Below you see the Maryland Courts ruled that funding at public schools do not need to be equal but the equal protection laws surely mean that the difference cannot be glaring......which is the case in Baltimore. The policies of selective funding are important because they take the power away from citizens to determine where they live and what their children learn and place it in the hands of developers. Although this is hitting the underserved communities hardest now, it will effect middle-class communities soon after. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see this.
The second point that any teacher will see is this: how can you set a standard in teacher/school performance when you have such extremes in private funding of all public schools? THE ANSWER IS YOU CAN NOT!!! That is what has teachers shouting loudly and strongly against evaluations of students and teachers that are comparative over the entire city of Baltimore for instance. So, you have Dunbar High School which is getting copious private funding and has taken the moniker of Advanced Placement school. So, it is getting the highest per-pupil funding from the state and it is getting lots of outside funding. How will its students and teachers do as compared with another school that is underserved getting less per-pupil funding and no private funding?
It is clear that the teachers at the advanced placement school will get more financial reward, more recognition as regards advancement in career, and will not deal with the level of 'burn-out' that teachers in underserved schools have because of the stresses of fewer resources. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT TEACHER/STUDENT EVALUATIONS THAT ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED WILL NOT LEAD TO MEANINGFUL COMPARATIVE DATA AND SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR SALARY INCREASES OR CAREER STATUS. So why are they doing this? These corporate educators simply want a business approach to hiring and firing and a way to track students throughout their school years. That is all this data will produce comparatively.
You can see without ever starting these policies that teachers will not want to start or stay at an underserved school were it will be hard for them to be successful. That is where Teach for America comes into play. Circulating temporary business people through schools that will simply be computer online classes needing a education tech at best. Is that the only goal.....cheapening poor student instruction? Of course not....all schools will eventually follow this privatized approach. In any case, the professionalism of teaching will be dramatically cut as most schools will not have what we consider today as qualified teachers......they are going for education techs and online classes all around!!!
VOTE YOUR INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!
Litigation ----Equal Protections:
The Maryland Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, found in 1983 that the state constitution does not require equality in education spending, but the court has not addressed the question of whether the constitution requires adequate school funding. Maryland entered into a Consent Decree regarding Baltimore City Public Schools in 1996, and the trial court continues to monitor the state’s compliance with the decree.
This is my comment to Maryland Public Justice who looks at the policy like that above:
The highest court in Maryland ruled in favor of a lawsuit championed by the Algebra Project among others that stated the State of Maryland failed to fund Baltimore city schools and HBC to the tune of $700 million. It has now failed to meet its Thorton requirements to the tune of a billion dollars.
The state court's ruling set precedent in what is expected in funding. These are my questions:
1) Why are justice organizations demanding the state pay what is owed Baltimore schools especially given that Baltimore City School Board and Maryland Assembly are preparing to enter into a $2 billion Wall Street financial instrument of credit bond leverage at a time when the Muni-market is ready to implode and the economy is heading for another crash per every economist in the world? We need Justice advocates shouting out for the people about this Wall Street malfeasance and the failure of the State of Maryland to meet its obligations. We are watching as O'Malley touts a balanced budget even as all of these school funding issues remain unresolved and as $700 million in subprime mortgage penalty ends up in the State's general fund rather than in the communities building schools where fraud actually happened!!!
2) Given that the Maryland court said that equal education funding is not a requirement but we have equal access and opportunity laws......do you think that the tiered per-pupil funding that places disabled and underserved as somehow less value for which this ruling was probably made really meant to include the excessive private funding and extra state and local government funding we are seeing in Baltimore as regards a dozen schools located in Enterprise Zones as compared to the basic funding found in all other communities.....mostly underserved? I audited the donations some of these schools are getting and it is disturbing the difference. This is not what happens in public schools systems in a democratic society. It happens in Uraquay in third world countries.
We want our justice agencies advocating for protections of democratic, public education in Maryland!!!
Citizens Oversight Maryland
Let's be clear.......no one thinks funding will be completely equal in public schools. We have always had the problem of property tax used to fund schools and bake sales at affluent schools netting more than that of underserved. THIS IS DIFFERENT. THE AMOUNT OF FUNDING DIFFERENCE IS SIGNIFICANT AND THE SOURCES MEAN CONTROL OF AN INDIVIDUAL SCHOOL'S OPERATION.....THIS IS NOT PUBLIC SCHOOL.
