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Communicating about Achievement Gaps and NCLB Strategies, Tools, and Tips

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Title: Communicating about Achievement Gaps and NCLB Strategies, Tools, and Tips


1
Communicating about Achievement Gaps and
NCLBStrategies, Tools, and Tips
  • The Education Trusts 14th National Conference
  • Washington, DC
  • November 6-8, 2003

2
NCLB Statement of Purpose
Closing the achievement gap between high- and
low-performing children, especially the
achievement gaps between minority and nonminority
students, and between disadvantaged children and
their more advantaged peers. 20 U.S.C. 6301
3
Proactive Communication Is Essential
  • How you talk about the achievement gap,
    disaggregated data and the new public reporting
    requirements will have a profound impact on
    student achievement.

4
Five Big Strategies
  • Talk about disaggregated data and achievement
    gaps proactively, clearly, and frankly
  • Use data to dispel the destructive myths about
    the gaps and the belief that theres nothing
    schools can do about them
  • Convey a concrete vision of what you will do, and
    what you expect other educators to do and NOT
    do about low achievement and gaps
  • Describe NCLB and state goals for achievement in
    terms of an everybody wins scenario
  • Dispel myths about how long it takes to get
    results and the possible pace of improvement

5
1. Talk About Group Scores and Achievement Gaps
Clearly and Frankly
6
Recognize the Concerns
  • Group data, especially race data, can initially
    make many people uncomfortable
  • Many dont understand why its necessary to
    separate scores by race and poverty
  • There are a number of myths and some legitimate
    concerns about consequences of releasing
    disaggregated test scores, e.g.
  • disaggregation means segregation
  • fear that it will reinforce negative group
    stereotypes

7
Tip Communicate Why You Believe Publishing Group
Data is Necessary
  • Focusing on averages has allowed too many kids to
    fall through the cracks unnoticed.
  • Allows us to figure out how well our
    school/district/state is doing IF we really
    believe all kids can and should learn.
  • Helps identify problems that would otherwise go
    unnoticed.
  • Appeals to the publics sense of moral
    responsibility. (Its the right thing to do.)

8
  • There will definitely be more accountability
    because schools will have to make adequate yearly
    progress for all subgroups. ... It will encourage
    schools to focus their efforts and look at data
    to determine which groups are low and target
    their efforts.
  • Liz Talbot, special programs coordinator
    with the San Benito County Office of Education,
    Hollister Free Lance (CA), 4/30/03

9
  • Each of our teams probably thought they knew
    what the trends in student achievement were.
    But when some of the teams looked at our data, it
    wasn't necessarily what they thought it was. And
    that was good.
  • Kim Von Stein, a reading resource teacher
    in a high-poverty school, Washington Post, 5/18/03

10
  • We cannot pretend any more that kids are
    achieving, when in fact they are not. We need to
    show where kids are, and we need to show that
    they are growing.
  • Udell Cason Jr., Principal, Des Moines'
    Moore Elementary School Des Moines Register,
    7/22/03

11
  • Every school in the district needs to look at
    student performance and ask, Who's not
    achieving? Why not? And what are we going to do
    about it?"
  • Ken James, Fayette County Schools
    Superintendent (KY), Lexington Herald-Leader,
    8/14/03

12
  • At the end of the day, we are responsible for
    every child.
  • Superintendent, Wake County, News and Observer
    (NC), 6/2/02

13
Parents will appreciate it
SOURCE Business Roundtable Survey conducted by
SDS (June 2003).
14
Tip Be Up Front about How This Redefines What It
Takes to Be a Good Enough School or District
15
A New Definition of Good Enough
  • What makes for a good school?
  • What makes for a good district?

Academic Bragging Rights
In So Five Minutes Ago
Out
Apologies to Entertainment Weekly
Its mostly about our best and brightest How
many merit scholars last year? How many
grads accepted to elite colleges last year?
Its mostly about our average students Is our
average score above average? Is the average
going up by a few points each year?
Its about all students Are all students and
all student groups making enough progress toward
academic proficiency? Are gaps between groups
closing?
16
Parents and the Public Support New Definition of
Good Enough
Concerned Parents 93 Voters 88
SOURCE Business Roundtable Survey conducted by
SDS (June 2003).
17
Abraham Lincoln Middle School Gainesville, Florida
  • 31 White
  • 59 African American
  • 57 Low Income
  • An A school under the Florida accountability
    model (based on averages)
  • Did not make AYP for 2002-03

