Op-Ed: School Districts Need More Clearly Defined Metrics to Measure Student Success

The “Strength in Numbers” motto adopted by the Golden State Warriors beautifully represents the organization at multiple levels. The most obvious manifestation of this motto can be found immediately upon opening their app or visiting their website where they proudly post their current win-loss record along with an abundance of other team stats. Wouldn’t it be great if our educational districts, schools, and charters in Santa Clara County proudly pronounced their own strength in numbers by posting comprehensive win-loss records as evidenced by the percentage of students who meet or exceed on standardized tests?

Sadly, when we visit our school district, county, or state websites, we often do not see how the children are performing academically. I have had the opportunity to work with school districts across the country for over 45 years. Most recently, I have engaged in conducting surveys and focus group meetings with students to find out what is important to them as we initiate strategic planning processes in school districts in the states of Washington and New York. For the most part, students want their teachers to treat them well and to respect them. Most importantly, though, they want their teachers to prepare them for their future college and career goals. As we subsequently engage with parents and community members, we find great concordance with the student aspirations.

It is my belief that students, parents, community members, teachers, and administrators should be able to access and interpret comprehensive and complete data visualizations of student academic performance. The interpretation of these data visualizations should help develop student goals for the district and schools that will ultimately support most students in achieving their dreams of being successful in college and career.

To this end, I have begun to build data visualizations of student academic performance for English and mathematics at sipbigpicture.com. This will be a herculean task but hopefully not a Sisyphean one. Please visit the site, get some data, and cheer me on!

At this site, you will find a math data visualization for San Jose Unified School District (SJUSD), among others. You will find two heat mapped tables for student performance. The first table provides a comprehensive view of student performance on the state math test for three years. The table is organized by grade and by year. The color continuum goes from red (low performance) to green (high performance). The state math test is aligned with the Common Core state standards in math, which identify what students should know and be able to do in math in order to be on track for college and career. Viewing the table, you can begin to answer the following fundamental questions:

  • Is there overall improvement in grade-level student performance over time?
  • Is there subgroup improvement in grade level student performance over time?

The colored heat maps make it easy to see patterns and to develop findings for these key questions. Overall, student performance is low (yellow) with most grades consistently scoring under 50 percent meeting or exceeding math standards. There has been some modest improvement at each grade level over three years. (with the exception of 11th grade) The Asian subgroup demonstrates consistent high (green) performance over time while the English learner subgroup demonstrates low (red) performance over time.

The table on the second page shows student performance by year by grade level. Viewing this table, you can begin to answer the following questions.

  • Is there overall grade-level improvement in student performance within a given year?
  • Is there subgroup grade level improvement in student performance within a given year?

Within any year, there is no improvement in math performance as you go from third to 11th grade in any given year. In fact, there is a drop in performance every year between student math performance in third grade compared with student math performance in 11th grade. (Yellow to Red). The Asian subgroup demonstrates consistently high performance (green) across grade levels within any of the three years while students with disabilities show consistently low (red) performance across grades within a given year.

You can see that using the colored heat maps. it is easy to discover patterns and findings of student performance. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to access data visualizations of this kind for your school district and school? Regrettably, neither the county nor the state offer any real help in producing easy to interpret data visualizations. In fact, the state has been complicit in obfuscating student performance by developing an Academic Indicator Dashboard that contributes to the fog of education.

The state system works like this. If the low end of the scale score band for Level 3 (meeting standards) is say 100 scale score points and student A scores 90 scale score points on the math state test for their grade level, and student B scores 110 scale score points, and student C scores 115 scale score points, the system subtracts each student scale score from 100 arriving at derived values of -10, +10, and +15. Tallying these values gives you +15 and then dividing by 3 students gives you +5. This value is slightly positive but would receive a green color or a high performance on the academic indicator.

This is a flawed process because it is merely a redistribution of excess scale score points and does not give you a true reflection of actual student performance. It masks the fact that Student A is not scoring within the proficient band by redistributing scale score points from students B and C to student A. Unfortunately, students B and C will probably not be able to follow student A to college to help remediate issues he may be having with college level math. This would be like the NBA allowing teams to take extra points from their wins and then distributing them to their losing scores to bolster win-loss records!

Interestingly, the state does not include 11th grade students in this process and builds a second indicator for 11th graders called college and career. Could it be that there is not enough extra scale score points to spread around for 11th graders?

SJUSD reported the positive picture that they were a green school district for the state academic performance indicator on their state mandated Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). From the previous data visualizations and interpretations, you can see that SJUSD is not yet a highly proficient district as it relates to student math performance.

So rather than helping school districts visualize a comprehensive, open, and transparent performance on state tests as an academic accountability indicator, the state obfuscates performance using a spreading-the-scale-score-points gambit. Of course, the districts and schools love this system because of its simplicity and ability to mask actual poor performance. The state loves it because it artificially supports their LCAP system as "getting" student results. The adults are saved with this system while the students, parents, and community wait for a true picture of student performance

If you are interested in viewing a comprehensive and easily interpretable data visualization of your school or district’s student academic performance in math, please visit my web site at sipbigpicture.com. If you do not see your school or district data visualization, please send me a note and I will hasten the development of your report.

We need to support our school districts in becoming more like sports teams such as the amazing Golden State Warriors, which has well-defined goals, metrics to gauge success, and a theory of action to achieve those results. Let’s help our school districts follow a similar path to success. A little competition is a good idea!

Dr. Bill Conrad is an educator who has provided several decades of teaching, administrative, and consulting support to school districts and schools within Santa Clara County and throughout the nation. He specializes in strategic planning and implementation, accountability, assessment, and science education. Opinions are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of San Jose Inside.

75 Comments

  1. The schools are jammed with minorities and illegals and the new schools have to have high fences built around them to keep these kids off the street and out of our houses as well as cops working undercover. Soon we will be able to vote on measures that prohibit taxpayers from paying yearly property taxes if they do no use the Unified Schools or don’t have school aged children. That will be the end of Santa Clara County Schools and send a lot of people back where they came from. Next we cut off the welfare and emergency rooms and driver’s licenses. Next we raid and arrest dope shop owners and Ice will pickup the illegals. Grab America Back!

  2. The measure is HOW MANY GRADUATE without the non credentialed teachers teaching the Graduating test answers all year long. You are educating almost no one.

  3. Dr. Conrad:

    Your proposed solutions to education underperformance are, as far as I know, rational and elegant.

