Sunday, November 29, 2009

MAP testing

After multiple requests ([1] [2] [3]), here is a thread to discuss MAP testing in APP.

Related to this, ArchStanton posted a few references to documents that might be helpful for parents who want to convert the MAP scores to grade levels or to use the MAP scores to help find appropriate books.

Please see also a recent, broader discussion of MAP testing, "MAP (Measures of Academic Progress)", on the Seattle Public Schools community blog.

53 comments:

Maureen said...

Here is a link to a site with many

MAP related links

including tables to translate the math and reading RIT scores into percentiles by grade level.

This could be useful to families applying to APP for the coming year. The Advanced Learning Info Packet says:

"What kinds of tests are administered? All students will take a test that measures their cognitive ability (the Cognitive Abilities Test). In addition, reading and math achievement tests may also be required. We will use achievement test results from the WASL (Spring 2009) or the MAP (Measures of Academic Progress, newly administered in our district beginning Fall 2009)."

and

The Eligibility Criteria says that students must score in The threshold of the 95th percentile" in both Math and Reading to be eligible for APP.

It isn't clear to me if they will use Fall or Winter MAP scores (I'm guessing Spring would be too late?)

Ben said...

Here's my question: at our parent-teacher conference our 2nd grader's teacher went over our son's MAP scores... What do they plan to do with the knowledge that he's reading at a 7th-grade level and mathing at a 5th-grade level? What's the benefit of knowing that, if the class or program isn't set up to accommodate that for him and his classmates?

If they won't give my son and the other kids work that meets them where they are, what's the point?

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

exactly Ben. When I was first asking if anyone had any surprises at the elem conferences before going in I was concerned that the map test would be goofy. Now I am with Ben in my concerns. Also, how is APP going to deal with kids off the charts when a single year or two seems to miss the mark? Cohort is a big start. I think right now I like the MAP test but I think that a monster may have been born. Arch and Maureen thanks for the links... I am up to my elbows right now and haven't follwoed them yet... So I am not sure, has anyone found anything on gifted learning and MAP testing?

ArchStanton said...

If they won't give my son and the other kids work that meets them where they are, what's the point?

Maybe we can take some comfort in that the parents knowing where they are now have a better chance of meeting their needs even if the schools won't. ;)

The info available via the links that have been posted do a good job of letting you know where your child stands with regard to the mean or median for ALL kids taking the MAP.

What would be useful is a breakout of all APP kids. I'd like to think that someone is doing this. (Although without any intention to use the data to differentiate or adjust the curriculum, it would be just to satisfy our curiosity - that's not necessarily a bad thing, tho')

It looks like teachers can request certain reports - not sure if it's just for their own classroom or if they could request for a grade level or entire school as well.

Oh! It just occurred to me that it would be interesting to compare T. Marshall and Lowell data, both now and as they change over time. That would tell us something about how equitable the schools are. Hmm...

Of course that makes the cynic in me wonder if they would try to withhold that information if it did not reflect favorably on the split.

Ben said...

Okay, so, wait. Maureen, are you saying that the APP cut-off will now be the 95th percentile?

Christine said...

I was very satisfied with our two P/T conferences. Each teacher was well prepared and was sensitive to our respective daughter's learning style. We spent very little time on MAP testing. I got the impression from both teachers that when a child scores relatively low in an area, that it is not a big deal. I also got the impression that most children scored pretty high. The one teacher said most everyone in her class scored at 99%. Both teachers said that if a child scored lower than expected, it was simply a red flag, not a big deal.

Overall, we are much more satisfied with our experience in APP than at our neighborhood school (which is an excellent one, by the way).

Robert said...

Ben I think Maureen is referring to the achievement portion of the test not the cognitive ability (IQ) portion which has been 95th percentile in both reading and math.

Anonymous said...

I was told that advanced learning is going to analyze APP MAP scores. Teachers would then be able to put student scores into perspective.

You would expect most APP students to be in the 99% range - that's why they're in APP. The NWEA norming data is useful in that you can take the scaled RIT score and convert it to a percentile for higher grade levels.

If you look at the NWEA norming data, you would find that it's possible for your child to have a RIT score that isn't even recorded at your child's grade level. You may have to look to the next grade level to find the score.

