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    #240608 - 11/28/17 06:28 AM data collection is used to force equal outcomes
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Data Collection at the personally-identifiable student level is used to force Equal Outcomes in public school classrooms.

    A US government system of rewards and punishments is informed by collected data. Increasingly, public school teachers are evaluated and US public schools are rated/ranked based on achieving Equal Outcomes. This involves closing achievement gaps and excellence gaps; including capping the growth of students at the top.

    Posts on Data Collection:
    - P20W Data Collection,
    - Student Longitudinal Data Systems

    Posts on achieving Equal Outcomes:
    - ushered in by common core
    - educational plank of party platforms
    - rationing opportunities
    - Nature versus nurture
    - supplanting gifted students in "Gifted" programs
    - Grading practices which tend to produce equal outcomes
    - counterpoint statements
    - The Gifted: Left Behind?

    From time to time, bills are introduced to Congress to request permission to expand data collection. Concerned citizens have an opportunity to slow or stop the expansion of Data Collection.

    Top
    #240828 - 12/27/17 07:27 PM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: indigo]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 74
    I see this subject come up frequently here but I guess I'm still vague on what is meant by "equal outcomes"?

    Do people mean all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability or do they mean identical grades and SAT scores? Or do they mean all kids with the same specific skills at the same age? Some combination of all of that?

    And I did read several, but not all, of the earlier links.

    Top
    #240829 - 12/28/17 08:41 AM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: philly103]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I see this subject come up frequently here but I guess I'm still vague on what is meant by "equal outcomes"?

    Do people mean all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability or do they mean identical grades and SAT scores? Or do they mean all kids with the same specific skills at the same age? Some combination of all of that?

    And I did read several, but not all, of the earlier links.

    Taking the same coursework regardless of ability may appear as equal opportunity to some... but to others it is withholding the curriculum, instruction, placement, and pacing which is appropriate to meeting each pupil's needs for continued development.

    Closing gaps, or giving the appearance of closing gaps, involves capping the growth of students at the top as well as helping students at the bottom improve their learning, application, achievement, and demonstrated knowledge.

    Choice of grading practices utilized may provide one means to create an official record of "equal outcomes." Strategies include selective redo opportunities and differentiated task demands.

    Withholding appropriate growth opportunities from "gifted" kids can result in undermining their academic, intellectual, social, emotional growth, and motivation... creating underachievers. It can change the way their brains are wired and make it difficult for them to once again grow.

    While it may be more difficult to create identical SAT scores, recent changes to the SAT tend to lower the ceiling above which a student's knowledge is not measured.

    It is important for parents to acquaint themselves with these practices and their likely results. Too many parents remain unaware. They may have only a vague sense that something is not right when their child says s/he is learning nothing new, is required to spend class time tutoring classmates who are behind, and is buried in homework assignments which preclude his/her participation in extracurricular activities.

    Top
    #240857 - 01/03/18 02:44 PM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: indigo]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 74
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I see this subject come up frequently here but I guess I'm still vague on what is meant by "equal outcomes"?

    Do people mean all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability or do they mean identical grades and SAT scores? Or do they mean all kids with the same specific skills at the same age? Some combination of all of that?

    And I did read several, but not all, of the earlier links.

    Taking the same coursework regardless of ability may appear as equal opportunity to some... but to others it is withholding the curriculum, instruction, placement, and pacing which is appropriate to meeting each pupil's needs for continued development.

    Closing gaps, or giving the appearance of closing gaps, involves capping the growth of students at the top as well as helping students at the bottom improve their learning, application, achievement, and demonstrated knowledge.

    Choice of grading practices utilized may provide one means to create an official record of "equal outcomes." Strategies include selective redo opportunities and differentiated task demands.

    Withholding appropriate growth opportunities from "gifted" kids can result in undermining their academic, intellectual, social, emotional growth, and motivation... creating underachievers. It can change the way their brains are wired and make it difficult for them to once again grow.

    While it may be more difficult to create identical SAT scores, recent changes to the SAT tend to lower the ceiling above which a student's knowledge is not measured.

    It is important for parents to acquaint themselves with these practices and their likely results. Too many parents remain unaware. They may have only a vague sense that something is not right when their child says s/he is learning nothing new, is required to spend class time tutoring classmates who are behind, and is buried in homework assignments which preclude his/her participation in extracurricular activities.


    I'm familiar with those concepts but I haven't heard about them in practice, which is where my questions originated from.