    However, the problem with public education is NOT a lack of rational and elegant ideas, it is the muscular, snarling, and vicious attack dogs of the status quo:

    the teachers unions
    the education establishment (administrators and bureaucrats)
    the Democratic Party

    ANYTHING that hints at changing THEIR status quo will be torn to shreds like pit bulls snacking on a toy poodle.

    Hope and change? Not for you peasants.

    The first hint of real change has to come from parents, and as long as parents keep repeating the mindless mantras of “progressive educators” (education is good and WE are the experts in education) nothing is going to change.

    What will put the fear of God in educrats is a wide open school voucher program. Vouchers have to be available to ALL parents with NO bias in favor of government schools.

    One hopeful sign is the appointment of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

    “complete data visualizations of student academic performance” is useful ONLY if people can make meaningful choices based on the data.

  4. Hello SJOUtsidetheBubble,

    I appreciate your kind words and I also appreciate your admonitions concerning my quixotic approach to changing the educational status quo. I can always count on you to keep me grounded.
    I have always found the book, Reframing Organizations by Bolman and Deal helpful in thinking about the frames in which organizations operate. I approach the work from the structural frame but I recognize that a potent political frame drives organizations especially in Santa Clara County but across the country as well. I worked with a school district in Washington State where we convened stakeholders frome inside and outside the school district. While creating the strategic plan, one action item revolved around the idea of having teachers meet formally with parents two times a year which I thought was unbelievably light. However, the teacher union president pulled me aside and reported to me that the twice a year meeting would never happen as the Teacher Union contract only required one formal meeting per year. You can guess how that played out!
    I am sending each data visualization specific to a district to the superintendent of the school district. So far, I have not gotten many responses and those that do state that they do not require any help at this time. Once I complete the data visualizations for all districts and charters, I hope to engage community and business leaders in possibly hosting an Academy Awards event to celebrate the top 5 performers and the top 5 improvers for ELA and Math for key transition grades. I also plan on offering my services to PTAs and English Learner parent groups to help them get the big picture of student performance for the purpose of working with the Districts to improve practices. It is a marathon not a sprint! Thanks again for your real world insights as they are right on except possibly for the DeVos part! : < )

    • > Thanks again for your real world insights as they are right on except possibly for the DeVos part! : < )

      Say more.

      Why is Betsy DeVos NOT a hopeful sign?

  5. Great article! And the website is very helpful! I was able to find data for the school district in my area by simply clicking the data visualizations tab. Thanks!

  6. For the first several years of my daughter’s education, my ex-wife and I were able to afford tuition at one of the South Bay’s more successful private schools. Even early on, the education was challenging, diverse, comprehensive: in a word, exceptional. Due to some changes in financial circumstances, by grade 5, we had to place my daughter in a STEAM school. STEAM advocates would have parents believe that STEAM programs provide a quality alternative to private education, but we have found that this is very far from the case. By every metric I can think of, the education my daughter receives and the performance of the educators and staff has been of significantly lower quality than that of the private school. Obviously, there are differences in terms of monies available to facilitate and enhance these educational opportunities, but the fact of the matter is that there is simply no comparison between the two schools wherein the STEAM school does not fall abjectly short. It is an even more sad commentary to have to acknowledge that the quality of education at the STEAM school probably exceeds it’s more conventional public school counterparts in the district.

    One of the best things that could be done for parents, students and education alike is to implement some kind of voucher system whereby parents have the ability to more freely choose the school to which they send their children. Competition is always good in terms of strengthening systems and institutions. Why should we believe education would be any different?

    • Hello Officer Anonymous,

      Thank you for sharing your efforts to find a great school for your daughter!

      I understand your frustrations with being able to find a quality school for her. Many parents who may not be satisfied with the quality of their public schools seek alternatives. In my view, the problem is that there is no system that helps parents make this critical decision for their children. Some principals are all hat and no cattle. They can often convince parents of the quality of their schools when the reality is quite different. We need a system that parents can use to get good information about student outcomes in easy to read and interpret reports. It would also be very helpful for parents to be able to evaluate the quality of the professional practices of the educators in the system. Additionally, it would be great if parents could read a short synopsis of the school improvement plan that clearly links student outcomes with teaching practices, educational strategies, professional development and collaboration, and metrics. Additionally parents should e able to review clearly developed curriculum maps by subject and grade level. Additionally, it would help to know how the school assesses the students and how it monitors professional practices. I propose developing a “Big Picture” for school improvement that results in a few pages of key information that is aligned and tells a comprehensible story – not the massive disconnected, bureaucratic, mega-page compliance LCAP documents. Who has the time to read LCAP? You can visit my site at http://sipbigpicture.com.

      Again! Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  7. Well one thing positive I would say about Betsy DeVos is that she rejected the state of California ESSA application. Even this Department of Education could at least through the state of California accountability scam of “Spreading the Scale Score Points Around” and rejected the whole application! Hurrah!

    We need a strong wind to clear the fog of education that currently envelops the state board of education.

    My main problem with Betsy is that she advocates for a charter and voucher system that may leave many parents in the lurch. Unfortunately, there is no consistency in service from charter schools so parents really have a hard time finding quality. Freedom to choose does not mean you are going to get quality for your child.

    I reviewed many of the charter school applications that came through SCCOE and they were really very poorly done and I rejected most of the ones that I reviewed. (Most were approved by the chuckleheads of the SCCOE Board) They tended to reproduce the same vague educational jargon that permeates most of education; they did not link student outcomes to specific teaching practices; principal practices; and district practices. There generally were no good measures of student performance or professional practices. No real accountability system etc. etc. So advocating for choice through vouchers and charters is probably not the solution. We need a rigorous system to evaluate the quality of both the plan and its implementation for public school districts and charters. Possibly using the Baldrige Award process might be a place to start. If school districts and charters could meet these rigorous standards, they might well be on the path to success. I worked for a high performing district in Illinois called District 15 where we were the first ever educational organization to win the coveted Baldrige BUSINESS award!

    • > Freedom to choose does not mean you are going to get quality for your child.
      . . . .
      > We need a rigorous system to evaluate the quality of both the plan and its implementation for public school districts and charters.

      Bill:

      Sounds to me like you are against freedom and are simply advocating another authoritarian system with different (“rigorous”} authoritarians in charge.

      I have no doubt that if I interviewed public school bureaucrats on the matter, they would give themselves A-plus for “quality of their plans” and “plan implementation”.

      It’s not clear why the A-plus you would give to your solution would be any different than the A-plus the incumbent bureaucrats give their solution.

