Open Letter to Jeffrey Weiss, reporter for Dallas Morning News

Oct 27, 2014 by

open+letter[1]

“Open Letter to Jeffrey Weiss, reporter for Dallas Morning News
by Donna Garner

10.27.14

 

After I published my 10.27.14 article entitled “CSCOPE: False Narrative Being Pushed by News Media” — http://www.educationviews.org/cscope-false-narrative-pushed-news-media/ — Jeffrey Weiss, reporter for the Dallas Morning News, challenged me in a cordial exchange to provide him with the name of a large Texas school district that has chosen not to use Type #2 CSCOPE and whose STAAR/End-of-Course test scores are better than those of Wylie ISD that has used Type #2 CSCOPE since 2012.

I chose to compare the scores between Midway ISD and Wylie ISD on the STAAR/End-of-Course English tests and also on the STAAR Grades 4 and 7 Writing tests from both 2014 and 2013.

Below is the data.  This clearly shows that Midway ISD that has had a long-standing tradition of teaching Type #1 curriculum is producing higher STAAR/EOC scores than is Wylie ISD with its emphasis on CSCOPE/TEKS Resource System.

As you read through this data, think to yourself, “What would happen if we had no STAAR/End-of-Course scoring data at as many grade levels as possible to prove that students are learning or are not learning Texas’ Type #1 curriculum standards?”  

If a number of outspoken Texas Legislators have their way, there will be no more STAAR/EOC’s; and the accountability system for Texas will be a thing of the past.  Then what would parents and the public do if they suspect students’ learning is being hampered by CSCOPE/Common Core?  How would they prove it?

 

APRIL 2014 STAAR-END OF COURSE RESULTS

Pearson Assessment Summary Results – You will need to click on the “District” button to see the list of school districts in Texas:  https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/tclp/portal/tclp.portal?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=pa2_analytical_reporting_page

 

LARGE DISTRICTS BEING COMPARED – WYLIE ISD AND MIDWAY ISD

Wylie ISD – Summary Report – Spring End-of-Course – English – 2014 https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/e14eoc04/043914_000_WYLIE_ISD_14_STAAREOC_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf — Wylie ISD purchased CSCOPE for use in K-12 starting with the 2012 – 2013 School Year.

Midway ISD (161903 – McLennan Co. — Waco) – Summary Report – Spring End-of-Course – English – 2014  — Midway ISD has chosen not to implement CSCOPE. https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/e14eoc04/161903_000_MIDWAY_ISD_14_STAAREOC_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

*The district with the best score in each category is highlighted in red.  Of course, the district that has a lower percentage under Level Satisfactory has the better score.

NAME OF SCHOOL DIST. LEVEL II SATISFACTORY LEVEL III ADVANCED LEVEL UNSATISFACTORY
WYLIE ISD
ENGLISH I  83% 10% 17%
       
MIDWAY ISD      
ENGLISH I 84% 19% 16%
     
     
WYLIE ISD      
ENGLISH II 83% 6% 17%
       
MIDWAY ISD      
ENGLISH II 86% 13% 14%

 

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SPRING 2014 – STAAR GRADES 3 – 8 – WRITING

Wylie ISD – Summary Report https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/s1438/043914_000_WYLIE_ISD_14_STAAR38_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

Midway ISD – Summary Report https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/s1438/161903_000_MIDWAY_ISD_14_STAAR38_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

 

NAME OF SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVEL II SATISFACTORY LEVEL III ADVANCED LEVEL UNSATISFACTORY
Wylie ISD – Grade 4 – Writing 87% 10% 13%
       
Midway ISD – Grade 4 – Writing 87% 11% 13%
       
       
Wylie ISD – Grade 7 – Writing 86% 10% 14%
       
Midway ISD – Grade 7 – Writing 84% 9% 16%

 

====================================================================================

APRIL 2013 – STAAR – EOC

Wylie ISD – Summary Report – https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/s1315eoc/043914_000_WYLIE_ISD_13_STAAREOC_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

Midway ISD – Summary Report — https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/s1315eoc/161903_000_MIDWAY_ISD_13_STAAREOC_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

NAME OF SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVEL II SATISFACTORY LEVEL III ADVANCED LEVEL UNSATISFACTORY
Wylie ISD – English I Writing 59% 2% 41%
       
Midway ISD – English I Writing 69% 6% 31%
       
Wylie ISD – English II Writing 62% 2% 38%
       
Midway ISD – English II Writing 68% 5% 32%

 

================================================================================

SPRING 2013 – STAAR (GRADES 3 – 8) — WRITING

Wylie ISD – Summary Report — https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/s1338/043914_000_WYLIE_ISD_13_STAAR38_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

Midway ISD – Summary Report — https://tx.pearsonaccess.com/reports/tx/s1338/161903_000_MIDWAY_ISD_13_STAAR38_Spr_Summary_Reports.pdf

 

NAME OF SCHOOL DISTRICT LEVEL II SATISFACTORY LEVEL III ADVANCED LEVEL UNSATISFACTORY
Wylie ISD – Grade 4 Writing 80% 8% 20%
       
Midway ISD – Grade 4 Writing 87% 14% 13%
       
Wylie ISD – Grade 7 Writing 79% 5% 21%
       
Midway ISD – Grade 7 Writing 84% 6% 16%

 

 

Donna Garner

Wgarner1@hot.rr.com

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1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Aha! Now the game’s afoot, as Sherlock Holmes would say.

    Midway ISD. About 7,400 students. OK, that’s above my 5,000 student line. Some student diversity. Good.

    On the 17 STAR tests given in grades 3-8, compared with change in the state averages (which did not change much), Midway gained ground on three tests: Math and science in 5th grade and math in seventh grade. It lost ground to the state in 8th grade math. And was about even for the other 13 tests. Including the writing tests. (And I’ll suggest my 17 tests across a variety of subjects is a larger and better sample than your three tests in a single area.)

    Now, does Midway have more improving to do? Texas defines the real path to postsecondary readiness not by the current and lowly Phase 1 standard but by “Final Recommended.” By that standard, for 3rd grade reading about 40% would fail. for math, half. For 4th grade reading, 45% would have failed, math 44%, for your all-important writing 48%

    And so on. Close to half of Midway’s students need to get better on every test to hit those final standards. And that’s just not happening, if STAAR is any measure.

    The point of my story not being whether or not Midway’s scores were better or worse than Wylie but whether any district was making significant progress toward the standard the state says represents where we need to be. By that measure, Wylie is doing better than Midway. If the trends over the past three years continue, Wylie’s rising average scores will pass Midway’s stagnant numbers.

    That doesn’t mean that CSCOPE is wonderful, by any means. But I think there’s reasonable evidence it’s a lot better than what Wylie had before. If Midway already has a decent curriculum, then it doesn’t have the low hanging fruit that Wylie was able to take advantage of to post gains in its test scores Wylie, as I pointed out, was underperforming its demographic when it brought in CSCOPE. Whether it can continue its score rise, or whether it has simply hit its natural level, we won’t know until the next round of tests.

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