    Taking the same coursework for example. Most of what I've encountered, limited I'll admit, is that there's a larger push to individualize curriculums for students - ranging from IEP's to differentiation to charter schools and more magnet programs. I can't comment on how effective those things are in practice but that's a very different direction than from when I was in school.

    What do you mean by "the appearance of closing gaps"?

    Capping the upper end of the classrooms and teaching to the bottom third certainly isn't a new trend. I was under the impression that it was standard teaching practice for a long time. As is the idea of curriculums being designed to cycle through the same material repeatedly over time. More importantly, as I said previously, it appears that most of the trends seem to be moving away from that approach.

    I don't know much about grading policies but the practices described are also fairly old. Now, I haven't been in elementary school for over 25 years but even then teachers helped under performing students get better grades by giving them more opportunities to improve. As a student who never needed any such opportunities, I didn't take it as unfair and I don't see it as such now. If the teacher's job is to help the kids learn - then kids who need more help should get it.

    Isn't that what we want for gifted kids? More help when they need it?

    Wanting more help for gifted kids doesn't strike me as necessitating that teachers don't also give more help to marginal and struggling students. I don't see that as equal outcomes or equal opportunities, I see it as teachers doing their jobs and teaching. Of course, I still want to make sure that my gifted child gets as much teaching and instruction as he needs. I just don't think it necessitates pillorying marginal/average kids and their needs to get there.

    Describing "Withholding appropriate growth opportunities" as an attempt to "force equal outcomes" seems a pejorative way to describe that particular issue. The push to get more attention on the needs of gifted kids is valuable and important but it's history, to my limited knowledge, was never about forcing equal outcomes. It was about the inability of the school systems to recognize that gifted kids needed more and a fundamental misunderstanding about the negative impact of inadequate stimulation. Framing it as an intentional attempt to skew outcomes in favor of less intelligent students is unfair and probably inaccurate to some degree.

    As you noted, we should all familiarize ourselves with these subjects. On my side, I have familiarized myself with this issue. I've even taken the time to bone up on education law in my state including litigation regarding advocacy for gifted kids. I've come to get some idea of who wins and who loses those cases when they go before a judge.

    I was asking my question because what is often the responsibility of the school district - to educate all of their charges - appeared to be restated as an intentional attempt to force equal outcomes. Most of the practices being criticized are decades old to my understanding and intrinsic to the shortcomings of mass education, not the specific type of social engineering that is being suggested.

    Anyhoo, I think the critique of the system's failings have been overly broadened to suggest motivations that aren't as prevalent as suggested.

    But I'm not in the education field so it's just one parents opinion.

    Top
    #240859 - 01/03/18 05:58 PM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: philly103]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3288
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I see this subject come up frequently here but I guess I'm still vague on what is meant by "equal outcomes"?


    Closing gaps, or giving the appearance of closing gaps, involves capping the growth of students at the top as well as helping students at the bottom improve their learning, application, achievement, and demonstrated knowledge.



    What do you mean by "the appearance of closing gaps"? ...

    Capping the upper end of the classrooms and teaching to the bottom third certainly isn't a new trend. ...


    Describing "Withholding appropriate growth opportunities" as an attempt to "force equal outcomes" seems a pejorative way to describe that particular issue.


    I've been in education grant review sessions and in meetings where educators explicitly stated that they were "closing achievement gaps" by focusing on poor performers and ignoring high achievers. The high achievers were viewed as "already proficient" and therefore not in need of more instruction --- even if this meant that they spent an entire semester or year learning nothing. Their pre- and post-tests showed that they'd been ignored. The scores were essentially the same. This was defined as "closing the achievement gap." It was really "ignoring the most capable students."

    Educators see this as "focusing on the ones who need help" but they're failing to see that all their students "need help." Some just need it at a higher level. A student has a right to an education. A school doesn't have a right to ignore him because he's smart.

    What irks me about this approach is that we often see articles comparing "smart but lazy" types and those who "don't have as much, but who work harder and achieve more." First, this idea kind of assumes that smart and working hard are mutually exclusive, and second, it fails to consider that schools that don't provide challenging material to their best students in the name of closing the achievement gap are teaching a terrible lesson: you can be lazy and get As. Until you can't, by which time you may not have study skills due to not having needed them for 10 or more years.

    They help create a situation and then dump on students over it. Typical of short-sighted edumacation-think.