      • Hi SJOUTSIDETHEBUBBLE,
        Your assessment of the situation is correct for the most part. Principals and District Administrators definitely have the gift of gab and are very articulate in describing the benefits of their school or school district to parents. Leaders within Charter schools also have this capacity. That is why it is so important to carefully review comprehensive and complete student data before going in to speak with the educational bureaucrats. Schools and school districts ultimately will always reap what they sow! The data will not lie. If the school is good, it will have good student performance data. There is no way around that even if the bureaucrats want to rage against the thermometers, the data is there for everyone to see and discuss. Would you send your kid to a school where fewer than 1/2 of the students at any given grade level meet standards? Or where only about 1/3 of 11th graders meet standards in Math? No amount of shmoozing can get around this student performance! It would be great if parents could be able to identify truly quality schools. Education is not quite a profession yet at least not like medicine or law. For the most part,doctors and lawyers adhere to common high quality professional practices. This is not the case in education yet. Schools and classrooms are still pretty much independent contractors who basically pick and choose from the Christmas Tree of Educational practices to conduct their work. It is more like alchemy than chemistry unfortunately and parents can sometimes think that they are getting gold when they are really getting fool’s gold. So it is a very big challenge given the very uneven educational playing field. It probably would not be a bad idea for parents to be able to see valid ratings of key teaching, principal, and district administrator practices similar to the Baldrige criteria along with student data in order to make an informed decision.

        • DR. BILL:

          I think that if the data (which you get from the school system) showed anything that couldn’t be explained away as a consequence of “underfunding”, the public education would simply stop collecting the data.

          I learned that a number of years ago when I discovered that school districts where supposed to collect data on crime on campuses. They simply explained “we don’t have that data because the legislature never gave us the money to collect it.”.

          I’ve been through a Baldridge process. It’s not trivial. There aren’t enough people in public education with the smarts to execute the process with integrity. I’m sure that the educators would JUMP at the opportunity to have another “mandate” and then immediately ask “where’s the money to do all of this, and, by the way, it’s going to cost ten times as much as you were told.”

          At the end of the day, I’m skeptical that more “analytics” about a bad and dysfunctional process is going to change much.

          • Hello SJOutside the Bubble,

            I agree with you that my chances are slim to none in getting any traction with the school district administrative teams. I have been sending the data visualizations to superintendents with offers of support but have gotten little response so far. The momentum for data-informed accountability is definitely not on my side at the present time. The school districts are more than happy to use colors derived from bogus statistical manipulations by the state to support their LCAP processes. So easy but at the same time so wrong! The state and the county are complicit with the school districts in making data access a real challenge. I have to go through extraordinary efforts to accurately program data reports that are very visual and easy to interpret. After I complete the reports for each school district, I will build a Top 5 districts list for key transition grades like 5th, 8th, and 11th. I will highlight the top overall performers as well as the top improvers. I will attend board meetings and share posters of the data. I will engage businesses in hosting an Academy Awards for top performers and top improvers. I will also reach out to PTAs, DELACS, and ELACs to share data visualizations, conduct root cause analyses, and help them make recommendations for improvement of ALIGNED teaching, principal, and district practices that will get improved student outcomes. Most current LCAPs are an eclectic grouping of actions that are generally disconnected with no real theory of action and of course no real monitoring, evaluation, or accountability. Things might change as we get more and more creative!

        • > Leaders within Charter schools also have this capacity.

          By the way, I look at Charter schools as simply a public education establishment “fall back position” to stave off school vouchers. “Charter schools” are just “public education lite” where the unions and public school educrats had to give up a little ground to save the public education from the voucher barbarians.

          I have no doubt that Charter schools will be overtaken by creeping bureaucracy and end up being EVERYTHING a public school is.

          Charter schools start out with high hopes, but eventually the public school stooges start coming out of the woodwork and demanding that their Charter school be more like the public schools. “The public schools have this or that program. Why can’t we have it?”

          I’ve seen this happen in PRIVATE schools.

          • Good Points.

            I conducted an extensive evaluation of the Small Schools in Oakland. We were one of the first to use student growth data aligned to specific teachers to gauge Small School success. We found no consistent ability of teachers to promote student academic growth from year to year. We also interviewed staff at the schools as to what was their theory of action for the small schools and most did not know – Met West did though! The Board did not like the findings and shot the messenger (ME!). They hired a “luminary” in education – Linda Darling Hammond from Stanford – who did the Board bidding and wrote a beautiful glitzy report that supported the Board’s bias that small schools were the answer!

            I did present the evaluation process at an American Education Research Association meeting to much acclaim!

            And so it goes!

  8. Bill Conrad, thank you for putting a spotlight, and doing your part to solve for, the issues you raised in this article. I echo your sentiment that the data that could help lead to meaningful, and likely successful, small-to-significant interventions, is obfuscated for communities internal and external to our schools and districts. Defining the questions to ask, creating the systems to collect and report on relevant metrics, and holding important stakeholders accountable to the use of data to guide effective practice, are all steps towards more positive outcomes. For who? The students. Sometimes they get forgotten in the conversation though, so I’m glad you reminded us :)

    And I’m as disappointed as you must be that some of the response to this article has not focused on them, the students. And All students, because supporting all youth regardless their circumstance is the necessary (and yes I’ll say it, the right) thing to do.

  9. The student focus groups that I facilitated in Washington State and New York were simply amazing! Out of the mouths of babes came the truth! Many of the children just wanted some of the basic services. Several Hispanic students pigeon-holed me at the end of a focus group meeting in Kansas City, Missouri pleading with me to intervene with the administration to help make sure that the busses stopped at their stops and not just drive by out of meanneness! One Black child in an open meeting at a school district reported to the whole group that one of his teachers told him directly and in front of the class that the school worked a lot better when we had White students! Several students would participate on the main strategic planning team and provided ideas and insights well beyond their years. In the end, they were resilient enough to handle all of the meanness, overt racism, and platitudes if they could only get teachers who really knew their content and could teach them, Not too much to ask. Teachers and administrators are often shrouded in the fog of educational jargon like personalized learning, blended learning, etc ec. The students got us back to the reality of teaching and learning. In addition to student outcomes, we also need good data on how well teachers, principals, and administrative staff actually implement practices that are actually shown to result in improved student outcomes. Once we get that data, we will know why the student outcomes are the way that they are. Let’s start demanding data on professional practices and then begin improving those practices which are sure to result in improved student outcomes. Is that asking too much?

