BAXTER KIDS--VICTIMS OF IOWA'S FAILED EDUCATION SYSTEM
Greeting Iowa Legislature Education Committees and all--
To appropriate $9 million for summer reading programs in Iowa, or to increase school funding without specific requirements for increased student achievement, would be a big waste of money and would also fail to achieve the goal of Iowa, and Baxter’s, third-graders reading at national grade level by May 2017.
THE PLIGHT OF THE BAXTER SCHOOL DISTRICT
While some schools have not yet purchased reading materials compatible with the Common Core, some have (and Baxter is one of them – making the purchase three years ago). A small school with small class sizes and for all practical purposes mostly white students-- student proficiencies should be at grade level by now. They are far from it, at 79.12%--as shown in the following excerpt from Iowa’s 2015 Adequate Yearly Progress report (AYP).
The reasons for Baxter failing to meet the Iowa low standard of 41st National Percentile Rank (NPR) represented in this report--are being replicated across the state, and they serve as proof that summer reading programs are doomed to failure, as they are presently conceived by Iowa educators.
Only 79.12% of Baxter’s Grade 3-5 White Students are Proficient
REASONS WHY BAXTER READING FAILED TO IMPROVE
1. In spite of being furnished with the report from the National Council of Teacher Quality, which shows Iowa elementary reading teacher training programs to be a failure for (among other reasons) not including all five of the concepts in the training, Baxter elementary teachers did not receive training in the missing areas until after the state mandated it in May 2015.
2. Because of the poor training, the Curriculum Coordinator (also the elementary principal) decided to add the extremely defective phonics program, whose rules are so bad they fail to cover all words (but are used by most schools in Iowa), to the new program that did not use this. Some learning styles are incompatible with this so those students fall farther and farther behind.
3. Students that fell behind were required to attend a summer reading program the last three summers (for two hours a day four days a week), where the same ineffective teaching using the same defective phonics curriculum was repeated (which is the position being pushed by the three state universities on the web site for the Center for Reading Research).
BAXTER IS A VICTIM OF IOWA’S FAILED EDUCATION SYSTEM
The following charts from the inner contents of the National Council for Teacher Quality Report are what are conveniently overlooked and excluded from ‘press releases’.
The entire Dec. 2014 report is posted on website: http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/2014_State_Teacher_Policy_Yearbook_Iowa_NCTQ_Report In summary, it shows Iowa:
1. Has serious shortcomings at the elementary level of teacher prep
a. Grade of D received, for 4 consecutive years, in delivering well prepared teachers
2. Does not meet:
a. Elementary Teacher Preparation
b. Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading Instruction
c. Elementary Teacher Preparation in Reading Science
d. Iowa’s Requirements for Teacher Prep
3. Made feeble responses to fix the failures
THE FOLLOWING NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR TEACHER QUALITY REPORT CHARTS WERE HIDDEN BY THE D. M. REGISTER
IOWA HAS 4 CONSECUTIVE YEARS OF ‘D’ GRADES FOR POOR TEACHER PREP
IOWA DOES NOT MEET 3 TEACHER PREPARATION REQUIREMENTS AT ALL
It Only Partially Meets 6 Requirements
It Fully Meets Only 2 Requirements
IOWA’S FEEBLE RESPONSE TO FIX THE NATIONAL LEVEL FAILURES
IOWA FAILS TO MEET IOWA’S LOW REQUIREMENTS FOR TEACHER PREP
IOWA’S FEEBLE RESPONSE TO FIX FAILURES TO MEET ITS OWN TEACHER PREP REQUIREMENTS
Iowa Education Officials Said Nothing About Raising Iowa’s Low Student Proficiency Standard
Why other developed countries out-educate America: http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2013/12/what-we-learn-from-pisa-2012-results.html
From the overview of the 2012 PISA report on international comparisons (their next report is due out in December 2016):
And nowhere does the quality of a school system exceed the quality of its teachers. Top school systems pay attention to how they select and train their staff. They watch how they improve the performance of teachers who are struggling and how to structure teachers’ pay. They provide an environment in which teachers work together to frame good practice. And when deciding where to invest, they prioritize the quality of teachers over the size of classes. Not least, they provide intelligent pathways for teachers to grow in their careers.
High performers have also moved on from administrative control and accountability to professional forms of accountability and work organisation. They support their teachers in developing innovations in pedagogy, in improving their own performance and that of their colleagues, and in pursuing professional development that leads to stronger education practice. The goal of the past was standardisation and compliance; now, top performers enable teachers to be inventive. In the past, the policy focus was on providing education; in today’s top school systems, it’s on outcomes, shifting from looking upwards in the bureaucracy towards looking outwards to the next teacher, the next school, about creating networks of innovation.
Perhaps the most important outcome of world-class school systems is that they deliver high-quality education across the entire school system so that every student benefits. Overall, Finland did not come out quite as impressively as in previous assessments; but what makes Finland still special is that only 6% of the performance variation among students lies between schools. In other words: every school succeeds.
Last but not least, high-performing systems tend to align policies and practices across all aspects of the system, they make them coherent over sustained periods of time, and they see that they are consistently implemented.
The PISA report notes that the U.S. has the largest achievement gap of all countries taking the international exams, and U.S. educators (illustrated by Iowa) have a tendency to blame students rather than perform an in-depth analysis of the curriculum, and teaching being used.
Summer school, and more funding for schools, under the present circumstances, are a waste of taxpayer money.
The following superior educator, contributed to this news release.
Sue Atkinson, PhD
P. O. Box 301
Baxter IA 50028
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