Let's take an example like Ben's. Assume a second grader had a RIT score of 211 in math. In the percentile conversion chart, a RIT score of 211 is off the chart for a second grader since the 99% is at 205. A math RIT score of 211 is 99%+ for a 2nd grader, 95% for a 3rd grader, 75% for a 4th grader, and 49% for a 5th grader.

So according to MAP data, the student is capable of working at the level of an average 5th grader.

Skeptic said...

Ben, you ask what the point is of MAP testing if the teachers can't be bothered to use the information to provide any sort of meaningful differentiation for our kids. That's my question, too, which is why I've decided that my TM first-grader isn't going to participate in any more rounds of testing until he's in a class with a teacher who's willing to make some effort to teach him something on his level. I've talked to the principal, the teacher, even Bob Vaughan about getting my son the learning opportunities he needs. Everyone's response has basically been the same: "He's off the charts and bored out of his mind. So what?" This MAP testing is a complete waste of time for APP kids. Maybe if enough parents of APP kids opted out of testing, someone in the school district would finally start to pay attention.

Ben said...

Off the charts + bored out of their minds = one of the reasons for even having APP in the first place.

I don't understand this at all. In a repeat from last year, pre-split, I have to ask: Are they TRYING to wreck APP?

Anonymous said...

If you opt your child out of MAP testing, what evidence do you have that your child is performing well above level (compared to classmates) and needs more challenge?

If 50% of the class is "off the charts", then you have a compelling argument for curriculum and instructional changes in APP.

I don't like how much class time (and library time) is lost due to testing, and three times a year seems excessive, yet there's some value to having real time normed data.

My question is what is an "appropriate education" for a child able to work 2-3 years above grade level? Is APP providing an "appropriate education" for the majority of kids it serves?

ArchStanton said...

If you opt your child out of MAP testing, what evidence do you have that your child is performing well above level (compared to classmates) and needs more challenge?

After the first test demonstrates that a child is performing well above level, there is no point in further testing if it will not be used for anything meaningful.

If the first MAP indicates that my second grade child is reading at a high school level, what will be accomplished by repeatedly testing her three times every year? It's not likely that her scores will fall.

If they are just testing to be testing or to pad district numbers, I don't see any reason to waste my child's time with it. We can use the time for something else.

ArchStanton said...

Is APP providing an "appropriate education" for the majority of kids it serves?

That is the real question, isn't it?

We already know that our kids are outliers as far as normative data for ALL kids. Without normative data for APP, we don't know how individuals are faring within the APP program (i.e what constitutes an outlier in APP?).

Perhaps a significant number of kids are being under-served by a curriculum that is only two years above grade-level, instead of just a few. That would be useful information to upon which to base a request for differentiation or change in curriculum.

Robert said...

Seriously, how the heck do you formulate a program for second graders when they are already out performing 10th graders in math?

Fiona Cohen said...

Here's another question. In the CogAt and the old achievement tests, the percentiles were done by the kids' ages (to the three month mark). All the MAP data I've seen is based on grade only, which gives a boost to those born in September and October, and a handicap to those born in July and August, particularly in the younger grades.
If they're going to use the MAP data, are they going to recalculate the percentiles, to reflect birthdays?

hschinske said...

Dang it, I submitted a detailed comment this morning and it seems to have gotten eaten. I don't know what happened. I'll try again.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

A child who reads 5-6 years above grade level in September should continue to develop as a reader and improve during the course of the year. If that child shows no improvement in the next round or two of MAP testing, then you have an argument that your child is not being served with the current curriculum. May be a bit short-sighted to pull out now.

My child is reading 6 years above grade level and the teacher expects that she will continue to improve over the course of the year. We believe she will continue to grow in math and reading.

ArchStanton said...

A child who reads 5-6 years above grade level in September should continue to develop as a reader and improve during the course of the year.

Sure, but I would expect to see some growth regardless of the curriculum. How much can we attribute to teaching vs. what comes naturally to many APP kids.

I am also wondering if the MAP has a ceiling. We only see norms up to 11th grade IIRC. Do they test 12th grade or beyond? If a child's numbers are already knocking on the 11th grade norms, what will be the value of repeated testing when they hit the ceiling in a year or two?

hschinske said...

