Friday, August 09, 2013

Deseret News: The Top 50 Elementary Schools in Utah According to the Utah Comprehensive Accountability System

Approaching the 2014 Ogden School Board elections with a new resolve, as seven Ogden elementary schools again "finish" at the bottom of the heap

Eye opening material provided this morning by another sharp-eyed and alert WCF reader:

"The stats are in, and it doesn't look good for Ogden School District. According to an article in the Deseret News, Ogden School District is not doing nearly as well as represented at [recent] board meetings":
Here's the nitty-gritty:

"Ogden elementary schools that made the lost of 30 lowest in Utah for accountability":
#10 Odyssey at 42% proficient
#6 TO Smith at 42% proficient
#2 Dee at 33% proficient
#1 Madison at 31% proficient
"Both Ogden high schools made the list of 50 lowest in Utah":
#36 Ogden High School 75% below proficient
#19 Ben Lomond 58% below proficient.
"Ogden elementary schools that made the list of the lowest 30 in Utah
for test scores":
#47 Bonneville Elementary 58% below proficient
# 33 Heritage Elementary 50% below proficient
#13 Gramercy Elementary 42% below proficient
Weber County Forum has attempted in the past to generate interest in Ogden School Board elections without much success. Last go-round, we even made candidate recommendations, which were (unfortunately) mostly ignored:
Ogden School Board District Precinct 1:
Don Belnap ☠☠☠
David Tanner ☝
Allen Smith ☝

Ogden School Board District Precinct 5:
 Shane Story ☠☠☠
 J. Scott Handy ☝☝
Clark Hogan
Jim Hutchins ☝☝☝
In view of these latest dismal scores, (which reflect,  we think, what happens when when non-educators are "given free Ogden School Board reign,") we're newly resolved, when Ogden School Board elections roll around again in 2014, to double down on our efforts to oust non-professional educators from positions of school board authority, and replace them with professional educators - you know - experts who actually have a clue what they're doing?

Can we see by a show of hands how many of our gentle WCF readers will join us in this?

And please -- pretty please with sugar on it -- don't let the cat get your tongue in re this pressing issue.


Bob Becker said...

Nothing on this in the SE yet. Guess the newsroom is too busy tracking down where divorced former public employees getting re- married have been sleeping prior to their weddings. Gotta keep their priorities re: front page news in order, after all....

guest said...

Shut up, moron.

Krista said...

We homeschooled rather than put our boy in Ogden City schools. Seriously.

rudizink said...

It's great that you had that option, Krista; but unfortunately, most parents, for varying reasons, can't realistically home school their own kids. That's one of the main reasons why I believe we need a healthy and robust public school system, something which we don't have in Ogden City.

CW said...

Wouldn't we want a mixture of both educators and non-educators, to avoid an echo-chamber?

rudizink said...

I dunno, CW. But given the fact that there's plainly a wide range of philosophies evident within the "professional educator" community as a whole, I doubt there's much chance of "echo chamber" thinking. Having observed the poor results of the current "mixed bag" collection however, I lean strongly toward the view that our Ogden School Board needs well-informed education professionals who agree on the fundamentals, for starters, at least.

Bob Becker said...

Digging down into the data, low perfornance seems to be strongly correlated with % of low income students. To be fair to OSD, perhaps the SE could perform a real service to Ogden readers and do a story on how Ogden schools do when comoared to schools with similar % of low income studentsm, and % of non-native English speaking students. Do Ogden schooks, all levels, come out well compared to comparable schools by those measures, or average or worse?

Dan S. said...

Like Bob, I'm skeptical that we can draw any meaningful conclusions from this data as it has been presented. As Bob says, you would at least want to control for income levels before giving credit or blame to the school board. Other relevant variables would include school funding levels and the percentage of non-English-speaking homes. Then you need to decide what measure of success or failure is most relevant. Just as I distrust the upbeat statistics in the utility bill inserts that Mayor Mike sent our way right before the school board election, I also distrust this superficial ranking by the DesNews, which seems to be designed only to generate lots of clicks on their web site.

rudizink said...

Get with it, Bob and Dan. Our current "beancouter-style" School board certainly ain't getting the job done. I'll say it again.. bring in the experts.

Christina said...