Ensuring Equal Opportunity in Public Education How Local School District Funding Practices Hurt Disadvantaged Students and What Federal Policy Can Do About
ItSOURCE: AP/Jason Hirschfeld
Marshawanda Overstreet , a student at B.C. Charles Elementary School in Newport News, VA, points to the chalkboard during a reading lesson.
By Phyllis McClure, Ross Wiener, Marguerite Roza, and Matt Hill | June 10, 2008
Download the full series of reports (pdf)
Download the introduction, by John Podesta and Cynthia Brown (pdf)
Section I: The History of Educational Comparability in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, by Phyllis McClure
Section II: Strengthening Comparability: Advancing Equity in Public Education, by Ross Wiener
Section III: What If We Closed the Title I Comparability Loophole?, by Marguerite Roza
Section IV: Funding Schools Equitably: Results-Based Budgeting in the Oakland Unified School District, by Matt Hill
Introduction and Summary By John Podesta and Cynthia Brown
The intense international competition that our country faces in today’s global economy demands that all of America’s youth receive the kind of education that they need and deserve. Yet our public education system is failing us.
In order to repair this broken system, the United States must confront the fact that inequality continues to plague our public schools. One of the most harmful manifestations of this is that local school district funding is allocated in a way that hurts poor and minority students. A study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found that educational funding is being allocated on the basis of "staff allocations, program-specific formulae, squeaky-wheel politics, property wealth, and any number of other factors that have little to do with the needs of students."
The outcome of such practices is predictable: A further widening of the dangerous achievement gap that has become endemic in American schools today. Fortunately, smart federal policy can help to fix this situation.
The four papers that make up this volume explore perhaps the most important component of this mismatch of U.S. educational resources—inequality in the funding of local schools by their own school districts. Nationwide, local school districts account for about 50 percent of all public school operating costs, which means these districts’ budgeting practices have a greater direct effect than state or federal education investments. Indirectly, however, existing federal legislation condones and has historically supported the way local school districts fund their schools. Federal education funding requirements, in short, exacerbate existing inequality in education at the local level.
This happens because of language in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the so-called "comparability provision," which was supposed to promote equality of education but indeed does not. Its basic notion is that state and local funds for schools should be equitable before federal Title I funds are added to schools with large concentrations of low-income students. The comparability provision, however, also contains what some of us call a "loophole" that allows longstanding ways that local funds have been inequitably distributed to continue.
Specifically, districts have historically allocated funds to their schools not by giving a dollar amount to each school, but instead by allocating "staff" resources to schools. As Marguerite Roza points out in this volume, "Most teaching positions and other staff full time equivalents, or FTEs, are assigned on the basis of enrollments. The formula might, for example, call for a teacher for every 25 students. The problem arises when staff FTEs are translated to real dollars."
The difference in actual school expenditures are often substantial because teachers’ salaries are based on their experience and credits or degrees earned, and because high-poverty schools have many more less experienced, lower paid teachers and much more turnover than low-poverty schools. Roza found in her research in Baltimore "that when teachers at one school in a high-poverty neighborhood were paid an average of $37,618, at another school in the same district, the average teacher’s salary was $57,000." Assuming the same number of teachers in each school—say 20—the difference in dollars available for the two schools is $387,640.
Transferring highly paid teachers against their will to even out expenditures seems nonsensical, yet if such an extra amount were available to a high-poverty school then there are numerous good uses for it, including employing master and mentor teachers as coaches, offering bonuses to recruit and retain effective teachers, and lengthening the school day or year to expand learning time for students. This is a complex topic, however, as one would expect of budget processes involving local, state, and federal funding spread across thousands of school districts across the country. That’s why we present in this package of reports:
- The history of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and its comparability provision
- The unexpected consequences of the comparability provision in practice
- The ways in which Title I might be fixed
- The ways in which those fixes might be implemented with positive results
How We Got Where We Are Today For over 40 years, federal policymakers and education advocates alike celebrated the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, especially Title I, which together with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 heralded a major new role of the federal government—to guarantee equal education opportunity nationwide. And for a while there was reason to celebrate as the federal government and new federal education statutes empowered educational leaders to see to it that more and more disadvantaged American kids received the equal education they deserved.