Source Florida Department of Education,
http//web.fldoe.org.
18
Achievement Gaps at LincolnMiddle School
2002-03 Reading
FL AYP Target 31
Source Florida Department of Education,
http//web.fldoe.org
19
Remember, this school is
  • 31 White
  • 59 African American
  • 57 Low Income
  • An A school under the Florida accountability
    model
  • Did not make AYP for 2002-03

20
Achievement Gaps at Lincoln Middle School
2002-03 Math
FL AYP Target 38
Source Florida Department of Education,
http//web.fldoe.org
21
  • We haven't been worried about stigma. To us, the
    most significant ramification that we can imagine
    is that we don't get rid of this gap.
  • Susan Bridge, Oak Park and River Forest
    Principal and District Superintendent, Chicago
    Sun-Times, 10/16/03

22
  • We used to say, Ten percent of our students are
    not succeeding thats not too bad. Now those
    10 percent are being put under a microscope. The
    focus now is on every single child.
  • Christopher Spezialetti, Principal, Ernie
    Davis Elementary School, The New York Times,
    11/10/02

23
Whitney M. Young Middle SchoolCleveland Ohio
  • 84 African American
  • 100 Low Income
  • Rated Effective under Ohio accountability
    system
  • Made AYP 2002-03

Source Ohio Department of Education,
http//www.ode.state.oh.us
24
High Achievement at Whitney M. Young2002-03
Reading
AYP Target 36
Source Ohio Department of Education,
http//www.ode.state.oh.us
25
High Achievement at Whitney M. Young2002-03 Math
AYP Target 36.8
Source Ohio Department of Education,
http//www.ode.state.oh.us
26
Tip Lead by Example Talk About Achievement
Gaps Up Front
  • Shows that its O.K. to openly and publicly
    discuss uncomfortable subjects like race and
    achievement.
  • Categorically reject that this is about
    scapegoating kids or reinforcing group
    stereotypes.
  • Provides a model for HOW to talk about
    disaggregated data and gaps.

27
  • it is often said that if you want to find
    solutions to difficult challenges, the first
    thing you must do is acknowledge and talk openly
    and truthfully about the problem you wish to
    solve.
  • Minnesota Education Commissioner Cheri
    Pierson Yecke to the Citizen's League Forum,
    5/22/03

28
  • the honest fact is that these numbers, these
    averages do not tell the whole story...We need
    to look at some hard facts.
  • Minnesota Education Commissioner Cheri
    Pierson Yecke to the Citizen's League Forum,
    5/22/03

29
  • Yes, the FCAT is creating anxiety, but I am
    happy, because it is saying to the state of
    Florida that black kids are not being taught.
  • parent in West Palm Beach at Urban League
    meeting, Palm Beach Post, 5/29/03

30
Tip Be Brutally Frank about How Serious the Gaps
Are
Tip Use innovative ways to flesh out what the
test scores mean in terms of real achievement
31
U.S. Eighth Grade Math NAEP Achievement By
Group
Source US Department of Education, National
Center for Education Statistics Web site,
http//nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/naepdata/
32
California Black and Latino 11th Graders Score
Only as High as White 6th Graders
White
Black
Latino
Sources CA Department of Education Web site,
http//www.eddataonline.com/CST2002/
33
How Minnesota Department of Ed Compares Gap
4 years worth of learning behind
Grade 8 Reading Assessment Difference Between
White and Black Students
3 years worth of learning behind
2 years worth of learning behind
1 years worth of learning behind
10 pt s.
  • 20 Washington
  • North Carolina
  • Kentucky, Massachusetts,
  • South Carolina
  • Alabama, California,
  • Delaware, Mississippi,
  • Missouri, Nevada, Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana
  • Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas
  • New York, Nation
  • Colorado, Maryland
  • Wisconsin
  • Connecticut
  • 39 Minnesota
  • Hawaii, Rhode Island
  • West Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • District of
  • Columbia

The Education Trust EdWatch Online NAEP
Achievement Gap Summary tables www.edtrust.org
Source Presentation by Cheri Yecki, Minnesota
Commissioner of Education.
34
African American and Latino 17 Year Olds Do Math
at Same Levels As White 13 Year Olds
Source NAEP 1999 Long Term Trends Summary Tables
(online)
35
African American and Latino 17 Year Olds Read at
Same Levels as White 13 Year Olds
Source Source NAEP 1999 Long Term Trends
Summary Tables (online)
36
Two Cardinal Rules for Displaying Data of Any
Kind
  • Keep it simple.
  • Tell a clear story.