    Top
    #240860 - 01/03/18 07:25 PM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: philly103]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I'm familiar with those concepts but I haven't heard about them in practice, which is where my questions originated from.
    Thank you for summarizing your lack of experience with these practices as that helps explain the virtual tossed-salad of ideas in your post. smile

    Originally Posted By: philly
    Taking the same coursework for example.
    When you raised the topic of "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability" I presumed you were familiar with AP and honors courses for which all prerequisites have been eliminated, making the AP and honors courses open to all... although some students are clearly not prepared to succeed in the AP or honors course for which they enrolled. You'll find threads with articles discussing the controversy and the impact upon students who were well-prepared but denied access to the opportunity to enroll because the course maximum was reached due to the enrollment being offered without prerequisite.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Most of what I've encountered, limited I'll admit, is that there's a larger push to individualize curriculums for students - ranging from IEP's to differentiation to charter schools and more magnet programs. can't comment on how effective those things are in practice but that's a very different direction than from when I was in school.
    - IEPs address disability
    - differentiation is a buzzword
    - charter schools and magnet schools do not seem to fit into a conversation on your topic of "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability", nor into the thread's topic of data collection being used to force equal outcomes. A red herring?

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    What do you mean by "the appearance of closing gaps"?
    This refers to a false measurement which finds things to be equal when they are not. For example, a test with a low ceiling is like measuring student height with a 3-foot yardstick; All graduating seniors may be recorded as being 3 feet tall and there would be no gaps in height.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Capping the upper end of the classrooms and teaching to the bottom third certainly isn't a new trend. I was under the impression that it was standard teaching practice for a long time. As is the idea of curriculums being designed to cycle through the same material repeatedly over time.
    I do not believe it was suggested that this is a new trend. What is new is the extensive data collection, analysis of performance/achievement data, and the rating, ranking, and rewarding of teachers and schools showing equal outcomes (no performance gaps).

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    More importantly, as I said previously, it appears that most of the trends seem to be moving away from that approach.
    Appearances can be deceiving; one must look beyond marketing statements and ask gently probing questions to see what is truly transpiring in a learning environment.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I don't know much about grading policies but the practices described are also fairly old.
    I do not believe it was suggested that these grading practices are new. What is new is the extensive data collection, analysis of performance/achievement data, and the rating, ranking, and rewarding of teachers and schools showing equal outcomes (no performance gaps).

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Now, I haven't been in elementary school for over 25 years but even then teachers helped under performing students get better grades by giving them more opportunities to improve. As a student who never needed any such opportunities, I didn't take it as unfair and I don't see it as such now.
    Opportunities to improve what, specifically?
    Improving the student's actual knowledge base and application of material...
    or simply improving a score (for example, by repeating the same test)?

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    If the teacher's job is to help the kids learn - then kids who need more help should get it.
    Kids who need more help with what, specifically?
    Help with learning to the grade-level standard only...
    or also help accessing curriculum placement, pacing, and intellectual/academic peers which may be years ahead of the grade-level standard?

