachers seem to be in their own worlds, doing their own thing. Where's the consistency? It seems like they're just a bunch of independent teachers who just happen to work in the same district, instead of one, cohesive district. I totally understand needing to be flexible, and differentiate instruction for students, but it's not black and white. We need a sweet spot where there's enough flexibility to do what you need, but enough consistency so that we can easily weed out the bad practices and spread the good.

As for the Monroe parents regarding getting a new principal, I don't think a new principal is the magic bullet; I don't see a new principal, regardless of how good they may be, miraculously turning Monroe into a stellar school in under a year. At least not until the district fixes its curriculum problems first. I don't know the Monroe principal, but before we start burning building level staff at the proverbial stake, let's burn district level administrators first.

Anonymous said...

I think it is concerning that it is the same school that outperforms every year and it is the same school that bombs every year. This is the most striking discrepancy yet. There is a real problem at Monroe and it has been going on for years. The problem just reached close to disaster levels. Enough already. I don't want to hear any excuses or spin. I want an action plan to fix it for these kids. Many of these kids have spent their entire elementary years in this underperforming school. Stop with 1:1 and focus on fixing the problem.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that once again, my child did not meet his projected growth percentile. That is not right. I won't be supporting any more requests for my tax money until this district gets its act together.

Anonymous said...

My advanced student's MAP scores were stagnant this year in both Math and Reading. How can this happen in a district like ours?? 4 years of this nonsense is enough!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many 6th graders are taking an extra math lab instead of a foreign language class? I ran into a mom the other day who is teaching her daughter French because she needs extra math help which is taking the place of a foreign language class. This mom had no clue what had been done to the 6th grade class and assumed that the problem was with her daughter's abilities - which followers of this blog and the BOE know is most likely not the case.

The problem is what this district did to the current 6th grade students in 3rd grade (and beyond) and which has not yet been rectified, as demonstrated by the incredibly low MAP scores for this grade as well as the necessity for students to be deprived of a foreign language class so that they can have an additional math class to learn what they should have learned over the past 3 years. And this after district/taxpayer provided tutoring for these students in 4th grade! These poor students must be completely stigmatized by having to get extra math help and have no clue that it is not their fault, but the fault of highly paid administrators who failed in their jobs to educate the students of this district. Don White (as well as each and every teacher and principal who sat on the Learning For All Committee) should apologize to every one of these students and their parents for what has been done to them. Imagine the years of stress at home and how much money has gone to tutors to try to fix this mess. They will never be able to makeup for what has been done to these students.

And, don't even get me started on what has been done (or hasn't been done) to advanced students in this district for the past 4 years...

Anonymous said...

After seeing this post on the blog today, I decided to take a look at the test results for myself. I am just stunned that our once great district has sunk to such a low level. As a Monroe parent, I am furious that once again we are at the bottom of the district. I don't want to hear that we have a new administrator coming into the department of learning to fix this mess. I no longer believe what our school board and Dr White tell us. They have done nothing this year to make sure our kids were getting the education they deserved. What they did do was spend hours and hours of time on new HMS drawings, bids, contracts, and discussions about an auditorium and running track. Meanwhile, our kids sat in classrooms day after day with what appears to be little learning taking place. This is now the fourth year my kids have had negative growth in reading and math. Totally unacceptable.
Who will be held responsible for this travesty? Until I see positive changes and real learning taking place, I will not vote to give one extra dime in tax money to this district.

Anonymous said...

Being a Monroe parent, I am really frustrated. Our principal has not done his job of working with the teachers to change instruction, and if he has, it ISN'T working. Why has it taken a whole year to notice our kids aren't meeting their growth targets in an alarming number? I spoke with my daughter today and asked her about what happens in her classroom. She told me a "tutor" takes her group for reading (what?! where is the classroom teacher?!) and that other kids are grouped and taken off with different tutors. I have no idea where Mr. Horne got this idea, but it's obviously NOT WORKING! are these "tutors" certified, trained teachers? I'd definitely like to know. As for the math she said she never uses hands on materials, just does page after page in a workbook as her teacher tells her to do so. I'm sorry, maybe I'm confused, but weren't parents told this was a "hands on" math program? That it was "constructivist"? because it sure sounds like all they're doing is a bunch of worksheets and IXL all day. I've had it with Monroe, their principal, and the way things are run around here.
If they hire from within for this Curriculum Director position, I'm out. I have no faith in Don White, the absent DOL, or this data person posting MAP data then telling us there are errors and discrepancies. What on earth is going on here?!

Anonymous said...