        • True enough. You look at the caliber of Board leadership at the County and district level in many cases and you will see the root cause of the problem. Smash mouth politics with the veneer of niceties so requisite for leaders in Silicon Valley!

        • No, I’m talking about a naive belief that data, slickly and colorfully compiled, can magically reveal the correct solutions to our public education problems.

          • Hey John, Can you cut a semi-retired educator a little slack? I never claimed that my data visualizations gave any hint at solutions! However, you do have to know where you are at relative to student achievement in math before you can begin to seek out some solutions and get better! If over 1/2 of your grade 3-8 students are not proficient in math and only about 1/3 of 11th graders, you have a big problem. In fact I would say you should be in intensive care as it relates to your student math performance. If you look at what the state says about SJUSD math performance, they get a green color meaning high achievement. They get this wonderful color by redistributing scale score points from their high performing Asian students to their lower performing Black and African American students. So first things first. SJUSD sucks at teaching math currently. Once you come to this conclusion, you can then set some student goals such as maybe we can get 1/2 of our 11th graders proficient in math next year – a big goal but hey students are in a dire situation as it relates to math performance! Next thing you need to do is to think about improving curriculum, professional practices, and assessments. These would be the means to that end goal. At SJUSD, though the administration sets the means as the ends. They identify curriculum as a goal for the district. If the administrative staff at the school district cannot differentiate ends from means, you have a very big problem which is one of the reasons why you are getting the student outcomes that we see. SJUSD actually has a parent goal! WOW. This would be like going into an emergency room with a knife in your back and the doctors setting a goal to make sure that your family understands the severity of your situation. We have a long way to go John!

          • The biggest obstacle to decent public education is the unnecessary complication of what’s really a very simple endeavor. Let’s not encourage those in our education system whose careers thrive on wateful studies, demographic breakdowns, silly pie charts, “innovative” teaching techniques, etc.
            For centuries now we’ve known how to teach math and science to kids. It’s not complicated. Let’s quit being distracted from our job and just do our job.

          • You make a good point. Educators for the most part are focused on the wrong stuff. I call this the fog of education. By focusing on a few high quality teaching practices like the ability to diagnose student learning needs, designing instructional interventions to address those learning needs, and then monitoring the success of those interventions in improving student outcomes is a very powerful teaching strategy that is not that complicated and that will result in proven student results. Like any teaching practice though, it can be done like an amateur or it can be done like a professional. Making a layup in basketball is a fundamental practice. However, it is taken to a whole new expert level by experts like Steph Curry. Our teachers should be focused on improving the quality of a few proven teaching practices to expert levels. The principals should support that improvement work and the District administrators should support the principals. It is called alignment and teamwork. It works every time. It is not as sexy though as pursuing the newest fandangled teaching “innovations” such as “Personalized Learning” or “Blended Learning.” As SJ states, we have seen this movie many many times before. It is time to break the cycle and get back to what we know works and stick to it at least for a couple of years!

  10. BILL:

    > The Board did not like the findings and shot the messenger (ME!). They hired a “luminary” in education – Linda Darling Hammond from Stanford – who did the Board bidding and wrote a beautiful glitzy report that supported the Board’s bias that small schools were the answer!

    We’ve seen this movie before. MANY, MANY TIMES!!!

    That’s why many of us are irredeemably cynical about public education.

    I’ve also heard from teachers that, even though the educrats whine about the lack of parental involvement, they are really quite happy when the clueless and ignorant parents leave them alone and never question their “professional” judgements.

  11. Yes! It is groundhog day every day in Education World!

    Educrats as you call them have a penchant for blaming the victims. Parents have the responsibility of making sure that their children get enough to eat, have a quiet place to study, get a good night’s sleep, and that they get to school on time. That’s basically it. It is the responsibility of the educators to educate the children in the key academic and non-academic areas. That is their job. And they signed up for that responsibility even if some parents may fall short of their basic responsibilities due to a variety of reasons. A doctor does not blame the parents if a child comes to him with a bacterial disease. The doctor has the professional expertise to treat the illness and cure the patient regardless of the circumstances of the parents. What we lack in education is the willingness to use what we already knows works in educating our children and instead engage in a blame game, denial game, promote special case instead of system improvement game, a blame the thermometer game, a let’s hire our friends and relatives for key professional responsibilities game, and a this too will pass mentality game. So sad.

    I have spent over 40 years in education and I am still amazed at all of the shenanigans that contribute to the fog of education. I am moving to the mode of directly supporting students and parents in educating their children. Save thyself! Maybe, we can turn schools into social clubs where students can socialize and engage in community service projects where they get to apply their knowledge and skills. We can then hire camp counsellors and hire professional tutors for our children. The current zeitgeist of Me First Educators is not going to change any time soon as you suggest. It is too easy to do nothing and collect a big salary then it is to do the right things in educating our children.

    • > The current zeitgeist of Me First Educators is not going to change any time soon as you suggest. It is too easy to do nothing and collect a big salary then it is to do the right things in educating our children.

      I suggested that? I must be brilliant!

      But you agreed with me. You must be brilliant, too.

      I think we’re both brilliant.

  12. DR. BILL:

    > This would be like going into an emergency room with a knife in your back and the doctors setting a goal to make sure that your family understands the severity of your situation.

    Excellent, and apt, metaphor.

    > If you look at what the state says about SJUSD math performance, they get a green color meaning high achievement.

    Also, I recall a leak from somewhere in the public education universe that algebra would no longer be required for graduation.

    Is this what is going on in SCC schools?

  13. Hi SJ,
    I still think that Algebra I is a graduation requirement in California though I wouldn’t be surprised with the de-emphasis on academics in California that this idea could be gaining traction. The Cal State System has recently abandoned its remedial course requirement for those students who do not meet even basic math and ELA requirements. Now they will just admit students in need of remediation to regular classes and expect the college professors who teach these courses to engage in remediation. Give me a break.
    I collaborated in writing a successful high schools science grant called NASA Lift Off designed to improve high school science teaching ability. As a part of the project, we wanted to improve student writing so I asked Jeff Seitz, the geology professor at Cal State East Bay if he could provide some examples of high quality writing from one or more of his geology classes. He told me that he did not have students write in his class due to their poor writing skills. He just gave them multiple choice questions! And that is what is going to happen once we start channeling students in need of remediation into college classes. Professors will just dumb down the requirements. Problem solved and Cal State continues to reap $$$$$$!

    • > The Cal State System has recently abandoned its remedial course requirement for those students who do not meet even basic math and ELA requirements. Now they will just admit students in need of remediation to regular classes and expect the college professors who teach these courses to engage in remediation. Give me a break.