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Isn't that what we want for gifted kids? More help when they need it?
    Rewarding equal outcomes provides disincentive to meet the needs of gifted kids and facilitate their continued growth.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Wanting more help for gifted kids doesn't strike me as necessitating that teachers don't also give more help to marginal and struggling students.
    I do not believe it was suggested that teachers ought not to help the marginal and struggling students.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I don't see that as equal outcomes or equal opportunities, I see it as teachers doing their jobs and teaching.
    Without a 1:1 student:teacher ratio, time must be divided.
    Student grouping by ability and readiness may divide a teacher's attention into a few good-sized slices;
    An "inclusive" classroom with a broader range of abilities and readiness divides a teacher's attention into mere slivers or splinters.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Of course, I still want to make sure that my gifted child gets as much teaching and instruction as he needs.
    You may wish to consider homeschooling or a private, parochial, or independent school.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I just don't think it necessitates pillorying marginal/average kids and their needs to get there.
    I do not believe it was suggested that marginal/average kids be pilloried.
    Some may say that in actual lived experience, it is the gifted kids who are put in the pillory, undermined, and/or cut down as tall poppies.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Describing "Withholding appropriate growth opportunities" as an attempt to "force equal outcomes" seems a pejorative way to describe that particular issue.
    In expressing your perspective, you appear to be a person who may not have experienced being denied appropriate instructional level, curriculum placement, pacing and intellectual/academic peers... while being told to wait for others to catch up, being required to tutor other students, being assigned extra homework, and being criticized for speaking the truth that you have learned nothing new in school that day, week, month, or year. Unfortunately, these are all-too-common experiences among gifted pupils.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    The push to get more attention on the needs of gifted kids is valuable and important but it's history, to my limited knowledge, was never about forcing equal outcomes.
    This seems to be a confused statement. The push by whom to get more attention on the needs of gifted kids? Advocates for meeting the needs of gifted pupils are not forcing equal outcomes. Forcing equal outcomes comes about by rewarding teachers and schools for reporting a narrow range of variation in achievement measures for all students. Disincentives are provided for teachers and schools reporting a broad range of achievement: Upon analysis of the extensive data collected, teachers may be dismissed for failing to close gaps sufficiently. Similarly, schools with persistent gaps may be given poor report cards, ratings, and ranking. Funding may be decreased.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    It was about the inability of the school systems to recognize that gifted kids needed more and a fundamental misunderstanding about the negative impact of inadequate stimulation.
    At a point in time, there may have been an innocent lack of knowledge. With growth of the internet and broad dissemination of information, there may now be pockets of willful ignorance, however there may be widespread lack of will to meet the well-known needs of gifted pupils.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Framing it as an intentional attempt to skew outcomes in favor of less intelligent students is unfair and probably inaccurate to some degree.
    I speak the truth. You may wish to read up on data collection, uses of the data collected, school rating/ranking. You may also wish to seek out teachers who've witnessed the change in their grading instructions and in their performance review criteria. The original pages of the Common Core standards are also interesting reading. Although the most telling information has been wiped from the official website, with a bit of sleuthing copies can be found on the internet archive.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    As you noted, we should all familiarize ourselves with these subjects. On my side, I have familiarized myself with this issue. I've even taken the time to bone up on education law in my state including litigation regarding advocacy for gifted kids. I've come to get some idea of who wins and who loses those cases when they go before a judge.
    Please do share...

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    I was asking my question because what is often the responsibility of the school district - to educate all of their charges - appeared to be restated as an intentional attempt to force equal outcomes.
    You may wish to read up on data collection, uses of the data collected, school rating/ranking. You may also wish to seek out teachers who've witnessed the change in their grading instructions and in their performance review criteria. The original pages of the Common Core standards are also interesting reading. Although the most telling information has been wiped from the official website, with a bit of sleuthing copies can be found on the internet archive.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Most of the practices being criticized are decades old to my understanding and intrinsic to the shortcomings of mass education, not the specific type of social engineering that is being suggested.
    It is the mandated collection of data, the use of collected data, the rewards/punishments based on student achievement gaps detected in the data, and the resultant, systematic planned and organized use of the practices to cap the growth of students at the top which are being criticized.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Anyhoo, I think the critique of the system's failings have been overly broadened to suggest motivations that aren't as prevalent as suggested.
    You may wish to read up on data collection, uses of the data collected, school rating/ranking. You may also wish to seek out teachers who've witnessed the change in their grading instructions and in their performance review criteria. The original pages of the Common Core standards are also interesting reading. Although the most telling information has been wiped from the official website, with a bit of sleuthing copies can be found on the internet archive.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    But I'm not in the education field so it's just one parents opinion.
    While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, after developing your knowledge base in this area, your opinion may change.

    I wish all the best for you and your child. At just 4 years old, he has not experienced much of the educational system.

    Top
    #240875 - 01/04/18 11:20 AM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: indigo]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 74
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Thank you for summarizing your lack of experience with these practices as that helps explain the virtual tossed-salad of ideas in your post. smile


    I can see that self-deprecation is unappreciated here. frown

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    When you raised the topic of "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability" I presumed you were familiar with AP and honors courses for which all prerequisites have been eliminated, making the AP and honors courses open to all... although some students are clearly not prepared to succeed in the AP or honors course for which they enrolled. You'll find threads with articles discussing the controversy and the impact upon students who were well-prepared but denied access to the opportunity to enroll because the course maximum was reached due to the enrollment being offered without prerequisite.


    That is not "equality of outcome". That's "equality of opportunity". Unfettered access to AP courses doesn't force outcomes. The students still have to pass the classes and they still have to pass the AP exams to get college credit. That some kids can't get into the classes, regardless of prior preparation, speaks to an opportunity issue, not an outcome.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    IEPs address disability
    - differentiation is a buzzword
    - charter schools and magnet schools do not seem to fit into a conversation on your topic of "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability", nor into the thread's topic of data collection being used to force equal outcomes. A red herring?


