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Friday, November 22, 2013

A Quick Look at Our School Performance Reports

The Shanker Blog wrote about our Performance Management Framework.  Here's their post:  

For elementary and middle schools, the DC Performance Management Framework (PMF) is a weighted index composed of: 40 percent absolute performance; 40 percent growth; and 20 percent what they call “leading indicators”. The index scores are then sorted into one of three tiers, with Tier 1 being the highest, and Tier 3 the lowest.

So, these particular ratings weight absolute performance – i.e., how highly students score on tests – a bit less heavily than do most states that have devised their own systems, and they grant slightly more importance to growth and alternative measures. We might therefore expect to find a somewhat weaker relationship between PMF scores and student characteristics such as free/reduced price lunch eligibility (FRL), as these charters are judged less predominantly on the students they serve. Let’s take a quick look.

The most simple descriptive statistic is to simply calculate the average FRL and special education rates of the schools within each tier (again, charters are sorted into Tiers 1-3, with Tier 1 being the highest performing, at least according to this system). These averages are presented in the table below for all 51 elementary/middle charter schools that received a 2012 rating (keep in mind that this is a small group of schools – 51 in total, and that most are concentrated in Tier 2, which means that the averages can be influenced substantially by a small set of schools).

There is no apparent relationship between tier and special education (the rightmost column) – schools in Tier 1 actually have the highest rates.

The FRL averages, in contrast, do exhibit a pattern – schools in the lower tiers have a higher FRL rate, on average, than schools in the higher tiers. The difference is most stark when comparing Tier 1 (66.4 percent) to Tier 2 (77.7 percent). This is to no small extent a result of the measures employed by the system – not only of the proficient/advanced rates, which are heavily associated with characteristics such as FRL, but also the growth measure (median growth percentiles), which usually are modestly correlated with these traits.

Averages, of course, sometimes mask what’s happening underneath, so it might be useful to take a look at the scatterplot of FRL by the actual index scores upon which the tier ratings are based.

You can see a relationship, but it is quite messy. Although virtually all of the schools in Tier 3 (those with index scores below 35 percent) are high poverty, the schools with the four highest index scores have FRL rates over 80 percent, while several schools with rates below 50 percent receive relatively low index scores.***

It is therefore fair to characterize this relationship as discernible (statistically and otherwise) and modest-to-low. It is also noticeably less strong than that in most of the other states I have reviewed.

The reason for this is very simple: The PMFs rely less heavily on absolute performance measures, which are strongly correlated with student characteristics such as FRL. This does not necessarily mean these DC charter ratings are “better” or more fair than their counterparts elsewhere, but it does show how the choice of constituent measures has a predictable and often substantial impact on the association between the results and the students schools serve.

Do you agree?  

Posted by: PCSB at 10:46 a.m.
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Monday, November 18, 2013

In Their Own Words: 2013 Performance Management Framework Results

“We are proud of the strong increases in 10th grade DC-CAS scores (25 point increases in reading and math). We implemented many strategies to achieve this result including reorganizing our daily schedule to allow for double math and English Language Arts blocks for students needing more support. Additionally, our 9th and 10th grade teams strategically invested our students in this progress over the course of the year.  We are proud of the increase in 9th grade on track, which was also supported by the new schedule and our personalized approach to learning. We also celebrate that for the second year in a row 100% of our seniors were accepted to college.”
Belicia Reaves, High School Principal
Capital City PCS 

“We performed best on our growth on DC-CAS Math over time.  We credit our math scores to individualized plans driven by data with student written goals.

Additionally, we had the highest growth of proficient ELL students of anyone in the District. We credit the growth of our ELL students to a rigorous ELL program that includes in class and after school instruction.”
Nazy Burgy, Principal
Center City PCS – Petworth 

“DC Bilingual is thrilled to have achieved Tier 1 status. We see this as a stepping-stone to our ultimate goal of ensuring all students are college ready and have every opportunity to lead in their communities. Our primary achievement can be seen in our student progress scores in reading over time. We have also seen a significant increase in the percent of students achieving advanced proficiency.”
Wanda Perez, Principal
DC Bilingual PCS 

“DC Prep’s Edgewood Middle Campus (EMC) is a Tier I school for the third consecutive year. For the first two years of the PMF (2011 and 2012) EMC also received the highest overall rating across all performance measures of any school in the nation’s capital.
At EMC and across all campuses, DC Prep aims to create self-aware, reflective, and disciplined learners. Character education – both the articulation of the school's values and the day-to-day demonstration of these values – is an essential component of DC Prep’s approach. In addition, the school’s curriculum is based on the Common Core standards and relies both on proven programs and teacher-created materials designed to prepare DC Prep students for college-prep high schools. DC Prep is committed to the success of every child and has put in place an outstanding faculty and designed an academic program to ensure our graduates will be competitive for college-prep high schools. Student data informs instruction and ensures that every child is being taught at the appropriate level. Daily Prep Sessions provide small group, skill-based instruction cementing mastery of grade level standards, and offering enrichment to students performing at accelerated levels.