      So, how does the Cal State System handle professors that give tests that are “too hard” or fail too many students?

  14. The Cal State system would send those professors to “Re-Education” School where they would learn to correctly follow the system or else! The system is about ensuring cash flow for the Bureaucrats in the system.

    This problem is magnified 10x in the College of Education where the colleges gets a D grade for preparation of teachers. Everybody graduates from these colleges. Got pulse?

    A federal audit revealed that the state of California has engaged in inflating its graduation rate by excluding students who should have been included in the 2013-14 cohort, There is no end to the shenanigans.

    More Manifestations of Campbell’s Law:The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.

    • DR. BILL:

      > More Manifestations of Campbell’s Law:The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.

      Very interesting! It has a name! Educators have to know about it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Campbell's_law

      Also, the “cobra effect”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cobra_effect

      It’s about surprising to me that in this age of litigation, that the public school system and academia hasn’t been bombarded with lawsuits claiming education malpractice and conspiracy.

      It is IMMORAL and CRIMINAL how parents are gulled into taking out huge loans and spending money on worthless and absurd “education” on things like “gender studies” and “ethnic studies” and other forms of social activism.

      Campbell’s Law shows that the education establishment KNOWS that their “product” is full of hokum false promises.

  15. Hi SJ,

    Actually a major lawsuit has been filed called Vergara vs the State of California where lawyers on behalf of 9 high school students filed a lawsuit arguing that their right to a quality education has been subverted by the State of California. It should be noted that all of the brave superintendents who signed on to the lawsuit as friends of the plaintiffs were ultimately fired from their positions. That is how crazy it is currently in California. It is up to the children to sue for an education that will prepare them for college and career! Power does not relinquish power without a fight. And we are in a big fight situation right now in California.

    Yes there are many nasty artifacts that are manifestations of Campbell’s law. Educators have really created a fog of education where they relentlessly focus on the latest fad; personalized education, blended learning, differentiated instruction, student grit and on and on and on. Meanwhile the system is not organized for doing the basics of education like securing a curriculum that will prepare students for college and career; implementing professional practices at a high level; and quality assessments to monitor both student outcomes as well as Professional practices.

    Basta! I for one will do my part to burst this bubble. As Pink Floyd once sang we all have become comfortably numb!

    • > That is how crazy it is currently in California. It is up to the children to sue for an education that will prepare them for college and career!

      “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”

      — Lily Tomlin

  16. It truly boggles the mind!

    The Mercury News just reported that the Jerry Brown will continue to support the LCFF and the LCAP systems even though Districts are not demonstrating results for ELs, Blacks, Hispanics, Economically Disadvantaged, or Foster Youth. Go Figure. Well it’s not their money. This theory of action will not work. Districts will spend the money on technology or Dual Language Bilingual Program where less than 10% of ELs are proficient in MATH across grades and across years!

    I worked in Santa Clara Unified where the District actually withheld dollars that were by law supposed to go to the Local Schools to support the English Learners. The District kept the money and used it to fund whatever – mostly technology. The wacky Santa Clara Unified School Board though went after a principal at a Middle School who they claimed mis-allocated $30 in a school fund while the district was not allocating over $3 Million to its schools as required by law. Fortunately, the school principal was exonerated after hours of research by the District Budget Director. (Nice use of taxpayer money!) The state let the District readjust its books to accommodate the discrepancy in the $3 Million snafu. Must be nice. You cannot even make this stuff up. Lilly Tomlin is right on!

  17. Dear Bill,
    This has been the best artical I’ve read in SJI, very informative and well written. Hopefully the powers that be will listen and learn and not pull the Google maneuver on you.

    I know several former teachers that were fired for not passing failing students and have given up on teaching. Unfortunately this does a disservice to our children that can’t read write or speak the language very well,
    The system has failed and little Johnny doesn’t get hired because Google doesn’t hire stupid American kids that got an easy pass here in the valley.

    Best of luck to you and thanks.

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      The overall mediocrity in professional practices within Education World has real consequences for students. I have friends who graduated from the public education system who were geniuses in technology but were not hired after extensive internships because they were unable to craft an email without grammatical and spelling errors. About 40% of students entering the Cal State System require remediation! There is lots of room to grow in professional practice across the board in education- yet the will is not there to do it and there is no accountability. Maybe we should provide classrooms with bean bag chairs to keep our students comfortable. Make sure that there is always hot chocolate available and have the teachers read stories to the students (Because the students themselves cannot read). This way our students will be totally comfortable and above all unstressed as they slide into their Walmart jobs and go home to their recreational vehicles in the Walmart parking lots. They will definitely not be able to engage in the rigorous, challenging, and lucrative tech work that Silicon Valley is known for.

      • That’s hitting close to home Bill, I had a lucrative 45 year career in skilled trades.
        Being dyslexic and having ten options for spelling 2 kept me out of any administrative jobs and the comments column at least till they invented spell check!

        • My example was a friend who did not have dyslexia. He was not taught the basics of writing which was really a problem for him. Similar examples can be found in the realm of mathematics where students learn buggy algorithms to solve one step problems but are clueless when they are asked to apply math concepts to real world situations as they have no math sense. It is a common problem.

          Glad to hear that you overcame your dyslexia and had a successful career!

          • I’m just as dyslexic now as I was when I was left back in first grade 60 years ago. But knowing now what an how the affliction works I have learned to compensate for it. It’s a little like learning to throw a wiffle ball in a cross wind. I still have a problem with b’s and d’s if I write something by, hand but not if I type it.

            Over the years I have helped parents who have been struggling with the kids not learning to read and right thinking they were stupid or lazy as I was called in those learning years. Most were lacking motivation, but every once in awhile, dyslexia show up.

            I have seen some interesting treatments like colored glasses over the years help with reading. I’m always impressed with some of the abilities and strange ways people cope and really amazed at their mechanical abilities. My hope is someday kids with problems will be tested for this in schools rather than drugged up for ADD or something.

        • Thanks for your personal insights and inspirational work Empty Gun!

          My son experienced a similar situation as yours. He was not reading by the end of 2nd grade and we asked his teacher to see if there might be a problem with his perceptions of the printed page. She brushed us off and told us that it was just a developmental issue that he would eventually grow out of. It was his music teacher, who indicated that there may be a visual/perceptual problem with my son because he was unable to see all the notes of music on a page and would sometimes substitute his own creative notes to fill in for the notes that he was not seeing. We followed up with a more accurate diagnosis and eventually he received innovative treatments similar to yours that improved his perceptual abilities and ultimately his ability to read. One has to wonder regarding how many children are not being diagnosed for real problems, misdiagnosed or ignored.

