Friday, November 18, 2011

Open thread

What's on your mind?

34 comments :

Anonymous said...

Any word yet on who has been invited to be a part of the APP advisory committee?

APP Mama

Anonymous said...

Sorry - correction - the Advanced Learning Advisory Committee. Just my brain running ahead of my fingers on the last post, I think it's important that this group look at all the Advanced Learning programs together.

APP Mama

Anonymous said...

What happened at the Nov 16 HIMS meeting?

Open Ears

Dorothy Neville said...

Advanced Learning Task Force got their invites today. I was not selected. Charlie and Mel both were. Who else?

suep. said...

Last week, Ms. S's HIMS 7th grade APP LA/SS class got their 5th teacher in 3 months (4 of them short-term subs).

So much for the stability and continuity that was promised our kids at the Nov. 16 meeting.

Anonymous said...

What do APP parents think of Susan Enfield's performance? Just wondering in light of the peition to name her as the permanent sup with no search...I understand there are many L@L names on the petition.

- Wondering....

suep. said...

Only 13 out of 53 names are L@L parents. (The petition duplicates signatures at #54.)

I believe the district needs to conduct a proper search to find the best possible candidates.

Anonymous said...

Can someone post who is on the Advanced Learning Task Force or how many people are on the task force?

Anonymous said...

Go to this link for updates after the first Advanced Learning Advisory Committee meeting.

http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2011/11/advanced-learning-task-force.html#more

Methyl said...

What's with this furlough day? Can I be outraged or should I be sympathetic?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how the walk-out day at Garfield went? How many kids participated?

GHS parent

Anonymous said...

The Capacity meeting at Eckstein left me with many unanswered questions. What was left unsaid had me wondering what's in store for middle school over the next few years.

Eckstein and Hamilton are over capacity and APP needs a home. It sounds as though there will be a new middle school in the North for 2013 (or least a temporary home and a change of assignments), but there is a possibility that Lincoln will be used for middle school capacity as early as next school year. Jane Addams could also be in the mix, as it was only promised to remain a K-8 through 2013. The John Marshall building is getting a new roof and elevator and the plan is to have it servicable for 2013-2014.

It was made clear that bringing a new school online would require boundary changes.

Will the APP program remain at Hamilton? Will current 6th graders graduate from some yet to be identified middle school (and not Hamilton)? And what about elementary APP? Will this year's L@L 5th graders matriculate to Hamilton?

NESeattleMom said...

The music program is blossoming at Hamilton. A large portion of the music students are APP students. If APP moves from Hamilton, it would be a giant loss to the music program at HIMS and for APP.

lendlees said...

More APP 'discussion' along with the myths of private testing on SSS Blog: http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-heck-is-going-on-at-wedgwood.html

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

MAP scoring has changed, making it much more difficult to get in to APP. What will this mean for the APP program as the population dwindles?

My son is a 2nd grader in an ALO school. NWEA(MAP) has incuded a higher number of students in their pool and changed how they convert RIT scores to percentiles. My son scored in the 98th percentile in BOTH math and reading in the spring 2011. Now, with this change, those very same RIT scores are translating to 83 and 96 percentiles. Now, he will not only NOT qualify for APP- he doesn't even qualify for Spectrum. However, in the spring he was in the top 2%! (And, nothing has really changed.)

I can't imagine there will be much need for APP in a few years if this is the case.

Anonymous said...

NWEA publishes new norms every three years, the last norms were done in 2008, so there are new norms for 2011.

The 2008 norms and RIT Score to Percentile Rank could be found online, but I cannot find anything but the 50% percentile RIT scores for the 2011 norms. It seems a login is required to access the complete norm charts.

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

2011-http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/resources/NWEA_2011_RIT_Scale_Norms_0.pdf

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

I have no idea where this is from (not Seattle Schools), but it clarifies:

http://sd54.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Parent-Letter-regarding-2011-changes-in-student-percentile-rankings-and-growth-projections-on-MAP.pdf

Testing the youngest said...

This question is for private school parents who are currently in the testing process for the advanced learning programs. Has anybody's kid been called back yet for a second round of testing? My hyperactive son completed cognitive testing in October and we haven't heard anything yet from the district. I'm wondering if he didn't score high enough to be called back for the achievement testing or the district is merely working slowly.

Anonymous said...

The changes with the 2011 norms are significant at the upper percentiles when you're looking at cut scores. Comparing the 95% RIT scores for Spring (2008 norms) vs Spring (2011 norms), a 3-5 point increase in RIT is needed to meet the 95% (for both reading and math). To meet the 87%, a 2-3 point increase in RIT score may be needed.

Taking a Fall 3rd grade math score as an example: with the 2008 norms, a RIT score of 210 was at the 95%; with the 2011 norms, the same RIT score is at the 92%.

For those lamenting that the Spring scores were being used for AL program eligibility, there may be some advantage to the Spring scores (2008 norms) compared to the Fall scores (2011 norms).

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

If you look on The Source, the percentiles are already in effect for PAST MAP scores. Seems Seattle will have to make some sort of change- this will NOT be good.

Anonymous said...

The new norms were published in July 2011, so I assume any tests taken after that time would be subject to the new norms. When you say "past MAP scores", are you saying previously reported scores from Spring 2011 have since been adjusted?

