Wednesday, July 26, 2006

TCAP clarification

At last evening's MNPS BOE meeting board members were handed a copy of a letter from Dr. Garcia to Lana Seivers, TN Education Commissioner dated 7/25/06

A snip:

"Could you please provide a clarification reflecting what information can be released and when it can be released to whom? I want to make sure we are in compliance with all state rules on this matter, and that we also provide the information here in Nashville as soon as possible."

I was told last evening that staff is diligently working on providing me the scores I requested Monday. Apparently so.


Eric Holcombe said...

Delaying info until after school starts also prevents any eligible student from being able to transfer to another school. It prevents the districts from getting the info in time to notify said parents that this is an option (assuming that they would). This would keep opening day enrollment up. I'd be interested in knowing how the state/federal funding for each school is affected by that day one number.

Of course if everyone would trim 7-10% of their budget, all the NCLB stuff could go away...

Kay Brooks said...

Eric wrote: "Of course if everyone would trim 7-10% of their budget, all the NCLB stuff could go away..."

Well, yes, there is that option. I think about that when the whining and excuses linked to NCLB are repeated over and over. I did send a question to Chris Henson asking how much we spend on compliance for the 8% we get from the Feds. The question was bumped to Sandy Johnson. She called me back asking for clarification of the question and I haven't called her back yet.

Eric Holcombe said...

That's a loaded question with TN, since the TVAAS system was already in place - of course, you would think that would have eliminated ALL of the NCLB whining since TN was ahead of the game with the measuring stick.

I am not sure if TN was a guinea pig with that system (precursor to NCLB) , but it looked fishy to me since TN was no longer compared on a nationally normed basis - but we want to crow about being 49th in spending nationally (with total disregard to cost of living). Maybe Dave S. would have a theory.

At a minimum you could eliminate all of the instructional days dedicated to the tests (materials, salaries, operating expenses). Reduce the 180-day "year" by that many days - since we are told nothing substantive is being instructed those days anyway - no loss to the student. Oh, and please include those "movie-watching" days after testing is completed. Those are absolutely tangible. Other 'administrative' duties by salaried personnel probably can't be as easily measured or monetary benefit realized by their elimination.

Anonymous said...

The federal money is earmarked, mainly in four areas: special ed (where class sizes are much lower), Title I reading programs (including money for extended contracts for Title I schools), Vocational education, and Title IX (girl's sports). The vast majority of it is Special Ed. If by compliance, you mean "How much is earmarked rather than at the director and board's discretion?" the answer is almost all of it is earmarked for those four things. It's not a matter of trimming here or there, it'd be eliminating programs in their entirity.

In terms of the release of test scores, there is the placement issue, but there's also the Garcia's contract issue that is at the center of at least two school board campaigns right now. Now, let's see, would bad scores help or hurt those 2 incumbents who are being attacked for their vote to not renew Garcia's contract?