          Given the craft nature of teaching in the U.S., I think that many children are falling through the cracks.

          Thanks for sharing.

          • > He was not reading by the end of 2nd grade and we asked his teacher to see if there might be a problem with his perceptions of the printed page. She brushed us off and told us that it was just a developmental issue that he would eventually grow out of.

            DR. BILL:

            Speak to us about the use of “medications” in the public school system to “treat” students who have “behavioral issues” and other issues that teachers don’t like to deal with.

            I have heard many accounts of the use of ritalin and other “behavior modifying” drugs in the school system. These accounts become particularly noteworthy whenever there is a mass shooting in z school.

            It is so-o-o predictable that the first wave of NEWS reports will be statements by politicians bloviating about the need to do something about “gun violence”, which is then followed by a wave of INTERNET POSTINGS about how the shooters were being treated with mind altering drugs.

            What’s going on?

          • Hello SJ,
            I think it is important to put the over-medication of some students into some context. You can imagine the challenges that teachers encounter in trying to maintain a sense of order when they have 30 children in front of them. Teachers must rely on some level of behavior management to make sure that good teaching and learning can proceed within the classroom. I can remember substituting for a Kindergarten class when the teachers were engaged in a meeting about our small school’s evaluation. The teacher had developed an elaborate management system to help maintain order. When I failed to employ one of the management tactics and was called out by one of the toddlers, pandemonium ensued as you might imagine, But there is a question of balance here. Some teachers are so averse to any student voice or autonomy that they enforce very strict and punitive systems to maintain “order and compliance” at all costs. These oppressive management systems and drug involved systems can have very deleterious effects on “free thinking” and creative students who might be willing to challenge authority as you might imagine. Folks like Einstein and Steve Jobs had real problems in these types of systems. The ubiquitous presence of police on campus who are given license to “enforce” the rules is another example. It is also a manifestation of the culture to use drugs to address even the slightest possibility of pain or perceived lack of order as we are finding in the Opiod crisis. We often seek drugs to solve problems that can be solved in other ways. The gun issue is another matter. Easy access to guns make it a convenient way to address problems that should be handled differently.

  18. > Actually a major lawsuit has been filed called Vergara vs the State of California where lawyers on behalf of 9 high school students filed a lawsuit arguing that their right to a quality education has been subverted by the State of California.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/education/la-me-edu-ca-supreme-court-lets-teacher-tenure-survive-20160819-snap-story.html

    “In a major win for teachers unions, California Supreme Court lets teacher tenure ruling stand”
    . . . .
    “Unfortunately, on one side, we had the California Teachers Assn. that is satisfied with the status quo,”

  19. It is truly a tragedy especially for the students who have to endure mediocre to worse teachers who are protected by the Unions. I led a staff development at a school district in New York state. The meeting began with a small celebration of a Physical Education teacher who was retiring. In his farewell statement, he recalled how he had recruited young teachers to the dark side of doing the least for the students. One of his colleagues recalled how he had always taken student work home at night to review it, provide feedback, and generally improve his teaching. The teacher told us how the P.E. teacher had disabused him of this kind of “extra” work and advised him to leave ALL student work at school and to never take any work home as it would interfere with family life. This was the outrageous legacy of this PE teacher. Good riddens! The system will be better off. This is not to say that there are outstanding teachers who do great work despite recruitment tactics of the teacher stones that exist within the system. Unfortunately, special cases do not add up to a system. And the system aids and abets mediocrity or worse in teaching. Teaching is not yet a profession. It is still a craft where teachers get to conduct their work as sometimes ill-informed independent contractors who never are held accountable to professional standards. It is still alchemy and not science. And we are all left pretending that the fool’s gold they generate is real.

  20. > I think it is important to put the over-medication of some students into some context.

    The context being that over-medication is “appropriate” if the student behavior is bad enough?

    > Teachers must rely on some level of behavior management to make sure that good teaching and learning can proceed within the classroom.

    Over-medication is justifiable “behavior management”?

    • By providing context, I was not condoning the use of medication at all. I think that the education system places a high degree of value on “good” behavior which generally means being compliant with the will of the teacher. There is far too much dependence upon the use of “medication” to keep students within the narrow confines of expectations of some teachers. Because students do not fall into some of these unrealistic expectations, they also get referred for special education. I think that it would be better for the system to look in the mirror and make sure that the opportunities for students to learn are engaging, respect student voice, and also freedom to act in ways that are in concert with their personalities. That is not to say that there are never cases that require students to be prescribed medication but only in consultation with a physician and after all avenues of appropriate behavior management have been explored. It should always be the rare exception and not the rule. Unfortunately, we live in a society where medication is the first resort rather than the last.

      • > that require students to be prescribed medication but only in consultation with a physician and after all avenues of appropriate behavior management have been explored.

        Should parental approval be REQUIRED to prescribe medication?

        Is parental approval required TODAY for schools to prescribe medication?

      • > Because students do not fall into some of these unrealistic expectations, they also get referred for special education.

        My understanding is that schools get extra money for special education students, but that the number of special education students is limited to ten percent of the school population.

        I have heard that — surprise, surprise — the number of students in special education is almost always around ten percent. True?

  21. DR BILL:

    True or false?

    I have heard that it is ILLEGAL for the public school system to give an IQ test to a black student. True or false?

    I have heard that the public school system uses a de facto quota system for classifying students as “special education”. School districts that place too many students of certain ethnicities in special education are deemed to be “racist”. True or false?

  22. Very Interest Bill, In my day they didn’t drug kids that I know of but tried to keep them off them. Special ed, teacher aids
    skilled trades were all avenues that could be used to redirect kids on an other than collage based direction.

    If you were on a really disruptive path, military school, or reform school if you happen to kill someone. They were not going to keep a disruptive kid in a classroom with (normal kids). I think we keep the bad influence in with the status quo way to long, and like you said then we have pandamonium. Next thing you have an entire school gone to waste.

    OSTBubble and I share the concern about behavior or mind altering drugs, prescribed or otherwise. It didn’t take a gun to or Ritalin to get a kid down the street from me to stab a woman 30+ times 50 years ago. We thought he was the only normal one in the family till then!

    I’m told the military will not take a recrute that has been treated with these drugs.

    By the way have you noticed the complete absence of our more liberal commentators on your artical?