Having sat on the Ogden School Board in the past, and kept close watch since then, I have been amazed at the number of elected members whose spouses are teachers! I have no doubt that those teachers are the first to know of all decisions made and all discussions that took place after each meeting and before! My other gripe is that Principals are selected and assigned to schools in the same area as they reside! In such case lots of educational issues are expressed during Ward meetings! It is also quite interesting knowing how any Board Members and District Administrators hold high positions in " The Church"! For this reason I highly recommend that we insist on a more diverse Board, professional and non professional, from all religions, and all colors of skin.

Krista said...

gosh, I agree, Rudi. That's why I've never complained about my taxes
supporting a school system I don't personally utilize (though we're all
affected by the quality of public education, I know). I wasn't
proposing home schooling as a broad solution to Ogden's crappy
performance, but rather as a "yeah, it's so bad I felt forced to go the
home school route" offering.

Ben said...

is painfully obvious that the current board, and their rubber stamping
of whatever the current Superintendent wants, must change. Having a non
educator, playing educator, is only hurting these schools and their
children that go there.

Bob Becker said...

If you're going to use the DN report as evidence if OSD's failure, then it's important to make sure the conclusions you draw from it are soundly grounded on the data. Comoaring OSD schools' performance with schools in dustructs with significantky high

just curious said...

So what exactly do you suggest, Bob? That we just throw out all the data, and give Supervisor Smith and the School Board a grand slap on the back?

Bob Becker said...

I said nothing of the kind, JC. I suggested the SE dig into the data and use it to make good comparisons, compare schools with comparable student bodies and then draw conclusions about the relative success or failure of particular OSD schools.

Dan S. said...

I don't follow school district affairs closely at all, but it's quite apparent that the current superintendent has many enemies, and that morale among the district's teachers is quite low. It's also quite clear that the Ogden District has a very poor reputation among parents, and that's bad whether the reputation is deserved or not. One statistic I'd like to see is what percentage of kids living within the district are instead attending private schools or charter schools or schools in other districts or are being home-schooled.

But I'm generally skeptical about the use of test scores and graduate rates and other similar statistics to try to back up an argument for or against the folks in charge. While I suppose it's possible, in principle, to actually learn something from that kind of data, I think it would be extremely difficult and time-consuming to do so in a way that's reasonably fair. There are too many ways to manipulate the data, either while it's being gathered or in the way it's presented. I can't think of anyone who's likely to carry out a thorough analysis whom I'd actually trust to do so in a reasonably objective way.

Concerned said...

What are the ACT scores of graduating students that have attended the districts schools over 5 years that have two parents that speak English as a native language that both possess a university degree? Compare this outcome with other districts in the US; I suspect Ogden School district would compare favorably.

Real issue is the overwhelming challenge presented by volume of students dealing with extreme poverty, broken homes and parents that lack sufficient English skills. Ogden can't compete with these demographics.

My children haven't been damaged by Ogden Schools. In fact they have stellar ACT scores and have gone on to advanced post graduate university studies. One great outcome has been the compassion they have come to know for people that come from such diverse backgrounds.

Concerned said...

Ogden is a community with broad shoulders. We have the capacity to help others. In doing this we become stronger as a community and as individuals.

blackrulon said...

I suggest a grand physical act on a lower part of his anatomy.

blackrulon said...

How closely do these results fit with the grand promises Brad Smith made when he was appointed Ogden school superintendent?

Ogdeniteteacher said...

Close only in that they are exactly opposite what was promised by Smith. The only
data prevalent at OSD board meetings is from the elementary level. So we focus
there and ignore secondary? Our students are not expendable, nor are the there
for these dangerous experiments in pedagogy. The research is out there, and it
states over and over that a good classroom teacher has the largest effect on
the success of the student. This includes Liberians. Where is the teacher’s
union? Where is the coverage in the Standard? The public is angry and tired of BS.

lifetimestudent said...

One thing that may be an indicator to the authenticity of the statistics is how many of the
best teachers have left the district. I work in another district in the state, and it is common knowledge that teachers in Ogden are leaving in droves. Great teaching happens when a community of learning occurs. The constant turnover will destroy that community and will affect test scores as one can see from the
DN article.

lifetimestudent said...

Great point Ben. The superintendant's law degree seems to cloud his ability to understand the artin teaching. He sees teachers as expendable commodities and test scores as desirable products. Because of his lack of experience in education, he is making huge errors in judgment that the students, parents, and educators are paying for. We would never ask an educator to try a case in court, although I dare say any educator worth their salt would do a better job at lawyering than Brad Smith is doing at educating.

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