In its first decade, DC Prep has shown what can be done. Since 2003, our talented teachers and school leaders, culture of high expectations, rigorous academic program, and emphasis on character development have been producing exceptional results for

DC Prep is the highest-performing network of public charter schools in the nation’s capital for the second consecutive year, committed to bridging the educational divide in Washington by increasing the number of students from underserved communities with the academic preparation and personal character to succeed in competitive high schools and colleges.”
Amber Walker, Director of Marketing and Communications
 DC Prep PCS 

"Our students achieved significant growth in Mathematics in SY 2012-13. In 2013, our Median Growth Percentile for Math was 67.5, significantly higher than the DC average and 15.5 percentile higher than we achieved in 2012. Additionally, 21.9% of students scored Advanced in Math, which allowed us to receive 88% of the points possible in that category. We believe this is due to a data-driven culture at Stokes that empowered teachers with the information necessary to differentiate instruction and target the skills that students needed to build most. Also, we are implementing an instructional philosophy that encourages inquiry and builds students’ conceptual understanding of mathematics. 

We also saw significant increases in our score on the Gateway measure, 3rd grade Reading Proficiency levels, which grew from 51.2% Proficient and Advanced in 2012 to 65.2% in 2013. A renewed focus on building reading strategies through balanced literacy in the early elementary grades resulted in a cohort of third graders who were able to analyze and comprehend complex texts.”
Erika Bryant, Executive Director
Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom PCS 

“We are incredibly excited to once again have our schools rated as Tier 1 schools.”
Susan Schaeffler, CEO

“Paul is most proud of our results in the gateway metric based on our 8th graders' performance on the math sub-test of the DC-CAS.  We are also proud that we garnered all of the attendance points and increased our overall attendance rate, which is a reflection of our scholars' desire to come to school everyday and strive to achieve at high levels.”
Jami Dunham, Chief Executive Officer
Paul PCS 

“We are very proud of the effort of our high school students and teachers and recognize that their hard work, coupled with effective use of data analysis in informing our instructional practice, has been instrumental in advancing our performance this school year.”
Shari Laldee, Development Director
The SEED School 

 “Our school's Median Growth Percentile (MGP) data shows the tremendous impact of the school's academic program. Students at Thurgood Marshall Academy continue to demonstrate growth that far exceeds the city's MGP.”
LaRita Williams, Director of Instruction
Thurgood Marshall Academy 

“Two Rivers is proud to be a Tier 1 school because if its commitment to both cultivating academic excellence and creating a nurturing environment in which students grow into compassionate members of society. We are especially committed to not only teach students disparate skills; rather, we give every student in our diverse community equal opportunity to develop expert thinking and complex communication competencies. Our students do well on tests but we are proud of the fact that we excel in both academic and social measures.”
Maggie Bello, Chief Academic Officer/Elementary School Principal
Two Rivers PCS

 “We are exceptionally proud that our Middle and Upper Schools have both achieved Tier 1 status for a third year in a row and are both Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) “Reward” schools. I am proud that our entire school community’s hard work is also reflected in the graduation rate of our students!”
Martha Cutts, Head of School
Washington Latin PCS

Posted by: PCSB at 3:54 p.m.
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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Mayor Gray and DC Public Charter School Board to Announce 2013 Performance Management Framework (PMF) Results

On Friday, November 8, PCSB will announce the results of it's annual assessment tool.  PCSB uses the Performance Management Framework (PMF) to assess the performance of public charter schools, which educate nearly 37,000, or 44% of public school students. Based on student achievement, student academic improvement, attendance and other factors, schools are designated as Tier 1 (high performing), Tier 2 (mid performing) or Tier 3 (low performing).

We will announce the results on Twitter (@dcpcsb), Facebook (DC Public Charter Board) and on our website. Use hashtag #2013PMF.

Posted by: PCSB at 5:45 p.m.
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