  23. I agree with you that the use of drugs to alter behavior should only be used rarely and after a careful diagnosis and after other non-chemical treatments have been attempted and also with full knowledge and consent of the parents. Given the fact that many school districts still are unable to get even 1/2 of their students meeting or exceeding standards, one would definitely question their capacity to make good decisions about whether pharmacology should be used to address behavior issues.

    It is interesting as you note, that we have not heard comments from the liberal side. When you wield the levers of power, there is no real need to comment. But really, who is looking after the children? The question is a bit impolite and may challenge the exalted hegemony of our educational leaders. We all have become comfortably numb to many of the very bad student outcomes and of course they are hidden by microscopic data dashboards that are built upon misleading statistical chicanery. Again the system is set up to protect the interests of the adults in the system and not the children. School Districts like Santa Clara Unified hire milquetoast superintendents who will do the bidding of their self-serving School Boards by hiring family and friends regardless of their qualifications. It is loyalty that counts not competency. Access to large sums of taxpayer money is also a driving force in the decision-making process. We definitely know how to teach the children, we choose not to and envelop ourselves in the fog of education where so many forms of skullduggery can reign supreme.

  24. Commenting on one educator’s perspective & a few clueless agitator’s thoughts would obviously be a waste of our valuable time. Nothing Bill thinks or anything that the conservative commenters here have to say will change the present educational system one iota. SJI conservative commenters are certainly frustrated,but they never actually accomplish a damn thing. Just a handful of disgruntled senior citizens who can’t seem to find their polling place on election day (or their ass with both hands) & are completely outnumbered four to one. Dying off daily,angry,senile & all alone. The best part of Alzheimer’s must be when you forget that you’re a Republican. I hear that they’re making a movie about Republican politics in the South Bay,it’s called “Four Funerals & Another Funeral”. Going to be a tough decision for these old geezers,see the damn movie or feed the damn cat ? Better pray for the cat,after all it will be feasting on their fetid carcasses until the mail starts piling up & the neighbors call the police, Sad ? Just karma.

    • > Commenting on one educator’s perspective & a few clueless agitator’s thoughts would obviously be a waste of our valuable time.

      Speak for youself, Hy.

      It’s hard to imagine that your time would be valuable to anyone.

      If you snorted a batch of moldy pot and died of mad cow disease, would anyone notice?

      • That’s all you got ? Intelligent response – no. The best you’re capable of providing – without a doubt. Since you’re obviously brain dead now,when will the rest of your body be joining it in your inevitable & greatly anticipated demise ? When you die they’ll ‘notice’ you eventually,but no one will care enough to claim what’s left of your rotten corpse from the Coroner’s Office. The cat’s biding it’s time & whetting it’s appetite as your time on this side of the grass grows shorter & shorter everyday. I for one hope that it consumes a sizable amount of your flesh before the stench grows so bad that someone finds what’s left of you. The cat will eat you the same way that you fell down when you died,face first. Cats got to eat & senile right-wing geezers like you got to die. A great big turd in life & eventually many little turds in death,it’s the Circle of Life !

        • > That’s all you got ? Intelligent response – no. The best you’re capable of providing – without a doubt.

          Yup. That’s about it, Hy.

          I gave it my best shot, and you’re still standing. Didn’t lay a glove on you. Time for me to hang it up.

          I guess I’ll just go down to the old codger’s home and play dominoes with Hillary, Bernie, DiFi, Jerry Brown, Nancy Pelosi, and the other drooling old geezers.

          So, I gather you’re some kind of progressive rock star. What is it about you that is supposed to make the kids at juvenile hall like your Facebook page?

          You’ve got a real Facebook page, right! You’re not just some fake follower of somebody’s fake Facebook page, right?

        • Give ’em hell,or just tell the truth about them & they’ll think it’s hell. The “cat” will get their tongue eventually,but only if you wield it with great vigor & on a daily basis. Faithfully flogging fascists sure works up an appetite for more flagellation & authoritarian alt-right aholes ought to feel the knout regularly. Apparently their conscious won’t be the last thing that’s gnawing at them. Funny stuff Hy,this forum can always use another lictor & humorist ! “Pro mortuo sublatus brevi postea mortuus” – Cicero

          • Editor’s Note: Should have read “conscience” above,not conscious. Although Booble’s idiotic responses to reader’s who disagree with him would seem to indicate he was in a semi-conscious state at best when he concocted them & most likely in a drunken stupor instead.

  25. Hi Hy!

    You are over the top here. I have completed Math CAASPP data visualizations for about 25 school districts in Santa Clara County. You can see them at http://sipbigpicture.com. I will soon complete the data visualizations for all the other school districts in SCC. I will then move on the plethora of charters. Parents, community members, and of course students deserve to see how the students perform academically in comprehensive, complete, and interpretable ways. It is simply not acceptable for school district leaders to cherry pick a few data points to present in their LCAPs and strategic plans or use the totally worthless, misleading, and microscopic state academic indicator to represent student academic performance. So having a place for the community to go to see student academic performance is definitely not a waste of time, because the schools won’t do it; the school districts won’t do it; the County Office of Education won’t do it; and the State Board of Education won’t do it. So I will do it.

    I have many plans to communicate this information in interesting and fun ways that will bring joy to your heart and get you out of your very grumpy mood!

    • Empty Gums – Since you have dyslexia,who reads this to you & writes your comments for you ? Whoever you pay to do it is humiliating you because they make you seem like a ignorant illiterate fool. I always thought you rode on the little yellow school bus because you were one of the slow kids. I’m glad that they determined that you had a learning disability before you were permanently institutionalized. Although that’s still a distinct possibility for a plethora of other more obvious reasons. Then again there’s nothing really funny about a befuddled old man in a brand new straitjacket,but it makes me smile just thinking about it. Have you heard about the guy who used to have dyslexia ? Now he has dailysex instead ! Or about the gay dyslexic ? He’s still in daniel !

      • Oh Herby,
        You have crusher me just like a little ball of aluminium foil . I’m so insulted I’m going to through a winny tantrum as long as Nasty Pelosi and Charli Shoemaker pee on America.

        Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, Walt Disney, Sir Richard Branson, JFK, Picasso, Galileo,
        George Washington, Michael Faraday, Anderson Cooper, Steven Spielberg, John Lennon,
        Jay Leno, Whoopi Goldberg. Just a few of my fellow dyslexics. There was a pot smoking kid in high school that used to bully me like you do, he ended up OD. before he was 21. Yet I have made it to old and gray.