Grade equivalent scores can be pretty misleading, even on a test like the MAP that does cover material from more than one grade. A student who tests steadily right at the 99th percentile from year to year will see grade equivalent scores flop around all over the place. While the student is obviously ahead, the instructional level is not necessarily right going to be right where the GE score puts it -- you'd need more detailed testing to determine that.

It does seem important to me to note when a student hits 95th percentile and above for grades *ahead* of where they are -- that ought by rights (assuming the MAP is reliable) to be an indicator that they should be assessed for subject or even whole-grade acceleration within APP. The Iowa Acceleration Scale is a good tool: see http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/iowa_accel_scale.htm.

Helen Schinske

hschinske said...

I think it makes sense to use grade norms for achievement tests, since that's what reflects the instruction you've officially had and the environment you've got to compete in. After all, SAT tests and the like don't have age norms.

At one point, back in about 2004 or so (I am not sure of the exact year), parents of kindergartners were being told that their child had to score *above* 99th percentile on the Woodcock-Johnson reading achievement test to be eligible for first-grade APP, as the grade equivalent score would not be a full two years ahead unless you got a score above the 99th percentile. (This was a totally goofy policy, in my opinion, but it's gone now anyway.) Grade equivalent scores, of course, are grade-based, not age-based.

Helen Schinske

Dorothy said...

How can this information be used to advocate for change? As someone who felt like my kid was an outlier in APP, I feel for you. We didn't have blogs and at least partial anonymity, so it was hard to get good data.

How many such outliers are there bored and underchallenged? I got the feeling that a lot of parents WERE satisfied and their kids weren't bored. I also had three different teachers tell me that my kid was an outlier, one went so far as to say "he's one of the few that belong." (not that she did much about that, except cut him some slack for not paying attention.) And this was BEFORE the HC office changed the criteria and the floodgates opened. And there were longstanding APP advocate parents who tried (but subtly and without success) to stop the further watering down. How could they advocate non-subtly? The reason to modify the entrance requirements was to do social justice or engineering or something to provide opportunities for minority students. Arguing that it was the wrong thing to do for APP sounded dreadfully racist.

All we had was word of mouth with the JHU PLUS, the only true out of level test at the time. I only talked to a few parents -- a hard conversation to start. One whose kid did similar to mine and was also not well served in APP and another whose kid did fine but not nearly as high and that parent was quite satisfied with APP. I suspect there's a correlation there. Y'all are providing more evidence of one.

So how can you form an advocacy group? What would be its goals? More challenge? More homework? less homework? different homework? (that'd be my stand) Maybe get rid of all those dioramas, NONE of which were intellectually rich or rigorous in critical thinking. (but some parents and kids Loved the rituals of the dioramas.) How much of the curriculum has ANY critical thinking? Depends on the teachers, sometimes none, in my experience.

Seems like this MAP data and more open discussion of kids bored in APP might prove useful.

hschinske said...

Re ceilings: here's something from the horse's mouth, at http://www.nwea.org/support/article/532

"Why do RIT scales vary from subject to subject (e.g. the mathematics RIT scale goes higher than other subject areas)? A ceiling effect exists when an assessment does not have sufficient range to accurately measure students at the highest performance levels. It has nothing to do with the actual numbers attached to the scale and everything to do with the position of students on it. For example, in reading, the RIT scale measures with relative accuracy up to about 245. This represents the 93rd percentile at grade 10, and the 95th percentile at grade 8. If a student scores above we know that student performed high but may not be able to accurately assess how high they performed. Relative to other tests, therefore, there is very little true ceiling effect in this assessment. Even most high performing 10th graders receive a technically accurate measure of their skill."

Helen Schinske

Bird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Maybe the PTAs at the APP schools could do a satisfaction survey to find out if the currently served population likes the program as designed.

Parents should be more proactive about collecting such information. I don't think you can count on the district to collect such information or to share it if they have it.

ArchStanton said...

Helen, thanks for digging that out. It helps, somewhat.

I'd really be interested in seeing more info that describes what RIT scores correlate to to what percentiles for a given grade - if that is available anywhere.