A few years ago the PTOs helped fund smart boards which were never fully used. We also got some new furniture in the MRC where the number of books keeps going down. Real books excite kids to read! Forget the fact that many of the kids desks don't even close and they don't have enough room to store their things in their desk. Every teacher in our school has a laptop. There is a digital camera and smart board in every classroom. There are carts of computers that are available and some have their own. Yes they have to share, it's a good practice. Our kids do not need the latest and greatest devices. Adults don't have them at work. Networks go down, power goes out, devices crash. Teachers have been engaging their students for decades without dependence on these devices. These kids will all be digital geniuses without the need to rely on them at school. Secondly I am concerned about my kids having to use Math in Focus this year and learning a new vocabulary. How will these kids succeed in high school and especially college where the math language is more traditional? what if they move to another district? I have never seen more time wasted for these students. I also heard that the teachers made a public comment at a board meeting recently about math. Where were all the teachers when Schuster and the prior board pushed for the advanced learning plan? They would complain to the parents but didn't go to board meetings to speak up for our kids. They were fine with letting our kids being experimented on since it could jeopardize their job. The parents sent in a petition 4 yeas ago but where were the teachers? We stood up for our children and teachers. The parents just get taken granted for and are termed trouble makers every time they speak up. Respect goes both ways and I think we deserve some for paying our taxes, fees and all the other donations.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't there collaboration between the schools? Why does Oak outperform the other schools while Monroe lags behind? Why don't the teachers share their lessons with each other? Are they so set in their ways they refuse to change? Also, where is the professional development for the teachers so they know what they have available and how to use it? We really need administrators (both building & district levels) to bring together all the schools, come up with a defined curriculum and a way to share what works and what doesn't when implementing the curriculum.

On technology, I agree: technology isn't the end all, be all of education. If that were the case, a lot of us would probably home school. While technology can help differentiate instruction, it's not the only way.

Anonymous said...

9:10: at least your child gets worksheets. My daughter - day after day - is told to spend the entire math class working on the computer. Homework is to work on the same computer programs - often the child just choses which online program and which section to work on and for how long. Lazy teaching. I do not support 1:1 in the elementary schools. Our teachers are highly paid. They need to teach.

Anonymous said...

My educated guess is that the poor performance of Monroe vs the other schools is the ongoing turnover of principals, poor principals, and the size of the school. The principal position has been a revolving door at Monroe for at least 15 years. Some of been burned out and moved into a head office job they were not trained for. Some have been terrible and moved quickly into a head office job they were not trained for. Some made dumb decisions and were forced out. Contrast that with Madison where the principal stayed 20 years.

The root cause is a weak BOE ( I am talking decades, not just the incumbents) that hire weak supers that make terrible hiring and staffing decisions. For some reason Monroe has had the worst of it. We need a strong school board that sets policy. A good policy is that the principal position is LONG TERM and not a stepping stone to a cushy district job after 2 or 3 years. The 20 year Madison veteran knows the kids, the families, the siblings, etc. This person is invested in the school and not out for the next rung up the ladder. The people we hire to lead our schools and lead our curriculum are REALLY important. We have to get the Superintendent job right. They have to get the right leaders in every building.

Oak has fewer students and rumor has it they all have private tutors. Unlike the student demographic differences between Hinsdale Central and South, there are few demographic differences among the Hinsdale elementary schools that I am aware of.

The sad thing is that in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Monroe was ranked first or second in D181 depending on the test and the subject and ALL the D181 schools were among the top in the state.

This is not academic theory, this is real. The children that are unprepared leaving 5th grade don't get a mulligan. The children leaving D181 and going to Central or to private high school will be competing against well prepared students from Butler and other rigorous programs. Getting this fixed is far more important than new computers or a shiny new middle school.

Anonymous said...

If the above scenario is true about a child being asked to sit on the computer day after day to learn math, I am appalled. This is truly lazy teaching. The Americsn Academy of Pediatrics has put specific limits on screen time. Why isn't the district following these guidelines? We need teachers to teach, not slow computers to babysit our kids. Leave the IXL for homework, but don't force our kids to do more than 20 minutes of it at a time. Live, interactive teacher PD is the only way to improve learning, boost confidence, and support positive feelings in school. Teachers, stop blaming parents and their children for the problems created by the district's poor leadership and teaching methods. Parents and kids have no control over the materials and methods used in school and assigned for homework.

More than a few hours of screen time for children has been found to be detrimental to children's attention spans . Look at Dr. Georgia Bozeday's research. She is from Rush Neurobehaviora and is a nationally recognized expert in this field. She spoke to a large group of parents and grandparents at Union Church in Hinsdale a few months ago. It was an eye opening presentation that was completely supported by data and acience. The Curriculum Commitee needs to bring Dr. Bozeday to do a staff, not just a parent, presentation. Staff must be informed because they are the ones who are touted as experts. They are the ones in charge of pilots and selecting materials. However, they are often not up to date on the latest research.