37
Keep It Simple This is NOT
38
Keep It Simple Like This
39
Keep It Simple Like This
40
2. Use Data to Dispel the Belief that Theres
Nothing Schools Can Do about the Gaps
41
Myths and Misunderstandings about Achievement Gaps
  • Its all about community wealth since you can
    predict test scores by ZIP code
  • Poor/minority kids have hard lives that prevent
    them from learning
  • Peer cultures discourage kids from wanting to
    learn and/or working hard in school
  • Parents dont care, arent involved, are
    uneducated, dont have time to check homework,
    dont read to kids at night

42
New York Releases First-Ever Achievement Gap Data
  • Neither poverty nor race is an excuse, Mr.
    Mills said. All children can rise to the
    standards and there are many schools in the data
    that you have to prove it.
  • New York Times, March 28, 2002

43
Tip Acknowledge Your Opportunity Gaps
  • Curriculum and watered down expectations people
    are comfortable talking about this at this point.

44
Talking about Curriculum Gaps in Minnesota
  • We can also see a gap when we look at what
    courses students of color are taking in high
    school. To put it bluntly, this is shameful.
  • Minnesota Education Commissioner Cheri
    Pierson Yecke to the Citizen's League Forum,
    5/22/03

45
Acknowledge Your Opportunity Gaps
  • Teacher Quality Low-income and minority students
    are far more likely to be assigned to
    underqualified teachers.

46
Digging Deeper on Teacher Quality
  • Whats in an average?

47
Digging Deeper on Teacher Quality
  • The comparison we usually make

48
Digging Deeper on Teacher Quality
  • Disaggregate by race and poverty

49
Oregons Teacher Quality Gap
  • Low-income students are more likely than
    economically advantaged students to get math
    teachers who aren't experts in math or English
    teachers without a strong background in English,
    an analysis of the statistics by The Oregonian
    shows.
  • The Oregonian, 9/4/03

50
Oregons Teacher Quality Gap
  • The disparities in teacher qualification need to
    change, said Susan Castillo, Oregon schools
    superintendent. Oregon has 26 million in federal
    money to help schools improve teacher quality,
    and a large share will go to schools with
    concentrations of poor and minority students, she
    said.
  • The Oregonian, 9/4/03

51
Tip Use Scatterplots to Dispel the Myth that
Achievement Is Perfectly Predictable by SES
52
Source Education Trust analysis of data from
National School-Level State Assessment Score
Database (www.schooldata.org).
53
Source Education Trust analysis of data from
National School-Level State Assessment Score
Database (www.schooldata.org).
54
Source Education Trust analysis of data from
National School-Level State Assessment Score
Database (www.schooldata.org).
55
Tip Use Frontier Data and 1) Lists/Examples
of High-Poverty/Minority Schools that Are
High-Performing2) Lists/Examples of Schools
that Are High-Performing for a Particular Group
of Students3) Lists/Examples of Schools with
High Performance for All Groups Small or No
Gaps between Groups
56
ALERT!!!!
  • Dispelling the Myth Online, Version 2.0
  • coming soon to a computer terminal near you!!
  • (visit our cyber café to check it out)

57
Flying High Longfellow School, Mount Vernon, NY
  • About 92 Low-Income
  • About 99 African American
  • Scored as high or higher than about 90 of other
    New York State elementary schools in 4th grade
    math for two consecutive years (2001-2002).
  • In 2002, 93 of 4th grade students met state
    standards in reading.

Source Education Trust. Dispelling the Myth
Online. www.edtrust.org .
58
Flying High Lincoln SchoolMount Vernon, NY
  • About 49 Low-Income
  • About 67 African American and Latino
  • Has outperformed nearly ¾ of other New York State
    elementary schools in math and language arts for
    three years in a row (2001-2003).
  • In 2002, performed as well or better than 98 of
    all NY elementary schools in math and 99 of NY
    schools in language arts.

Source The Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth
Online. www.edtrust.org
59
Closing Gaps Lincoln School, Mount Vernon, NY
Source New York State Department of Education.
Analyses by Student Subgroup of School
Performance in English Language Arts and
Mathematics for Lincoln School in Mount Vernon
City School District. March 7, 2002.
60
Engelhard Elementary, Louisville, KY
(60 African American, 31 White)
NOTE Academic Index Score runs from 13 minimum
to 100 maximum.
Source Kentucky Association of School Councils,
Some Top 2002 Disaggregated Results.
61
Ohios Schools of Promise
  • The two schools in Lawrence County may be among
    the poorest in Ohio, but poverty has not
    prevented students from achieving academic
    success. At a conference yesterday in Columbus,
    the two schools and 29 others were honored by
    Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan T.
    Zelman as Schools of Promise.
  • The Columbus Dispatch, 10/23/03