The guarantee to an equal education has never been fully realized—even though the federal government has never wavered in its promotion of equal opportunity in education.Unfortunately, this guarantee to an equal education has never been fully realized—even though the federal government has never wavered in its promotion of equal opportunity in education. As many analysts have documented, despite the federal help for schools with large concentrations of poor students, schools and districts with many low-income students continue to receive less than their fair share of funding—based on student need—up and down the nation’s highly decentralized system of public education.
The federal government does distribute Title I money based on poverty, but it does so through a formula that combines numbers of children in poverty with state per-student expenditures. This practice penalizes states with low-tax bases even if they tax themselves relatively heavily for education. Many states have developed fairer state funding systems, often as a result of years of litigation in state courts. But as the papers in this volume make clear, there has been little change in the inequitable way that local school districts fund their schools.
Almost all large school districts (sometimes unknowingly) expend more dollars on personnel and services in schools with fewer low-income students. Given the 50 percent local share of public school funding, this so-called "within-district" inequality has tragic consequences, as documented by the usually lower performance of students in schools with many poor students. This has not changed even after a new, standards-based framework for public education took hold nationwide in the mid-1990s.
This new approach to public education called for high learning expectations for all students. It was subsequently made real by the adoption of accountability systems through state legislation and the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act under a new name, the Improving America’s School Act, alongside the enactment of Goals 2000, which required state adoption of rigorous curriculum standards and new state tests to measure student performance against these standards. Then, in 2001, the next education reauthorization brought us the No Child Left Behind Act, which was signed into law by President Bush in 2002. NCLB enacted a tough performance standard, requiring that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014. States were required to assess students annually in grades 3 to 8, and report on their performance by subgroup, including for students from low-income families.
The presidential and congressional motivation behind the NCLB upgrade of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was to put increased pressure on state and local education policymakers to focus on the educational needs and learning results of disadvantaged students—whether they came from low-income or minority group families, families whose first language was not English, or students with disabilities. The federal government substantially increased its support for high-poverty schools for a couple of years after the passage of the NCLB Act. But state and local policymakers never leveled the educational playing fields with their funds, and the federal government did not push them to do so.
The upshot: unequal funding of high- and low-poverty schools continues with local, state, and federal funds. No wonder achievement gaps sometimes seem intractable.
While the harm falls most heavily on low-income students, the unfairness to hard-working teachers, principals, and other staff in the schools of these students is almost as tragic. It is fundamentally unfair to hold educators accountable for reaching the uniform high standards of NCLB when the monetary tools with which they are provided are so unequal. But what’s encouraging for students, teachers, and administrators alike is that federal legislators can correct these inequities if they take the time to understand the complex issues at hand in their states and congressional districts and then act on some of the lessons already learned by select school districts now experimenting with new ways to budget education funds.
The Way Toward Solutions In this volume, our four authors look at virtually all aspects of the federal and local "comparability" issue. While each is an advocate for major change, they don’t always agree in their analyses or on a preferred course of action. That’s neither surprising nor desirable given the diffuse magnitude of the problem. But what’s most encouraging is that the logic of their arguments point toward similar policy conclusions.
The first paper, "The History of Educational Comparability in Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965,"is by Phyllis McClure, an independent consultant and longtime student of ESEA Title I since its passage, and a consistent advocate for improvements to Title I. McClure traces the history of the debate around the enactment of Title I in 1965, and the problems with its early implementation, which led Congress in 1970 to add the comparability provision as well as other provisions to tighten up how Title I educational funds were spent.
McClure then discusses the initial federal efforts to enforce the comparability provision in the 1970s and 1980s, followed by 20 years of lax enforcement, and then more recent renewed attention to enforcement. She concludes by describing the current context of school funding and its relation to the comparability provision, and then making recommendations for securing the fiscal integrity of Title I funds.
The second paper, "Strengthening Comparability: Advancing Equity in Public Education," is by Ross Wiener, vice president for program and policy of the Education Trust. In his paper, Wiener discusses the importance and shortcomings of the comparability provision. He describes in detail how the weak comparability provisions of Title I allow funding gaps to persist, providing several examples from local school districts.
Wiener then explains why this is so harmful, turning next to discuss the important and positive changes to the comparability provisions that were included in the "discussion draft" of the No Child Left Behind Act reauthorization proposal issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. George Miller (D-CA), and the Ranking Member of the Committee. Rep. Howard P. McKeon (R-CA) in the summer of 2007. Wiener concludes with recommendations for strengthening the comparability provision.
