Saturday, April 07, 2012


from notyetLAUSD |

Student Performance Incentive Program

Carrot-Stick1Thursday, March 29, 2012  ::  notyetLAUSD is pleased to announce a new incentive program to get students to take ownership and improve their CST scores. notyetLAUSD is modeling this new program based on LAUSD’s current system to promote excellence among its teaching and administrative staff. LAUSD has seen a steady growth in student test scores as a whole for several years. Steady growth year over year is not easily achieved and if district policies for increasing test score achievement are good enough for the teachers and administrators, lets apply the same zero-tolerance/market driven policies to students to accelerate their test score achievement.

Better than an oak tree, here is an example of how this will work.

Imagine you are a student in classroom where you see a kid cheat on a test. Your teacher has shown that when one kid cheats, the whole class will get an ‘F,’ what would you do?

And by the way at this school a single test counts for 75-88% the whole class’s eligibility to stay in the school, if the whole class fails this single test your whole class is kicked out of school and have to find a new school.

Through a combination of zero-tolerance policies and market competition we have created a perfect environment for students to achieve high scores on the CST. We can ensure test scores soar by applying and relieving pressure on key parts of the market.

1. We can further accelerate this growth by publicly releasing the student growth scores that LAUSD currently calculates on every student to make the teacher VAM scores. Consider students public employees consuming vital public money to build their capacity, why shouldn't we know their scores?

2. We can keep low achieving students from reentering the district by ensuring that investigations of cheating are processed over the summer when the student will be least likely to find another school within notyetLAUSD.

3. We will write glowing letters to students who exceed the upper ranges of growth on their tests.  In VAM terms where the scale is from 0 to 5, we celebrate those that score 6 and 7 for great learning.

4. We will never initiate investigations of cheating on our own unless we want that particular student out because they consume too many resources. Overall schools will be encouraged not to investigate cheating because losing a class of students looks bad for the whole school and results in a loss of funding. When national news reports come outfinding evidence of cheating we will pose for another installation to the museum of deafening silence.

for more see notyetLAUSD's Acceptable Cheating Policy

(notyet)LAUSD’s Acceptable Cheating Policy

Wednesday, July 13, 2011  ::  Another sun rise, another school cheating scandal; Atlanta, Texas “miracle”, Washington DC, LAUSD. Lets look at another place where cheating is occurring and being dealt with to get an idea of how education will deal with it, baseball. BarryBonds and Roger Clemens show how little we care about cheating.  What Bonds and Clemens do show is how we want to make an example of a few and ignore the many. Everyone knows these are not the only two players to use steroids. To keep our conscience clear we want an example to validate “we don't accept cheaters”. 

We do accept cheaters, its just normal: spouses, speed limits, resumes.

So many of us cheat and we know it, yet we want to punish “cheaters” in a way that doesn't hit home.  Think how much energy is poured into talking about Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens character defects. If we didn't have character defects established for Bonds and Clemens, we might mistake these individuals as sharing a commonality with us. With “defective” people being punished we can go to sleep safe that our cheating is different because non-defective people, like us, “misinterpret the rules.(video)” Maybe outside of education circles people already feel a dissonance toward teachers. There is certainly a lot of noise lately to create a dissonance around teachers who work in and are committed to your local community.

NotyetLAUSD has a solution: LAUSD Acceptable Cheating Policy (ACP).

We hope this model will remove some of the stigma surrounding cheating so we can integrate cheating into our expectations that come with high stakes testing. We will use the same normalized curve (bell curve) sweeping much of the education sector, like in VAM scores. By looking at rates of cheating on standardized tests across the nation we can create a reliable curve of cheating we can tolerate. Zero tolerance policies are unrealistic, the data doesn't support a zero cheating environment. ACP demands that 10% of teachers will be extreme cheaters and 10% will be minimal cheaters and the rest will fall in a tidy bell curve. Its not fair to compare the cheating of a tenured teacher at a high API school to the cheating of a new teacher at a low API school. We can control for factors like how much stress the teachers and administrators are under to raise scores so we don't miss categorize a teacher's cheating extremeness. 


2cents smf: As a writer let me say that having to explain parody, comedy, cynicism or satire is the kiss of literary death. That said, notyetLAUSD is a passionate teacher and a passionate heart-on-his-or-her-sleeve believer in teaching who works in this school district – and a biting satirist who believes, like I do, that if you can’t laugh at adversity, stupidity, and dunderheadedness; if you can’t mock the clowns on the 24th floor and the smokers in the secret smoking cave at Beaudry+3rd St and all the other faces of ignorance/all the other Names of The Beast – you lose your soul.

OK, the smokers are addicts …the clowns have no excuse.

Here is notyetLAUSD writing seriously if-still-anonymously last Monday:

notyetLAUSD Apr 2, 2012 10:06 PM

1. PSC was based upon where your API was or how much you raised it in a 4/5 year time frame. Entire schools saw dramatic increases as administrators were encouraged by the district and their own interests to give an ever growing number of students the CMA (California Modified Assessment) instead of the CST.

2. The districts own VAM system acknowledges that these schools are off the charts 6.0 and 7.0 schools and teachers are clearly marked and sent letters of congratulations and nothing else.

3. A teacher or school off the charts are acknowledged with a letter from Dr. D. The school or teacher should be asked about how they do it so other teachers could learn from them. The district never inquires about successful practices at any school. The district knows these scores are outside the realm of reason, and never launches an investigation.

4. Are both options the best thing? A teacher does amazing, they are given a confidential note and their expertises are not shared. A teacher does amazing, but are not investigated for teaching.

5. At Virgil MS. A teacher was accused of cheating and the whole school's API was thrown out. Why would a teacher ever report cheating at their own school if they whole school is going to loose its API score.

6. At this point in LAUSD's experiment with its School Performance Frame work under the School Portfolio Management model, CST scores make up 75% of a school's score. Can a school expect to continue it there is no CST score?

7. If just 10% of teachers are cheating this would constitute 2/3 of the spaces reserved for VAM scores of 4.0-5.0 (top teachers). This at a time when the district wants to bring VAM into teacher evaluation

At summer trainings this past year every teacher I met representing approximately 4 dozen school knew about the CMA fraud committed at one middle school in LAUSD. These same teachers admitted to knowing about cheating at their school sites.

What I don't want to see is more attacks on teacher who do shoulder a fair share of the blame. Just as important is that the district knows about the cheating or is painfully ignorant. Either way I want to see a response to cheating start at all levels at the same time. No need to worry about the past, just make 2012-13 a year without cheating.

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