62
Ohios Schools of Promise
  • "These schools demonstrate that demographics
    should not determine a student's academic
    destiny," said Ohio Superintendent of Public
    Instruction Susan Tave Zelman in a statement.
    "Students can achieve and succeed no matter where
    they live. These schools show promise for all
    students across the state."
  • The Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/10/03

63
3. Convey a Concrete Vision of What You Will Do
64
and What You Expect Other Educators to Do and
Not Do about the Gaps
65
Myths and Misgivings About What Schools
Districts Will Have to Do to Close Test-Score
Gaps
  • Teaching to the test
  • Ignoring non-tested subjects
  • Encouraging older students to stay home on test
    day or drop out altogether
  • Cheating on tests

66
Tip Provide Evidence That NONE of These Are
Inevitable Outcomes
67
Tip Reaffirm that Teaching to Particular Test
Items Is Not Educationally Sound in the Long Run
  • Judith Langer, Beating the Odds Teaching Middle
    and High School Students To Read and Write Well,
    Center on English Learning Achievement (2001)
  • Examined the methods of highly successful English
    teachers in high-performing schools, compared
    with teachers who had average levels of success.
  • The most successful teachers were far more likely
    to integrate the skills and knowledge that was to
    be tested into the larger ongoing curriculum.
  • The less successful teachers were more likely to
    focus on test preparation skills and to treat the
    knowledge to be tested separate from the ongoing
    curriculum, the so-called teaching to the test
    approach.

68
Tip Talk about Acting on the Data In Terms of
Adult Choices
  • Ethical Choices
  • Professional Choices

69
Ethical Response to Gap Data
  • In the four districts studied, the ethical
    response of district leadershipto the state
    accountability systems performance data and
    local catalysts was an extremely important factor
    that lead to the districts eventual success.

Source Equity-Driven Achievement-Focused School
Districts, Sept. 2000, The Charles A. Dana
Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
70
Tip Give Examples of Ethical and Professionally
Sound Responses to Gap Data
71
The Old Way
  • Curriculum is left up to individual schools or
    teachers
  • Teachers broadcast the content a kind of
    one-size fits all approach
  • Some students get it and some dont
  • Teachers dont exactly know which students are
    really getting it and they couldnt do much
    about those who arent anyway.

Much is left to chance.
72
The New Way
  • All teachers teach a common, coherent curriculum
    that clearly lays out what kids are supposed to
    have learned at each step of the way.
  • Teachers use a variety of strategies to help
    students master a common set of knowledge and
    skills individualized instruction
  • Teachers know which students arent getting it
    the first time and which students are falling
    seriously behind
  • Teachers can tap into a variety of strategies for
    providing additional instruction to students who
    dont get it the first time or who are falling
    seriously behind.

Little is left to chance.
73
Tip Name and refute the culture of
powerlessness among educators by talking about
  • Building effective instructional systems that
    work for all not just some students
  • Rolling up our sleeves and engineering
    common-sense, practical solutions big and small
    to known instructional obstacles

74
Example Parents, Homework, and Practical
Solutions to Problems
  • Teachers say they are powerless because parents
    of poor kids cant/wont/dont have time/dont
    have capacity to make sure homework gets done.
  • But if homework is an instructional practice
    that we KNOW doesnt work for all students, why
    keep using it?
  • If we decide to keep using it, are there
    common-sense, practical solutions to this
    obstacle? (E.g., Extra time built into or around
    the school day.)

75
  • "If that's not happening at the home, it has to
    be explicitly taught in school."
  • Deputy Superintendent Christine M. Johns
    (Baltimore County) re developing strong reading
    skills in students who arrive at school behind
    their more privileged peers, The Baltimore Sun,
    6/9/03.

76
  • Medley said Christopher's kindergarten teacher
    has the patience and skills to teach him what she
    cannot. And she is grateful.
  • I'm not more equipped than a teacher to
    give him that head start.
  • The Baltimore Sun, 6/9/03

77
Tip Offer examples of classroom teachers and
administrators who take bold actions to close
achievement gaps
78
Example Tackling Opportunity Gaps Head-On
He demanded more data. And soon he realized that
white students far outnumbered blacks in advanced
middle-school math classes. Promptly, he
tore up the schedules of 8,000 middle-schoolers
and started reassigning them. He cant really be
ripping up a summers worth of scheduling and
starting over, teachers gasped when they heard.
This cant be happening, parents wailed when they
called his office.
Source Washington Post Magazine, November 10,
2002.
79
4. Describe NCLB and State Goals in Terms of an
Everybody Wins Scenario
80
Recognize the Myths
  • Doesnt Gap Closing Mean Holding
    White/Affluent/Gifted/High-Achieving Groups of
    Kids Down?
  • Active Taking Resources Away from Them?
  • Passive Ignoring Them and Their Needs

81
Tip Talk about Dual Goals for Student Achievement
  • We expect two things
  • 1) That all groups of students improve, and,
  • 2) At the same time, that we accelerate the
    improvement of poor and minority students.