    First - IEP's are not only for disabilities. Per the case law in my state, they can be used for gifted students as well and often are. You're not the first person to assume that limitation and I'll assume that it's state specific. Your link is fine but people should really look at their state specific education code.

    For example - my state requires that gifted education be available from the moment of enrollment. However, almost no local elementary schools have gifted programs. How is the law met? Through IEP's. You formally request one and it must be provided within 60 or 90 days (I can't remember off the top of my head).

    Differentiation might be a buzzword but teachers seem to have concrete ideas of how it's supposed to be applied. Effectiveness might be questionable but the goal is not "equality of outcomes".

    Charter Schools and magnets are applicable to the idea that data collection is being used to force equal outcomes since the same data is what's fueling the push for more charters and magnets.


    Originally Posted By: indigo
    This refers to a false measurement which finds things to be equal when they are not. For example, a test with a low ceiling is like measuring student height with a 3-foot yardstick; All graduating seniors may be recorded as being 3 feet tall and there would be no gaps in height.


    I understand the low ceiling effect. That does not mean that it's being done to force equal outcomes. A lower ceiling might obscure differences at the upper end of the spectrum but it doesn't obscure the lower or middle end of the spectrum.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    I do not believe it was suggested that this is a new trend. What is new is the extensive data collection, analysis of performance/achievement data, and the rating, ranking, and rewarding of teachers and schools showing equal outcomes (no performance gaps).


    So if it's an old trend, are you saying that we just now started collecting data for this? Of course not. We've been doing data collection and working on the performance gaps for decades. Better data and data collection isn't trying to force equal outcomes, it's just better data and data collection with the same old goals - better classroom outcomes for as many kids as possible.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Appearances can be deceiving; one must look beyond marketing statements and ask gently probing questions to see what is truly transpiring in a learning environment.


    Sure. Which is why I said that most of the trends seem to be moving away from that approach. When I sit down and discuss these things with principals, teachers and administrators and visit schools to observe the classrooms, I get a different perspective. I'm fairly confident in my questioning skills, I wouldn't be much of an attorney if I didn't know how to ask questions that went beyond the surface responses.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    I do not believe it was suggested that these grading practices are new. What is new is the extensive data collection, analysis of performance/achievement data, and the rating, ranking, and rewarding of teachers and schools showing equal outcomes (no performance gaps).


    So if it's an old trend, are you saying that we just now started collecting data for this? Of course not. We've been doing data collection and working on the performance gaps for decades. Better data and data collection isn't trying to force equal outcomes, it's just better data and data collection with the same old goals - better classroom outcomes for as many kids as possible.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Opportunities to improve what, specifically?
    Improving the student's actual knowledge base and application of material...
    or simply improving a score (for example, by repeating the same test)?


    Opportunities to improve their understanding of the material. Opportunities to increase their sense of confidence within the classroom which is important for future learning.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Kids who need more help with what, specifically?
    Help with learning to the grade-level standard only...
    or also help accessing curriculum placement, pacing, and intellectual/academic peers which may be years ahead of the grade-level standard?


    There are more kids in the school than the gifted kids. Teachers still have a responsibility to those kids. That the system is poorly designed for the kids who are years ahead of the material doesn't change that the school system is also tasked with educating the vast majority of the kids and they sit in the middle somewhere.




    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Rewarding equal outcomes provides disincentive to meet the needs of gifted kids and facilitate their continued growth.


    Except that isn't what you've been describing. You've been the describing the decades old efforts of public schools to educate the masses as an attempt to force equal outcomes to the detriment of the exceptional.

    The exceptional are exceptional because they are rare. They are not the masses. Educating the masses is different from educating the exceptional - I think we all recognize that. So it makes little sense to judge the efforts to educate the masses by the effects on the exceptional.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    I do not believe it was suggested that teachers ought not to help the marginal and struggling students.


    Not directly but the majority of the practices that you are criticizing as "forcing equal outcomes" are the policies aimed at improving outcomes for marginal and struggling students. As I stated before, you are taking the efforts used to help the <90% of students learn and be better students and are critiquing them based on how they negatively impact the >99% students.

    2 different student populations. 2 different student needs.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Without a 1:1 student:teacher ratio, time must be divided.
    Student grouping by ability and readiness may divide a teacher's attention into a few good-sized slices;
    An "inclusive" classroom with a broader range of abilities and readiness divides a teacher's attention into mere slivers or splinters.


    Absolutely accurate. And when one child is in the 1% and most the rest of the class is in the 50-90%, the school district and education departments cannot be reasonably expected to ignore 90% of their responsibility.