  26. Jennifer:

    It’s really unfair us ordinary everyday posters when you allow too many people with superior intellects to dominate the conversation.

    There are just too many geniuses on this forum who crowd out the voices of me and other ordinary people. They’re snarks, and they’re bullies, and they’re unfair and they always twist our words and make us look like we belong in special ed.

    You know who they are: Herb Waxman, Hy Ascanbe, Frank Mockery, and a gaggle of other extremely high IQ progressives who have had the unfair privilege of a public school education.

    In order to level the playing field and to keep the gang of progressive bullies from dominating the conversation as they have done so successfully, I suggest that you impose some additional posting guidelines to make things more fair.

    Could you create a rule that requires the progressive posters to be nicer to those of us who are not as smart as they are, and maybe not post anything that can’t be understood by people with an IQ of less than 95. And also, maybe limit the number of postings they can make to three per week, and no more than 100 words in length. And no words of more than three syllables.

    Thank you.

  27. We have just initiated the first annual Academic Olympics in Silicon Valley! Now you can join in the joie de vivre and visit the site at http://sipbigpicture.com to see how your school district has performed in our first big event of the Olympics: The 11th Grade Math Performance Event! Find out if your district snagged a gold or at least find out how close they came in the rankings!

    I have almost completed all of the data visualizations for the 32 school districts but have been slowed down a bit by a bad tooth that developed an exploding abscess! Speaking of abscesses, the state research files have presented some challenges in the way that they inconsistently represent achievement data but I will prevail even with a bad tooth! We should have all of the math data visualizations for ALL Santa Clara County school districts competed by Sunday or Monday.

    But in the interim please join in the Joi and visit my site and give me some feedback!

    Have a great weekend.

    Bill

  28. > visit my site and give me some feedback!

    Feedback.

    1. Have Asian parents.
    2. Encourage your Asian parents to engage in capitalist activities.

  29. You make good points SJ. The Asian parents do not depend upon the education system to make sure that their children are prepared for college and career. They know the folly of pushing back on the education behemoth. If the parents are wealthy, they hire expert Math and ElA tutors for their students and these tutors really do prepare the students for the skills and knowledge that they will need to be successful in college and career. You see the results in the tables I prepared!

    However, even the less wealthy Asian parents understand the issues with the education system. These parents band together to hire a tutor who works with small groups of students. The Asian parents value education and they are going to do everything possible to ensure that their children are more than prepared to matriculate into the highest caliber college institutions as possible! No remediation necessary for Asian students!

    I think that this may be a great theory of action for the other under-performing sub groups in our County as well. First of all, parents with EL children should hire English Language tutors who can ensure that their children can speak, listen, read, and write in English that includes academic language at the end of one year. They should not depend upon the school system that will place their children in dual language programs where White kids get to learn how to speak Spanish while Spanish-speaking children wait 6-8 years to get reclassified as English Language proficient. Give me a break.

    Thanks again for your pithy response. Did you really visit my site and make a comment there?

    • > Did you really visit my site and make a comment there?

      Visited. Commented here.

      I think you are short shrifting the role of a capitalist mindset in educational success.
      Capitalism is future oriented. It answers the question: “Why do I need to learn algebra?”

      Forager tribalism is consumption oriented. It is all about “What is my next consumption event?”

      “If I can’t eat it, what good is it?”

      Asian Americans have likely sometime in their family history left a crowded, highly competitive society to “improve their lives” in America. I.e., they were and are “future oriented”, and they see in their future both the need and the possibility for improvement.

  30. All data visualizations are completed for all 32 public school districts in Santa Clara County at http://sipbigpicture.com. We are also well underway in continuing our Academic Olympics in Santa Clara County. Needless to say that I have had almost no response from District or County Leaders as they remain comfortably numb within the safe Accountability cocoons developed by their codependent CDE masters. So Sad.

    Went to a DELAC meeting for SJUSD where I tried to make a data presentation. I was originally told that I would be given two minutes to present which was a joke in itself but when I got there the EL director for Elementary told me I would have one minute to present and be sure to speak slowly for the parents attending. I did the best that I could and was the only person to receive an applause at the end of a very brief exposure to real data. Power does not relinquish power without a fight! I am ready to fight for our students. What else can we do?

    • > I was originally told that I would be given two minutes to present which was a joke in itself but when I got there the EL director for Elementary told me I would have one minute to present and be sure to speak slowly for the parents attending.

      Good story!

      This is how they treat someone with a PhD in Ed.

      Imagine how you would have been treated if you were just a tiny little white working class pissant.

      FYI, the Democrats decided during the last presidential election campaign that they no longer need the white working class.

      http://www.nhbr.com/July-7-2017/How-Democrats-lost-the-white-working-class/

      Ask Frank Mockery sometime who runs California and what they intend to do for the white working class.

  31. It gets even worse. I attended the School Board Meeting last night to make a 2 minute presentation actually giving SJUSD some credit by awarding them Silver Medal for a 3-year improvement in the Math performance of the 11th grade Reclassified-Fluent English Proficient students. I also produced a poster with a comprehensive visualization of SJUSD’s overall Math performance. The posters cost me $150 to produce. SJUSD staff gave me permission to set up the posters in advance of the meeting where the public could see them. A short time later, Steve McMahon the SJUSD goon Deputy Superintendent rushes into the room yelling to staff nearby – What the hell are these? Get these posters out of the room NOW! He comes over to me and rants, ” If you want to do business with our district, you must change your attitude.” The guy went berserk! Before my presentation, I shared the rude and unwelcome behavior from Steve with no effect. After the presentation, clueless Nancy Abarran commented to the Board that she chose not to respond to any of my emails as a citizen because she claimed that I was a vendor who she did not want to do business with. I should have listened more carefully to your admonition about dealing with educrat beaurocrats who will protect their positions at all costs and even in a smash mouth manner because they themselves have no real knowledge or skill and at best can poorly broker the services of consultants for whom they take credit. I will fight on as a citizen though! As Margaret Meade once said, ” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

  32. The vermin who are the Board of the Santa Clara County Office of Education appointed one of their own a wannabee political hack who steals money from public agencies meant to provide health services to needy children to line her own pocket and extend her putrid political reach. She fits right into the cesspool that is the Santa Clara County Office of Education. I will present the letter at the actual Board meeting tonight. I will wear a surgical mask to protect against the toxic fumes that emanate from these political pustules of piss. Wish me luck. Hopefully, I will also be able to set up a poster of “SCCOE academic performance?” as well.

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