kitchen table math, the sequel: mom of 4 fills out a survey

Friday, January 11, 2013

mom of 4 fills out a survey

A classic school story from mom of 4------
the edworld (among others) doesn't give up its stranglehold easily. Our old district was apparently required to send out parent surveys to find out if the HS cluster wished to continue the 7-8 JHS format or move to the MCPS-proposed 6-7-8 MS format. The vote was something over 90% wishing to keep the JHS format, but we got the MS anyway. Apparently, there was no requirement that anyone read the results or follow the parent wishes. All of the best things (academics) about the JHS while my older kids were there had been lost and all of the worst things (artsy-crafty, touchy-feely, non-academic) came from ES to the MS. My younger kids hated it. Sigh
I'm laughing!

Not one hour ago, I finally worked up the energy to track down this year's "Student Performance Review"...which I find has, once again, failed to disaggregate the 3s from the 4s!


I spent six years of my life trying to get my district to disaggregate the 3s from the 4s. Before that a parent who works at CUNY and was involved in the standards movement here in New York state spent a lot of time and energy doing the same.

Now it's 2013, C. is in college, and the 3s and the 4s are still one.

update 1/18/2013: No! I'm going blind! The 3s and the 4s are disaggregated! (I thought I remembered LJ - the CUNY dad - having finally prevailed on that one ---- )


I've just searched the Irvington Parents Forum for the word "disaggregate." I find a post dated 10/10/2007 that notes the 3s-and-4s issue but points out that a combined 3s-and-4s category is an improvement on what came before.

You should all take a look at that post if you have a moment. It includes a note from the then-principal of the middle school refusing to tell Ed and me how the black and Hispanic students are doing on the state tests. The year before, I think it was, not one black or Hispanic 8th grade student had passed. So we were asking for data.

No Child Left Behind was supposed to spark that kind of behavior, and in our case it did.

Reading that old post, I think we did make a bit of progress. There was a time, not too long after, when the administration-slash-board required people to FOIL everything. (Which we did.) The only documents you could get from the school without a FOIL request were a school calendar and your child's report card. Things were so bad that my friend Robyne, who had been elected to the board in a landslide vote, had to FOIL district documents.

Today we have disaggregated 3s and 4s!


Crimson Wife said...

Is "FOIL" a freedom of information request? I'm used to the acronym FOIA for that and the first thing that came to mind when I saw FOIL was the "first, inside, outside, last" thing from algebra, LOL!

Allison said...

First, Inside, Outside, Last = FIOL not FOIL.

were you taught FIOL? really? any chance you were taught that, yet it was pronounced "foil"?

did neither you nor anyone else noticed the difference because you're math literate? wonder how the kids who were struggling managed that confusion...

FOIL usually refers to a state law or statute, while FOIA is federal.

Catherine Johnson said...

I'm sure CW miswrote...I was taught FOIL as First, Outside, Inside, Last.

Lots of states use FOIA ---- trying to remember whether my state (or my district) uses FOIL specifically.

All I can remember now is that we all, during our years of frequent FOILing, called it "FOIL."

btw, I remember being tickled by the FOIL-FOIL connection....