    That is why advocating for gifted kids requires so much work and why it's an uphill battle. We're advocating for the allocation of resources away from the many towards the few. And when parents of gifted kids become indifferent to that reality, they make it harder for us to achieve the goals we want.

    Good advocacy recognizes the limitations that the other side is working under and structures it's critiques and needs with that in mind. And good advocacy for gifted kids must recognize that school districts have limited budgets and teachers have limited time in the day and yet must still educate all of the non-gifted kids with that budget and those teachers.

    Criticizing the efforts made on behalf of the average and marginal kids because of they don't benefit gifted kids is being myopic as to the limitations of public schools.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    You may wish to consider homeschooling or a private, parochial, or independent school.


    Thank you and I'm already doing that. I've been preparing for this since he was 6 months old. I have good friends from college and extended family who teach in independent schools, public schools and one online school, they are teachers, principals and vice principals in schools around the country. I'm on a 1st name basis with my local school's principal and occasionally find myself in social settings with the Superintendent. We've been homeschooling for a while, we only changed for classroom exposure since we'll be an independent school for pre-K. I'll give it it's chance to show me what it can do.

    But in that vein, I know that advocacy-wise, I have more leverage over the public school system because they are constrained by legal rules that the independents and other privates can disregard.

    Data-wise, privates and parochials do not yield better outcomes than public schools, with the exception of Jesuit schools and college prep schools (although the research is unsure as to why - somewhere between better preparation and better student selections processes).

    I'm not someone who was waiting until school age to start getting a firm grasp on schooling. I even lurked here for more than a year before making a profile.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    I do not believe it was suggested that marginal/average kids be pilloried.
    Some may say that in actual lived experience, it is the gifted kids who are put in the pillory, undermined, and/or cut down as tall poppies.


    See my above writing as to the responsibilities of a public school system re: the masses and the importance of keeping critiques in the context of those responsibilities.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    In expressing your perspective, you appear to be a person who may not have experienced being denied appropriate instructional level, curriculum placement, pacing and intellectual/academic peers... while being told to wait for others to catch up, being required to tutor other students, being assigned extra homework, and being criticized for speaking the truth that you have learned nothing new in school that day, week, month, or year. Unfortunately, these are all-too-common experiences among gifted pupils.


    And you would be wrong with that assumption. I won't bore you with all of my personal experience with these very issues or my longer for more stimulating work. I told my 3rd grade teacher to let me do my homework in pen instead of pencil because unlike my other classmates "I don't make mistakes." They called my parents on that one, I was slightly dismissive of my teachers abilities for many years.

    I finished my entire high school math curriculum, including the computer science math courses before 10th grade and was pressed into teaching programming to my age mates because the school had nothing else to teach me and I was too young for a driver's license to go to the community college. I'd started school year early in the first place so I was already a year younger. And this was a school that had a highly rigorous entrance exam for it's gifted program.

    I walked out of the LSAT after 1 hour because I knew I'd done enough to get into a good law school and I barely studied for the bar exam but still passed it on the first try.

    I have the classic underachiever issues that come with inadequate stimulation

    So, for a forum dedicated to gifted kids and their needs, I'm surprised that you would make the assumption that I don't have the relevant personal experiences shocked


    Originally Posted By: indigo
    This seems to be a confused statement. The push by whom to get more attention on the needs of gifted kids? Advocates for meeting the needs of gifted pupils are not forcing equal outcomes. Forcing equal outcomes comes about by rewarding teachers and schools for reporting a narrow range of variation in achievement measures for all students. Disincentives are provided for teachers and schools reporting a broad range of achievement: Upon analysis of the extensive data collected, teachers may be dismissed for failing to close gaps sufficiently. Similarly, schools with persistent gaps may be given poor report cards, ratings, and ranking. Funding may be decreased.


    Let me restate that previous idea since it may have been confusing in how I typed it. The push for greater resources for gifted kids was not rooted in the problem that public schools were trying to force equal outcomes on kids. It was rooted in the problem that gifted kids were being ignored.

    Schools were, and still are, focused on getting as many students as possible to a base level of proficiency and in their zeal to achieve that, they have systematically ignored the needs of those kids at the upper end of the classrooms.

    It's about meeting basic requirements. If the 3rd grade teacher is tasked with imparting 3rd grade math then the focus will be on getting as many kids proficient with 3rd grade math as possible, not with getting any kids proficient with 4th grade math or higher.