Dorothy, even with blogs and partial anonymity, it's still hard to have a frank conversation about this. Even among fellow APP parents, we're reluctant to discuss gifts, abilities, and scores because we've been cowed into a fear of bragging or something. Yet without an understanding of who really makes up our community, we don't really know what our needs are.

Likewise, we're afraid of asking for too much when we desire differentiation or being seen as uber-elitist when we want to keep the program from being watered down - who wants to tell a family in APP that they have to move to Spectrum because the requirements have been tightened?

And then there's the racist argument. I think it's harder for them to make that one stick, anymore. It's NOT racist to set the bar high. It IS racist to not seek out those individuals that can get over the bar, but fall through the cracks because of SES, ESL, or other factors.

What do we want? Without the data it's hard to say. Tighter criteria and a smaller cohort? I doubt SPS will do it - especially after the split.

Off the top of my head, I'm wondering if we could keep the looser criteria (teaching to two grade levels above) AND introduce a pullout program for the APP outliers? That might be interesting. I think it could work better within APP than pull-out programs in Gen-Ed situations.

Skeptic said...

ArchStanton, I like the pullout idea too, but when I talked to the TM principal and Bob Vaughan about it, they both claimed that it could never happen because the concept would be universally loathed by teachers and parents.

Teachers would supposedly hate it because it would create more work for them, and parents, feeling understandably pretty paranoid after the district's shabby treatment of the APP community last year, would worry that APP pullouts would somehow open the floodgates and culminate in all sorts of shared APP and general-ed. classes, thereby wiping out even the current level of rigor. I don't know how to convince either group that there are APP kids who aren't being properly served and who would benefit from any chance to have a more rewarding school experience.

ArchStanton said...

I'm not sure how it would create more work for teachers - but I'm (maybe unrealistically) imagining that a separate teacher/specialist position would be created. I would like to believe that it would reduce the load on teachers by taking the outliers off of their plates.

I'm not suggesting that we open the program to GenEd walkovers, but I imagine that past discussion will leave a bad taste in some mouths.

As for my situation; my child is off-the-charts in one area and on-track for APP in another. I would like to see some differentiation (pull-out program, whatever) where she is an outlier. Likewise, I would not be offended if the outliers in her "weaker" area receive similar accommodation.

At any rate, we won't know how others feel about this sort of thing if they don't speak up. I don't want to rely on the opinions of the powers-that-be to really know (or tell us) what other parents want.

Anonymous said...

We would consider our kids to be right in the "middle" of the pack in APP - which is actually exactly where we would wish for them to be. The curriculum is not too hard for them, but it keeps them engaged and they are much happier than they were in their neighborhood school.

With that in mind, I can't imagine feeling "upset" that kids that need more challenge in math or reading, vocabulary etc. receive it through either a pull-out or grouping situation. We have all been in the position of having our kids in situations that they were not being served so feeling "jealous" or resentful of children in APP that need more than the typical APP curriculum can provide seems hypocritical.

We have seen some pull-out groups throughout our tenure with the program - primarily in 3rd grade math with Ms. V. and 3rd grade reading with specialized vocabulary work. Maybe that's not enough, but the teachers were trying.

Anonymous said...

Its interesting to think about how to challenge and progress kids who are reading at a middle school/high school level in elementary school. Most of the kids in APP can read at levels far beyond their years - however, finding material that is appropriate based on their life experiences is just about impossible.

Just because a child can read Atlas Shrugged in 1st grade doesn't mean that he will come close to really understanding the political and social themes of the book.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know about the meeting tonight at Garfield with MGJ?

hschinske said...

"I'd really be interested in seeing more info that describes what RIT scores correlate to to what percentiles for a given grade - if that is available anywhere."

See the first link on the thread for links to

http://www.bismarck.k12.nd.us/uploads/resources/1467/2008_mathpercentilenorms.pdf

and http://www.bismarck.k12.nd.us/uploads/resources/1470/2008_readingpercentilenorms.pdf

or
http://tinyurl.com/y9lhryg
http://tinyurl.com/y9626lf

I can't remember exactly when the announcement about the 95th percentile cutoff came in, but I had the impression it was at the same time as the switch to the WASL, which of course does not have true percentiles at all (which is the real problem as far as I'm concerned).

