Because you and Belo Expectations share such an affinity for cheap shots and have little actual expertise in combing through education data, let us know whether the following press release is true:
“Principal Marian Willard and The Great James Madison High School made astounding gains in Texas successful public college transition rates over the last year in data recently compiled by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Willard’s senior class of 2011 increased their successful college transition rates by almost 30% over the class of 2010, beating out Peak Preparatory, a nationally known charter school.
As a result of this improvement in true college readiness, Principal Marian Willard has been targeted for termination by Dallas Superintendent Mike Miles. Peak Preparatory’s former Director has been promoted in a position of training principals at the Teaching Trust at SMU.”
True or False, Sharon?
How about you, Jim Schutze, on your throne at the DO? Want to take a shot?
Sharon Grigsby’s usual work at Belo Expectations is generally in the category of pabulum and not worth comment, but her latest column that attempts to paint Marian Willard of Madison as a loser principal who needs to be terminated is not only inaccurate; it borders on slander.
Grigsby quotes Jim Schutze of The Dallas Observer, a local rag whose revenue stream is dependent on soft porn. Lately, Jim seems to be pulling a cut and paste job from Commit! and Dallas education PACs who seek to paint some Dallas high schools as total failures with Commit! and the PACs offering their two cents in terms of cures.
Commit! and the rest of the Dallas PACs have no cures for high schools like Madison that must have strong, stable and consistent campus leadership. Miles’ cure in Harrison 2 in Colorado Springs was constant torment of both principals and teachers with few gains in achievement. Goofballs like Mark Melton constantly focus on accountability with no institutional knowledge of what that means at the campus level.
But back to the data and Willard. Grigsby repeats Jim Schutze’s error in comparing Madison’s SAT scores to the state average. Apparently Grigsby and Schutze need an introductory course in education reporting and the AEIS data system used in Texas.
Poverty is the most consistent correlation to low standardized test scores, and the predictive ability of the SAT falls as the student population being tested becomes poorer. Grigsby and Schutze, in their fervor to prove their points, missed the demographic AEIS campus match to Madison High School supplied by TEA. If the state of Texas were as poor as the students served by Madison High School, we would be a third world country. The demographics of Texas students don’t match Madison, but
Madison’s scores are in line with its demographic peer group.Schutze’s cheap shot at Willard by comparing Madison High School to the state average isn’t just inaccurate. It is character assassination of Willard and her students.
Growth on the PSAT and SAT from time a freshman enters high school to a final SAT score is typically around 80 points in Dallas high schools. SEM and TAG have growth rates of around 120 points.
Marian Willard’s leadership at Madison puts her right in the norm for PSAT and then SAT growth at her high school. Willard is getting the same gains on SAT scores from the time ninth graders enter her campus as her peer high schools.
Schutze has already been apprised of this. Grigsby would have learned more from reader response to Schutze than from Schutze’s article. Schutze’s responses to accurate information were snarky, sophomoric hysterics.
Willard takes all the students who enter from her feeder pattern. She can’t do what many charters do and refuse to offer transportation, require costly uniforms, offload poor performers in middle school or take only those students whose parents are engaged enough to enroll them in a lottery.
So, what say you Sharon? How about you Miles? What is your response to our press release?
We know our press release is accurate, but we won’t be reading the truth anywhere but here.
Strange how we have two media outlets in town, a “Partnership” of plutocrats and graduates from Harvard’s School of Education, and a hack reporter with the initials of BM, (fitting, we think), and yet there is so little truth in any of the many sponsored discussions on education in Dallas.
We think it’s time we give some of our comprehensive high schools the old charter school marketing spin where outcomes are all buffed up and all the disappointing outcomes just vanish.
Sad how we are preaching to journalists who ought to know better, but the preaching is just starting.