    Originally Posted By: indigo
    At a point in time, there may have been an innocent lack of knowledge. With growth of the internet and broad dissemination of information, there may now be pockets of willful ignorance, however there may be widespread lack of will to meet the well-known needs of gifted pupils.


    I think that's wrong. You operate in a space filled with parents of gifted kids advocating for their gifted kids needs. The vast majority of the population rarely encounters this issue. Even the vast majority of schools rarely do, especially at the level that leads to the existence of forums like this one.

    I've sat in legal education classes on student advocacy, the upper end of the abilities spectrum is rarely encountered and policy makers don't make policy for the rarely encountered.

    This returns to my previous point about understanding the constraints of your opposition. It's not wilful ignorance or a lack of will. It's basic economics. Individualized education is expensive to administrate - although becoming less so thanks to technological innovations. So, policies are written towards the masses because it's the most bang for the public buck. Those with individual needs will have to find a way to operate/advocate within those realities.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    I speak the truth. You may wish to read up on data collection, uses of the data collected, school rating/ranking. You may also wish to seek out teachers who've witnessed the change in their grading instructions and in their performance review criteria. The original pages of the Common Core standards are also interesting reading. Although the most telling information has been wiped from the official website, with a bit of sleuthing copies can be found on the internet archive.


    I've read up on the subject. I also know teachers, principals, administrators, etc. Which is why I disagree with your interpretation of events.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Please do share...


    See above. I don't know what state you're in but many jurisdictions keep legal opinions online, google can find them or at least the archive.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    You may wish to read up on data collection, uses of the data collected, school rating/ranking. You may also wish to seek out teachers who've witnessed the change in their grading instructions and in their performance review criteria. The original pages of the Common Core standards are also interesting reading. Although the most telling information has been wiped from the official website, with a bit of sleuthing copies can be found on the internet archive.


    See above.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    It is the mandated collection of data, the use of collected data, the rewards/punishments based on student achievement gaps detected in the data, and the resultant, systematic planned and organized use of the practices to cap the growth of students at the top which are being criticized.


    See above. The attempt to raise the bottom is not synonymous with an intent to cap the top.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    You may wish to read up on data collection, uses of the data collected, school rating/ranking. You may also wish to seek out teachers who've witnessed the change in their grading instructions and in their performance review criteria. The original pages of the Common Core standards are also interesting reading. Although the most telling information has been wiped from the official website, with a bit of sleuthing copies can be found on the internet archive.


    See above.

    Originally Posted By: indigo
    While you are certainly entitled to your opinion, after developing your knowledge base in this area, your opinion may change.

    I wish all the best for you and your child. At just 4 years old, he has not experienced much of the educational system.


    My knowledge base is well developed and I'd bet money that between you and I, I'm the only one whose read litigation on the issue. Our disagreement here isn't over the facts, it's over the interpretation.

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    #240899 - 01/04/18 06:09 PM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: philly103]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Thank you for summarizing your lack of experience with these practices as that helps explain the virtual tossed-salad of ideas in your post. smile


    I can see that self-deprecation is unappreciated here. frown
    Dear philly103, as you've made only a handful of posts on this forum prior to this thread, we do not know you well. I believe the post which I was responding to was only your 6th post on this forum. You've mentioned only one child, 4 years old, therefore I took you at your word that you are unfamiliar with these concepts in practice.

    However, some may say that the tone of your two most recent posts in this thread is clearly no longer that of a newbie asking questions of members of the gifted community with BTDT experience, but rather seems to be baiting... as you now state having a well-developed knowledge base.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    When you raised the topic of "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability" I presumed you were familiar with AP and honors courses for which all prerequisites have been eliminated, making the AP and honors courses open to all... although some students are clearly not prepared to succeed in the AP or honors course for which they enrolled. You'll find threads with articles discussing the controversy and the impact upon students who were well-prepared but denied access to the opportunity to enroll because the course maximum was reached due to the enrollment being offered without prerequisite.