When my kids were first being tested, back in 1999-2000, and for several years after that, Advanced Learning reported *average* percentile scores on achievement, and seldom talked about the exact cutoffs. (The tests used in those days were ITBS [a grade-level multiple-choice group test] in third and fifth grade, and Woodcock-Johnson [an individually administered achievement test with questions over a wide grade range] in other years -- both had proper percentile norms.) The averages varied from year to year, but were sometimes as low as 97th percentile for APP; therefore there must have been scores below that. I have been told anecdotally that the cutoff for APP in those days was also 95th percentile.

Helen Schinske

Robert said...

Thanks Helen for that info. I believe the cohort makes APP successful for most students so I would really hope that they could accommodate off the chart kids in some fashion verses full grade(s) acceleration. When we struggled with our decision of APP vs private, differentiation was the issue. Now that we know that our daughter is performing within the 95th percentile one and two grades ahead of her age grade I am perplexed... Was it the APP acceleration that kept her involved and interested so that her academic achievement is in line with her cognitive aptitude or would she have tested similarly in any decent program?

Mercermom said...

In terms of the expectation that APP kids would all be in 99th percentile, there could be many reasons why they wouldn't. E.g., unfamiliarity with type of test, tired that day, not focused or interested, misunderstood instructions, etc. Our child's MAP results were at a level that would suggest that he is capable of more than two years of acceleration. Still, we don't expect that the District will provide challenge that is appropriate to every child's level. It seems reasonable to me that the District sets certain broad parameters for accelerated learning, and if you think you need more (or, unfortunately, if you're advanced in only one area), you're going to have to arrange for that individualized acceleration outside a classroom setting. How can a teacher be expected to teach a handful or more different math curricula in one classroom? Do we really want a college or high-school type experience, in which second-graders are trotting around the school to a new class for each subject? For us, APP is more challenging than his neighborhood school would be, and we think he benefits from an academically advanced and interested peer group.

ArchStanton said...

...finding material that is appropriate based on their life experiences is just about impossible.

Just because a child can read Atlas Shrugged in 1st grade doesn't mean that he will come close to really understanding the political and social themes of the book.


Ain't that the truth. Actually, we get more hung up on avoiding teen/tween relationship issues. Mostly it's about the lack of experience/context, but often it's also about finding stories and characters that don't fall into traditional gender roles. (It's like saying, Hey you're a smart, capable girl - now find some role models in stories about women who make poor choices and always defer to men.)

Still, I try not to let challenging themes keep us from exploring books. Even as an adult, I have read books that challenged me a second or third time and gained a deeper understanding. Just because kids don't have a lot of context to understand slavery, suffrage, war, etc. doesn't mean they are incapable of thinking about the morals and ethics involved.

This list http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/resources/Reading%20Pathfinders.pdf seemed like it might be a good place to start for some...

Dorothy said...

Lowell PALS-PTSA did such a survey, back when my son was in 4th or 5th grade. Extensive. For the most part, people were happy. (I however answered just about everything in the exact opposite of the majority.) Would be interesting to look it up and perhaps redo the same survey?

I hear that things have improved, at least some. Julie instituted curricular reforms and some accountability and a number of teachers have retired, the younger ones seem to be more energetic about truly engaging the kids and meeting their needs (or so I hear.)

Robert, if your kid is engaged and all that, it's not the program, it is the individual teacher that most affects this. And it's not all a good/bad teacher thing, but a good/bad fit as well.

Dorothy said...

"Most of the kids in APP can read at levels far beyond their years - however, finding material that is appropriate based on their life experiences is just about impossible."

That's were I thought Junior Great Books curriculum was Awesome. The HC grant paid for volunteer first grade parents to get trained. We did JGB throughout first grade and then sporadically in second. After that, the teachers claimed they didn't have time.

Such a shame, because a Well Trained facilitator can do great things with these kids. (I emphasise trained because I know at some schools, they can't afford training for parents, so it's nice, but doesn't have the impact, imo) It's a great program with any kids really, not just gifted ones. To really get them to pull meaning from the text and engage in critical thinking. And the works were well chosen stories of complex meaning but not too difficult to read. The themes were on target for their age. Friendships, honesty, honor, that sort of thing, (no creepy stalker violent vampire romances.)NOTHING my kid did at Lowell matched JGB for higher order thinking skills.