The third paper, "What If We Closed the Title I Comparability Loophole?" is by Marguerite Roza, research associate professor at the Center on Reinventing Public Education, University of Washington. Her paper explores why the current comparability provision falls so short of what is needed, and the reasons for modifying it. She discusses why federal leadership is important, and outlines budgeting and funding considerations that need to be taken into account in making a change. Roza then explores the likely effects of these proposed changes on high-poverty schools. In the end, she suggests that the best way to restore the comparability guidelines of Title I to their original intent is by requiring school districts to equalize per-pupil dollar expenditures before accepting federal funds. In this way, the federal government can be proactive without micromanaging the budgeting processes of myriad local school districts.
The final paper, "Funding Schools Equitably: Results Based Budgeting at Oakland Unified School District," is by Matt Hill, executive officer of strategic projects for the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California. Hill examines why "Oakland Unified" decided to change the way it funded each of its individual schools, how the sprawling school district managed the process, and the relevance of the experience to the reform of Title I comparability provisions.
Hill provides a thorough overview of the Oakland school district’s history and budget reform strategy, and then delves into a detailed explanation of Oakland Unified’s so-called "Results-Based Budgeting," and how this process differs from other equitable funding allocation models used around the country and in Canada. He then discusses the implementation of Results-Based Budgeting, and then the results, the challenges, and the lessons learned along the way.
Hill concludes with recommendations for federal and state authorities to consider when they map out policies to help local school districts address the inequities caused by traditional funding models. And his conclusions are important because Oakland Unified is the only local school district in the country to fully implement equitable funding of all of its schools on a per-school, per-pupil basis..
Hill and the other three authors arrive at some uniform conclusions about ineffective and inequitable educational spending by the federal government on Title I schools. More importantly, each one in a different fashion points the way toward solutions to a complex budgeting issue that is a root funding cause of our ill-performing public schools. Together, these four papers make an invaluable contribution to the debate over how to fix our public school system. They point the way for the next administration and the next Congress to fix federal funding for Title I schools. For the future of all American children and our country, these changes can’t come a moment too soon.
Look at this propaganda piece from last year as the state pretends it has a bottom up approach to evaluations. Four-tiered approach that will not address any of the inequities in the system I listed at the top of today's blog. Look at the next article....Seattle school teachers refuse to implement this evaluation process BECAUSE IT DOES NOT ALLOW FOR COMPARATIVE DATA!!!!
Senate passes bipartisan teacher evaluation bill to ensure high quality education Tuesday, February 14 2012 - Rosemary McAuliffe | Permalink
OLYMPIA - Today, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill that will give teachers the tools to ensure every child has a high quality education.
Senate Bill 5895 would follow an existing state effort to move to a statewide four-tier teacher evaluation system by 2015-16, after eight pilot programs have completed tests of what works best. Before 2010, teachers were given either a satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade under a two-tier system.
Over the last week, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe, D-Bothell, Sen. Steve Litzow, R-Mercer Island, Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, Rep. Bruce Dammeier, R-Puyallup, and Gov. Gregoire worked hard to reach a compromise on teacher evaluation legislation and released the following statements.
“Parents need the confidence that our schools have the best principals and teachers available,” said Gregoire. “This legislation builds off our already successful evaluation pilot program and makes it better and stronger. I thank all parties for working hard to reach a bipartisan agreement that’s in the best interest of our children and their education.”
“This new teacher evaluation system is good for our kids, teachers and schools,” said McAuliffe. “I am proud this comprehensive package moves our current system forward while also protecting the due process rights of our teachers and professional development opportunities. We will base our new four-tiered evaluations off the great work of our pilot projects. I thank the governor for her leadership in negotiating a compromise.”
“This education reform measure moves Washington towards a merit-based employment system and provides the most fair and equitable approach for teachers and principals,” said Litzow. “But this is really about the children who deserve every opportunity to succeed, and all of the data shows that nothing in a school affects a child’s educational achievement more than having a great teacher.”
“Washington is collaboratively building an evaluation system from the ground up, rather than top down,” said Lytton. “Experts in our pilot project classrooms will recommend best practices, based on experience, to help all our students.”