    That is not "equality of outcome".
    Please remain aware that you introduced the topic of "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability" into the thread, I did not. It was not among my lists of links in the OP or in my response to your initial questions.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    That's "equality of opportunity".
    Therein lies the controversy. For students who are unprepared for an AP/honors course, is that class the right "fit", or is it too big to be an appropriate growth opportunity? For students who are prepared but do not get into the class, is the regular curriculum the right "fit", or is it too small to present an opportunity for growth? As "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability" begins to veer off-topic from this thread's focus on "data collection is used to force equal outcomes", I mentioned in my prior post that the controversy over "all students taking the same coursework regardless of ability" could be read about in other threads.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Unfettered access to AP courses doesn't force outcomes.
    When a prerequisite is dropped, that may appear as "unfettered access" to some, but to others it may appear as setting unprepared students up for failure. As previously mentioned, your topic is outside the scope of this particular thread, and other threads have addressed this. You could also feel free to begin a thread of your own on that topic, if you wish.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Your link is fine but people should really look at their state specific education code.
    Yes, when posters seek advice on preparing for an advocacy meeting, checking State laws is at the top of the list.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Differentiation might be a buzzword but teachers seem to have concrete ideas of how it's supposed to be applied. Effectiveness might be questionable but the goal is not "equality of outcomes".
    Some may disagree, especially regarding "differentiated task demands."

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    A lower ceiling might obscure differences at the upper end of the spectrum but it doesn't obscure the lower or middle end of the spectrum.
    Correct. This is but one of several tools, and was mentioned in response to your request for an explanation of "appearance of closing gaps."

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    are you saying that we just now started collecting data for this?
    The links in my OP point to government mandates.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    Better data and data collection
    Some may say that more is not better, but that increased government mandated data collection, distribution, and analysis is intrusive, and invasive.
    My OP raised awareness of current legislation being contemplated and what concerned individuals could do.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    goals - better classroom outcomes for as many kids as possible
    I am in favor of growth for all, and I believe that optimal rates of growth may be different for various pupils.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    advocating for gifted kids requires so much work and why it's an uphill battle. We're advocating for the allocation of resources away from the many towards the few. And when parents of gifted kids become indifferent to that reality, they make it harder for us to achieve the goals we want.

    Good advocacy recognizes the limitations that the other side is working under and structures it's critiques and needs with that in mind. And good advocacy for gifted kids must recognize that school districts have limited budgets and teachers have limited time in the day and yet must still educate all of the non-gifted kids with that budget and those teachers.
    Agreed. This is why grouping students by readiness and ability is often recommended... it is essentially a zero-cost solution.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    for a forum dedicated to gifted kids and their needs, I'm surprised that you would make the assumption that I don't have the relevant personal experiences shocked
    I made no assumption but responded that your expressed perspective "Describing "Withholding appropriate growth opportunities" as an attempt to "force equal outcomes" seems a pejorative way to describe that particular issue" typifies that of a person who has not experienced the common pains of gifted pupils with unmet educational needs.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    policy makers don't make policy for the rarely encountered.
    In the case of education, it is certainly possible to make a policy to teach each child at their level of readiness and ability, whatever that level may be. MAP tests are one example of showing what a child has learned and what would be learned next in sequence. However, optimal growth rate for each individual does NOT batch children by chronological age and then seek to minimize test score gaps among age peers.

    Originally Posted By: philly103
    The attempt to raise the bottom is not synonymous with an intent to cap the top.
    Agreed. Unfortunately, closing gaps does not occur solely by raising the bottom. Closing gaps also occurs by capping the growth of students at the top.

    I wish all the best for you and your child. And I invite you to stay on-topic and follow other board rules for constructive, positive conversation.

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    #240908 - 01/05/18 06:43 AM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: Val]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Thank you for this excellent post, Val.

    There are both passive and active means of capping growth/achievement at the top.

    Originally Posted By: Val
    I've been in education grant review sessions and in meetings where educators explicitly stated that they were "closing achievement gaps" by focusing on poor performers and ignoring high achievers. The high achievers were viewed as "already proficient" and therefore not in need of more instruction --- even if this meant that they spent an entire semester or year learning nothing. Their pre- and post-tests showed that they'd been ignored. The scores were essentially the same. This was defined as "closing the achievement gap." It was really "ignoring the most capable students."

    Educators see this as "focusing on the ones who need help" but they're failing to see that all their students "need help." Some just need it at a higher level. A student has a right to an education. A school doesn't have a right to ignore him because he's smart.
    This is a great description of passive means to cap growth/achievement at the top.

    In my posts, I've described active means of capping growth/achievement at the top.

    Originally Posted By: Val
    They help create a situation and then dump on students over it. Typical of short-sighted edumacation-think.
    Yes, unfortunately. This seems to be an educational version of Munchausen syndrome by proxy (MSBP)... a form of abuse.

    Top
    #240909 - 01/05/18 06:45 AM Re: data collection is used to force equal outcomes [Re: spaghetti]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4224
    Thank you for this excellent post, spaghetti.

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