82
Tip Use Longitudinal Data from Your State or
Elsewhere to Show What You Expect the Achievement
Patterns to Look Like
83
Aldine, TX Raising Achievement for All While
Narrowing Gaps
Source Texas Education Agency-Academic
Excellence Indicator System Report 1994 through
2001.
84
Aldine, TX Raising Achievement for All While
Narrowing Gaps
Source Texas Education Agency-Academic
Excellence Indicator System Report 1994 through
2001.
85
Tip Use Data to Show That Theres Plenty of Room
for Improvement for All Groups
86
NAEP Proficiency Gap Grade 4 Reading
62
91
88
Source U.S. Department of Education, National
Center for Education Statistics, National
Assessment of Educational Progress.
87
AIMS Meeting Standards Gap 5th Grade Math
45
76
75
84
Source Arizona Department of Education,
http//www.ade.state.az.us/standards/aims/demograh
ics/EthnicAIMS2001Gr5Math.PDF. Data are from
2001 AIMS assessment.
88
Tip Emphasize that This Isnt About Taking
Anything Away from Anyone, but Rather Making Sure
All Students Get What They Need to Learn
89
5. Dispel Myths about How Long It Takes to Get
Results and the Pace of Improvement
90
Recognize the Myths
  • Doesnt it take XX years of school improvement
    efforts before you get any results? (i.e.
    change takes a long time)
  • Isnt the timeline way too short? (i.e.,
    natural maximum rate)

91
Pace of improvement
  • The second part of these superintendents
    commitment to high expectations was moving from
    belief and talk to action
  • They not only really believed that literally all
    children can learn, they decided that they could
    accomplish this in their districts and in the
    immediate future rather than in some distant,
    mythic future.

Source Equity-Driven Achievement-Focused School
Districts, Sept. 2000, The Charles A. Dana
Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
92
Tip Actively Rebut the It Takes a Long Time to
See Any Improvement Myth
93
Norview High School, Norfolk, VA
(1,560 students 70 African American and Latino)
Sources Virginia Department of Education Web
site, http//www.pen.k12.va.us/VDOE/Assessment/200
2SOLpassrates.html.
94
MCAS English Raising First-Time Pass Rates
Narrowing Gaps
Source Massachusetts Department of Education Web
site.
95
MA Narrowing the High School Competency Gap
Source Massachusetts Department of Education
Web site.
96
MA Narrowing the High School Competency Gap
Source Massachusetts Department of Education
Web site.
97
Tip Actively Rebut the Natural/Maximum Rate
Improvement Myth
98
A Tale of Two Schools
  • Annandale Elementary
  • 92 Latino
  • 92 low-income
  • Magnolia Street Elementary
  • 94 Latino
  • 95 low-income

Both schools are in Los Angeles Unified School
District
99
A Tale of Two Schools
Source Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth
Online, www.edtrust.org
100
A Tale of Two Schools
Source Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth
Online, www.edtrust.org
101
A Tale of Two Schools
Source Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth
Online, www.edtrust.org
102
A Tale of Two Schools
Source Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth
Online, www.edtrust.org
103
A Tale of Two Schools
Source Education Trust, Dispelling the Myth
Online, www.edtrust.org
104
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Helping All Students Meet
Standards
Grade 5 NC End-of-Grade Reading Test
27
Source MCRC for the Council of Great City
Schools, Foundations for Success. September
2002. Table C.1.
105
Gap Narrows in Virginia
22
33
Source Virginia Department of Education Web site.
106
Rememberwhat you say matters a lot.
  • If you love children, you cant say this law is
    a wasteit has to come down to someone making
    sure these kids are getting an education.
  • Denise Allen, Principal, Woodford County
    Middle School (KY), Lexington Herald Leader,
    11/13/02

107
Change is hard. But there are worse things than
being forced to improve-- such as letting
thousands of poor and minority students lose the
chance for an education.
  • Editorial, USA Today, 12/18/02

108
www.edtrust.org
  • The Education Trusts 14th National Conference
  • Washington, DC
  • November 6-8, 2003

109
Additional Resources Available
  • Want others in your school, district or community
    to see this presentation?
  • You can schedule a WEB-EX presentation with us.
    Email us for more information
  • Jeanne Brennan, jbrennan_at_edtrust.org
  • Nicolle Grayson, ngrayson_at_edtrust.org
  • Kim Holmes, kholmes_at_edtrust.org
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