As for kids reading beyond their years. Well, towards the end of the year, the first grade teacher allowed each parent facilitator to choose one of the stories from the JTB anthology. I chose a chapter from Pooh. Pooh! All the kids wanted to riot, because they had already read Pooh when they were Five! Hmph. Well, reading an excerpt again, the JGB way, with a well facilitated discussion was different. In fact, the teacher told me afterwards that the kids really enjoyed it and were all planning to reread Pooh.

Anonymous said...

APP has Readers and Writers Workshop now...

ArchStanton said...

I'll have to check out the Junior Great Books. I have generally been pleased with the Readers & Writers Workshops even though that is arguably the area where my child needs greater differentiation.

As I've said before, I worry about EDM doing more harm than good - particularly contributing to a wider gap between my child's math and reading/writing abilities.

At this moment if given a choice; I think I'd fix the math before I pushed for differentiation...

Anonymous said...

Could grade skips accomodate kids who are too advanced for their current APP class?

Aren't the ALO programs at both TM and Lowell committed to differentiation and accomodating kids working beyond the level of their class?

Under those circumstances, I find it a little bizzare to hear about kids in APP who aren't accomodated when they are far out of level. Perhaps they should switch to the general ed/ AOL program?

Dorothy said...

Readers and Writers workshop was a reform instituted by Julie B but not until after my son was gone. Not by anyone affiliated with the HC office. (As far as I know. Please correct if I am wrong.)

I have heard mixed things about Writers workshop, but that sounds like it is variable depending on teacher's implementation. Readers Workshop looks like it has similar goals as JGB. There as aspects to JGB that I don't see, such as the small group discussions with trained facilitators and the texts that are engaging, challenging but not something the kids choose.

Back to the topic (sort of). You do know that you can ask the district for more detailed CogAt scores and WJ scores? Percentiles normed for age and grade and even raw scores? FERPA is your friend there. The district didn't provide that when my son was there. So They rounded all 99.9+ scores to 99. And WJ provides subscores.

If you have access to that, it gives you more data to see how your kid is doing over time. Not that WJ and MAP are perfectly aligned, but it's something.

Could be even more ammunition against the math curriculum, especially for your individual child, if you can show that verbal scores are increasing as expected, but math scores aren't.

Ben said...

Are ALO classes genuinely committed to doing anything? In theory, yes. But in practice?

Limes said...

Many of the issues raised here are raised in most classrooms across the District.

1. How do teachers differentiate?

2. Should children be grouped by grade-level ability or pulled out for specialized instruction?

3. How do we keep children from being bored in classrooms.

These are worthy questions to be asked of all teachers. In addition, we should be asking all principals how they are assessing teachers in this work. These are issues of teacher quality.

Are teachers being given the tools for differentiation and personalization? Are students feeling connected to the work or just idly moving to the next thing?

I would argue that many parents choose APP to avoid failing neighborhood schools. As such, APP advocacy then becomes (again) District-wide advocacy. If there were high quality education in all schools, the number of parents pounding on the door of APP would decrease significantly.

Parents want scaffolding, individual attention, differentiation, and rigor.

Seems so simple, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

I would argue that many parents choose APP to avoid failing neighborhood schools. As such, APP advocacy then becomes (again) District-wide advocacy. If there were high quality education in all schools, the number of parents pounding on the door of APP would decrease significantly.

I think it's a little naive to believe that if APP parents advocated for effective differntiation at their neighborhood schools their wouldn't be a need for APP. I'm willing to bet the vast majority of APP parents started out advocating for effective differentiation within their neighborhood schools and moved to APP after being stymied. Now they advocate for differntiation at the school they are attending which should be no suprise. We advocate best about where we are and what we know about directly. It'd be a little presumptious to go back to your old school and start demanding changes when your kid no longer attends.

I suppose you may be saying APP parents should advocate for a general priciniple of effective teaching. Nice enough, but much harder to effect when arguing in the abstract rather than the particulars of a kid, a class, a school.

Or perhaps you are saying that APP parents should stay in their neighborhood schools and advocate from there for particular improvments to the particular schools. Your reference to APP parents "avoiding failing schools" seems to indicate that you view APP parents as, by in large. abandoning those unlucky students enough to remain in their neighborhood schools.