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

Yes, 2011 norms have been applied to past test scores. I discovered it the other day on The Source. I went to review my son's scores and found that his previously 98th percentile in reading now registered as 83 percentile. I thought I had lost my mind. (I actually had to pull out the paper copy to make sure I had not lost my mind.) But, yes, it applies to PAST and future test scores.

apparent said...

SLML,

if everything else is in place for your student's APP eligibility, and the only basis for disqualification is a retroactive lowering of posted achievement percentiles, that does not sound appropriate. In those circumstances, you should question any exclusion.

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

Yes, honestly, I think it will need to be handled appropriately with the school district THIS year. I'm not really worried for our situation.

But, what will this mean to the APP program overall? Would they change the cutoff to include lower percentages? OR, will there be FAR fewer students going to APP?

I would love to know how many students in APP see their percentages have dropped to an unqualifiable level. Perhaps it is just a lower grade issue and will even itself out by upper elementary? Great. Greater accuracy, right? Then it is just more reliable, non-issue.

BUT, if there are far fewer (or no)students going to APP overall and for the longer term- what happens to APP?? And, for other advanced student? They stay in classes that are still inappropriate for their level? Or... APP is no longer the top percentile of students (which also feels wrong!)?

Something to watch.

Lori said...

Having a score drop from the 98th to the 83rd percentile sounds almost unbelievable. There should not be that much variability, and if there is, it says to me that there is something "wrong" with one of the populations they've used as norms. By that I mean, obviously one (or both) of the populations are not representative of the nation. The key to extrapolating population data is having that data be "generalizable" or representative of the whole, and swings this big suggest a problem.

And it does appear that they have retroactively applied the scores to our kids' records on the source. My child has 12 scores to date (6 math, 6 reading) from 1st and 2nd grade, and they were always very consistent. However, logging in today, I see that 4 of those 12 scores have gone done, most by 1 percentage point but another went down by 2. Nothing as big as Something reported and nothing that would change eligibility. But different nonetheless.

Way back when they first said that MAP would be used as a gatekeeper to AL testing, I wondered aloud here or on Melissa's blog whether anyone had evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of MAP for identifying gifted kids. That is the first step in designing a screening test. Where you set the threshold affects the false positive and false negative rate, and I wondered how they chose their cutoffs and if they were optimal to balance the false negatives and false positives.

I think one of the AL committees needs to look at this issue because it could affect capacity if fewer kids will be allowed to test with these new numbers.

Anonymous said...

If past MAP percentile scores have been altered, as some have been reporting, then you should contact the assessment folks in SPS. Maybe it was done in error.

The Research, Evaluation and Assessment Office is listed under the Teaching and Learning department on SPS's website (under District, Departments).

Anonymous said...

I just checked the scores for my child and the reported percentiles have gone down 1-2 points for scores back to Fall 2009-10. Very odd.

SomethingLikeMyLife said...

It's not an SPS error. If there is an error it is with the testing/reporting. For end of the year testing in 1st grade reading, a RIT score of 191 WAS 98 percentile, and now is 83 percentile.

2011:
http://www.nwea.org/sites/www.nwea.org/files/resources/NWEA_2011_RIT_Scale_Norms_0.pdf

2008:
http://www.pickens.it.schoolfusion.us/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/374410/File/MAP/Norms2008.pdf

Most scores remained within a few percentage points (including spring math which went from 98 to 96).

(My personal explanation is that private schools were added in, but it is a HUGE difference!!)

CCM said...

Isn't APP for the top 2% when looking at a nationally normed test? If yes - then it makes sense that the RIT scores would be adjusted based on current data and should be updated.

I haven't looked into it - so my question would be how the norms were pulled for the 2011 #'s -- is it an average based on data that has been collected since 2008? If yes - then it makes sense that the previous test scores would be adjusted. Also makes sense that the norms could change drastically as more school districts use MAP and there is a larger pool of data.

The question still remains whether MAP should be used as a gatekeeper for advanced learning...but I do think that the percentages should reflect the national norm regardless.

Lori said...

CCM, the top 2% applies to the cognitive testing (CogAT). The ability testing must be the top 5% for APP. So you need 98/99 on CogAT (the fall testing that the district does) and 95% or greater in math and reading (both, not just one) for APP, which today is assessed based on MAP.

It is conceivable that a drop of just 1 percentage point in one subject (math or reading) would change a child's eligibility for APP and make them Spectrum-qualified instead.

Greg Linden said...

I started a new thread for this, "MAP percentiles lower including past tests?

CCM said...

Lori-

Oh - that's right about the 5% achievement requirement. My kids are older so I didn't remember that distinction.

Still - if its the top 5% - shouldn't it be the top 5% based on current data (with appeal for those that miss by 1%-2% or look at multiple test results instead of just one - as we know that one test shouldn't be used exclusively for qualification).

Not sure what the answer is - as there needs to be some sort of an established cutoff for qualification.

I realize that there will be kids who are currently in APP that may not meet these benchmarks with the changes - so what happens to those kids?

At some point - someone will always think the process is unfair.

Jen said...

Testing the youngest -

Letters came this week. Ours was postmarked 12/15.