“Quality teachers in every classroom – that was the priority of everyone involved in the negotiations. This bill leverages the previous work of the evaluation pilots and moves us forward as a state. It provides the professional development needed to strengthen our teachers and principals, and helps promote excellence in our classrooms,” said Dammeier. “I appreciate the long hours spent with my colleagues and the commitment by our governor to bring about this important compromise.”
BEING FROM SEATTLE I KNOW THAT THE EDUCATION FUNDING AT SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS WILL NOT BE NEARLY AS SKEWED AS IT IS HERE IN BALTIMORE. YET, THESE TEACHERS KNOW THAT ALL OF THIS EVALUATION BOTH FOR TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IS SO PREMATURE AND IRRELEVANT AT THIS POINT AS TO BE HARMFUL AND NOT HELPFUL! EVALUATIONS CAN BE DONE THAT ARE HELPFUL.......THESE BY EDUCATION REFORMERS OFTEN HAVING NO BACKGROUND IN EDUCATION IS NOT HELPFUL!!!!
Seattle Teachers Stand Together to Refuse Testing for Students
January 15, 2013 AFTNJ Educators in the Northwest are fighting back against what they see as inaccurate, unfair testing of their students.
By Wayne Au
On the afternoon of Thursday, January 10 th, a group of about 15 teachers stood together in the front of room 206 at Garfield High School in Seattle, Washington. News cameras and audio recorders from local media outlets crowded the podium as reporters, students, colleagues, and supporters listened closely. The teachers at Garfield High School were announcing that they had agreed, nearly unanimously, to resist giving the district-mandated computer test known as the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) to their students.
One by one, teachers explained why they had made this decision. Some talked about the wasting of valuable classroom time for a test that is given three times a year. Some talked about the inaccuracy of the test because it wasn’t aligned with grade level content standards. Some talked about how, even though experts at the Northwest Evaluation Association (creators of the MAP) have cautioned against using high-stakes, standardized tests for teacher evaluation, the Seattle Public Schools will be using the MAP test as part of their evaluations anyway.
LOOKING AT EVALUATIONS DURING THE TRIAL RUN PEOPLE TESTING THESE MODELS SAW AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT FROM YEAR TO YEAR A TEACHER COULD EVALUATE FROM ONE EXTREME TO THE OTHER. TEACHERS KNOWN TO BE GOOD AND WELL LIKED BY STUDENTS SOMETIMES EVALUATED AS BAD. THE EVALUATIONS ARE NOT READY TO BE USED AND ARE NOT EFFECTIVE BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO COMPARATIVE VALUE!!
Seattle Public Schools Releases Snapshot Of Teachers' Student Growth Ratings By Ann Dornfeld
Seattle Public Schools
This chart illustrates the distribution of teachers who received ratings in each category. The ratings will be used as part of teachers' evaluations. Seattle Public Schools has released new aggregate student growth ratings that will be now used as part of some teachers' evaluations. The ratings reflect how students did on state and district tests from one year to the next and factor in students' poverty levels, learning disabilities and English language proficiencies.
The aggregate ratings show that of the 132 teachers rated in the initial roll-out, 71.2 percent were rated as having students with typical growth on test scores, 19.7 percent received low ratings, and 9.1 percent of teachers had students that averaged high growth.
Using student growth measures to evaluate teacher quality is controversial. Many researchers point to the large number of variables that can affect students' test scores, and the fact that the same teacher can be rated quite differently from one year to the next without apparent explanation.
But Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda said he believes in the district's model. "It gives the evaluator another lens from which to gauge a person's performance," Banda said. "That being said, we need to continue to refine the methods for collecting the student performance data that we use in this evaluation to assure that it is accurate and gives a fair representation of a teacher's performance in this particular area. Bear in mind that student performance data is but one piece of a teacher's overall evaluation."
The ratings will only be issued for teachers of grades 4-8 reading, language arts, or math, and 9th-grade Algebra I teachers. This year's ratings included only teachers at 27 schools that showed low performance on standardized tests, plus two schools that opted in to the new evaluation system early.
Overall, only about 4 percent of teachers in the district received ratings this year. Ratings will be issued district-wide next year.
Teachers who receive high student growth ratings as well as high marks in other areas of their evaluations may become eligible for promotions. Teachers who receive low student growth ratings will get closer oversight by their principals.