I think, however, if you look at the actual data about the schools APP students come from you will find most come from the most popular schools with generally good outcomes for their students. Instead of "failing schools" they largely come from schools with higher than average test scores and higher than average "first choice" numbers. Of course, most of this is just an accident of demographics rather than something compelling about the various schools' climate.

http://www.seattleschools.org
/area/advlearning/documents/
mapapp5.pdf

It's agreed that all students would benefit from differentiation and rigor, but I do think it's true that the spread of abilities for kids on the very high end of the spectrum involve some special considerations. Dealing with a 2nd grader who has tested out at the 7th grade or 8th grade level has some special challenges and to discuss thos particulars is entirely legitimate and in no way takes away from the discussion or advocacy for differentiation for kids that need differntiation on a narrower scale.

ArchStanton said...

Could grade skips accomodate kids who are too advanced for their current APP class?

Possibly, but my understanding is that SPS (and most schools) VERY STRONGLY resist skipping grades.

What do you do with second grader reading at a high-school level if you won't differentiate in grade? I can't imagine promoting them more that a few grades - and that doesn't even address what you do with kids whose math and reading (or other) abilities are very different.

Aren't the ALO programs at both TM and Lowell committed to differentiation and accomodating kids working beyond the level of their class?

That's what we're told. The thing is (in theory) that a child working a full year beyond could be in Spectrum and a child working two years beyond could be in APP. I don't expect that ALO classrooms are expected to be differentiating beyond one or two years. (Though, I'm sure there are individual teachers that are exceptions to that)

hschinske said...

Grade skips do happen occasionally in SPS. I've heard of several (including at least one that happened while the student was at Lowell).

Helen Schinske

Maureen said...

Anonymous at 2:05, you say:

I think, however, if you look at the actual data about the schools APP students come from you will find most come from the most popular schools with generally good outcomes for their students. Instead of "failing schools" they largely come from schools with higher than average test scores and higher than average "first choice" numbers.

Your map says "APP eligible" not "APP enrolled," so it seems possible that many of those kids stay in their neighborhood schools and the ones who enroll may come disproportionately from failing schools.

Is that data available? (I.e., APP eligible vs. enrolled by reference school?)

Maureen said...

Or, even better, all eligible by school they actually attend?

Anonymous said...

Whoops! Sorry, I meant to link the document showing the home schools of enrolled students, rather than eligible students.

http://www.seattleschools.org
/area/advlearning/documents
/maplowell.pdf

I got this off of this page...

http://www.seattleschools.org
/area/advlearning/programdata.htm

It has old data, but some interesting stuff.

dj said...

Maureen, I can't find the data right now, but 90% or so of kids who test into APP come, and the majority of the kids who don't are from the schools in the far north and far south (part of the justification offered for the elementary split, although obviously the current locations don't improve that situation).

Dorothy said...

DJ, what I have always wanted to know is about all kids who were ever APP eligible, what schools are they enrolled in? Not just the current crop. I have never seen data that aggregated that, does it exist?

I asked Brian Vance at Roosevelt about this. How many kids at RHS had ever been in APP or ever declared eligible? He had no idea, his first off the top of his head estimate was way low. He said he would try to get the data, but hasn't. Then of course, there's Spectrum kids. No Spectrum in HS, where to they attend?

hschinske said...

A second-grader who is reading at high-school level is ready to quit "learning to read" and start learning literary analysis. That doesn't mean they have to be reading Shakespeare or Toni Morrison. You can learn plenty about writers' use of imagery, sentence rhythm, structure, pacing, etc., on age-appropriate texts. You can study how different writers adapt the same story in different ways, or how one writer influences another. All of this kind of analysis can be done just as well with children's books as with any other books. A high reading level simply means that the texts need not be selected to be *especially* simple.

Helen Schinske

Limes said...

@anonymous 2:05

I happen to be a south end parent, one who avoided many south end schools through a variety of means. And I'm not particularly in love with APP, but it's the only option compared to Rainier Beach or Cleveland.

Most of my southend friends with kids in APP are in similar situations. The discussion is to go APP or to go private.