Stop the digital learning initiative because no one with any suitable degree of expertise in learning theory or digital learning is supervising this group. The new administrators must supervise and direct this group AFTER they sort out why children's scores are dropping and why they keep giving our children presentations on how to be less anxious and stressed out. What child wouldn't be stressed out after being an experimental subject in 3 different curriculums in the last 4 years? Or, last year, being forced to take MAP tests 3 X a year AND 2 separate, week long national PARCC tests? Do you think our children like being forced to re-learn all do their math terminology and strategies every year? Teachers hate this too, but at least they are paid to be there. Do you think 11 year olds enjoy having 2 hours of homework every day? Of course this causes anxiety! Why aren't the SELAS, PPS, and Learning Deoartment talking to staff, not children, to show teachers how to make school less stressful for children? We need a new superintendent now.

Anonymous said...

The chickens have come home to roost. Anybody who has been paying attention for the past 5 years cannot be surprised by these dismal results. The curriculum decline began slowly with the introduction of “Learning for All,” and then after years of mismanagement fell off a cliff all at once.

Stupid ideas beget stupid ideas. And the “Learning for All Plan” was a stupid idea, which led to subject compaction, which led abandonment of subject compaction, which led to failed math pilots, which lead to bad test scores, which led to the eventual “archival” of the “Learning for All Plan.”

Here’s the thing: Elementary education is not rocket science. Math (at this level) has not changed for over a millennia. English composition has existed in its current form for roughly 250 years.

And yet, Big Edu constantly changes the way these steady concepts are presented to students. The history of American public education is littered with failed trends from new math and open schoolrooms of the 70’s to reform math and constructivist teaching of today. Worse yet, we have to endure the current crop of nonsense about how the three Rs are best presented using 1 to 1 technology so the kids have even more screen time. The rationale given by the administrators? Because the brains of today’s children are different from just a generation ago! (Apparently, evolution is not taught in D181).

When anybody questions these harebrained ideas, we are told, “Trust us, we are the experts.” But whenever a new idea requires you to ignore your common sense, chances are the idea is wrong. (As an aside, a corollary to this maxim is whenever someone tells you something is hard to explain, as we were at the last board meeting concerning an error in the test scores, that person usually doesn’t know what they are talking about.)

I’m not surprised by any of this. As it turns out the “experts” are not so smart. Over the past 70 years, education majors exhibit the lowest academic aptitude on standardized tests scores compared to any other area of study. Agriculture is close. This is not to say an individual educator is not smart. But the numbers measuring the entire group, speak for themselves.

Combine the lack of aptitude and critical thinking with people who lack experience (which oftentimes makes up for a deficit in raw intellect) in important roles throughout the Department of Learning and –well - you get declining test scores and missing growth targets.

Education has become a pseudoscience and the language spoken by its practitioners is psycho-babble. Have you noticed education no longer resembles school? Spelling is gone. Reading is whatever book you choose an nobody will ask you about it, let alone make sure you read it. Parts of speech are an afterthought. Math facts? Maybe next year.

There is very little learning going on in D181. I notice it with my own children and I am sickened. They have lost five years. Every year I naively think it will get better. And it never does. It can’t. So long as inexperience pervades the Department of Learning, there is no hope of a quality, let alone rigorous, curriculum.

We deserve better.

Anonymous said...

5:21 you are right on. I am tired of micromanaging my child's education. I didn't have to do this with my older children and they are excelling at Hinsdale Central. Something is still very wrong with this district. Stop pushing 1;1 and focus on the basics that have been working for this district for decades. Also, how about improving science and foreign language? More basics that should be prioritized over 1;1. And, for those middle school parents whose students are using on-line textbooks, ask them if they find them more confusing and difficult to use? My daughter does so I bought her hardcopies of them all.

Anonymous said...

If the district is going to force our children to use online textbooks, then the DISTRICT needs to buy our children computers. This is what other districts do. With the amount of money we pay in property taxes and registration and materials fees, parents are not obligated to buy their children computers to read their books. Nor should we have to share our work computers at home with them because our children are not given worksheets or books. Paying for a workbook is much easier and cost effective than buying a laptop. Remember teachers, they get their laptops for free. Our kids do not. And if my child drops the laptop, you can bet I will not pay to repair it. However, I have no problem paying for a lost book.

The district needs to think twice about implementing a digital curriculum. It will cost them a lot more than they realize.

Anonymous said...

This is why companies like Apple and Pearson pushing their digital learning so much. There is a lot of money to be made for them from public schools. Interesting though that Bill Gates and his fellow tech buddies send their children to private, classical schools and limit their children's screen time.

Anonymous said...

The District has published the proposed criteria for advanced and accelerated math opportunities for the 2016-17 school year. It is listed under Board Docs, Learning Committee Agenda, Spring MAP data.