Electronic Classroom of (Tomorrow/Yesterday/Never Mind)

Mother Jones describes how Ohio’s ECOT scammed its way to millions for the owner while the students supposedly enrolled learned little or nothing.

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Published in: on January 20, 2018 at 8:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Progress (or not) in DC public schools after democracy was discarded

I continue looking at the (lack of) miraculous progress in education in the District of Columbia, my home town, ever since PERAA was passed and the democratically-elected school board was stripped of all of its power.

Today I am comparing the progress of successive cohorts of white, Hispanic, and black students about 11 years afterwards as shown on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, which is given nation-wide to carefully-selected samples of students. In a few months we will have the 2017 NAEP scores available, which I will add on to these graphs. So far, however, I do not see any evidence that the gap between the reading and math scores for 4th or 7th grade students in DC — which is the largest gap of any city or state measured – has been eliminated.

Look for yourself.

As in my previous posts, I drew a vertical red line in the year 2008 (not a NAEP testing year) because that separates the scores obtained under the ancien regime and the scores under PERAA. The NAEP is not given every single year, and in some years, scores were not published for some groups because of statistical reliability issues. I drew in dotted lines in those cases. All my data is taken from the NCES DATA explorer, and you are free to check it yourself.

Here are my graphs for 4th and 8th grade math. Click on them to see an enlarged version. Do you see any evidence of the educational miracle that is often advertised as happening AFTER mayoral control of schools? Me neither.

 

And here are my graphs for 4th and 8th grade reading:

Again: Do you see any miracle happening after that vertical red line?

You can see my previous posts on this here and here.

Is your president as smart as a fifth grader?

You probably heard that Cheeto45 passed a mental acuity test with flying colors.

You may not know that it’s designed to detect severe dementia, and it’s one that pretty much any fifth grader fluent in English could pass. Here it is, in its entirety. Look it over, carefully.

trump smarts test - ha ha

 

I know from teaching middle school math for many years that some seventh graders might have a hard time copying a drawing of a cube, and I’m not sure what the scoring rubric for the cube question is supposed to mean.

But to say that being able to pass this test means that you are “like, a stable genius” or the smartest president in history, is completely absurd! It just means that your Alzheimer’s dementia hasn’t gone too far yet.

Published in: on January 18, 2018 at 10:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Has Mayoral Control In DC Caused A Miracle Regarding Hispanic Students?

I will now post graphs showing how Hispanic students in fourth and eighth grade in DC have scored in math and reading in comparison to other US large cities and the nation’s public schools. As with the previous post, I drew a thick, vertical, red, dotted line showing where the previous, democratically-elected school board was replaced by mayoral control under a law called PERAA.

Here are the ‘average scale scores’ for eighth-grade Hispanic students in math and reading in DC (green), the NAEP sample of Hispanic 8th graders in US large cities (orange), and the NAEP sample of all Hispanic 8th grade students in public schools:

Do you see a miracle that happened to the right of that dotted red line?

I don’t.

What I do see is that in math, the rate of improvement for DC’s Hispanic 8th graders from 2000 to 2007 (under democratic local control of schools) seems considerably faster than the corresponding rate afterwards (under mayoral control).

In reading, it seems like Hispanic 8th grade students in DC were scoring generally higher than their national peers, but after PERAA, they scored lower than their peers. Some miracle.

Let’s look at 4th grade:

Once again, from 2000 through 2007 (under local democratic control of schools), the rate of increase in DC Hispanic students’ scores in both math and reading was considerably higher than after the mayor took over.

Some miracle.

No Signs of Educational Miracle in Washington DC, 10+ Years After Gutting Elected School Board

You may recall that Congress and the DC City Council got rid of local control of the public schools in Washington back in 2007, passing a law whose acronym is PERAA. Michelle Rhee was anointed as the first Chancellor (a brand-new position) in June of that year, only accountable to Mayor Fenty. She told lots of lies and alienated almost the entire non-white population of DC, but she had the full and complete backing of the Washington Post and the rest of the billionaires (Gates, Walton family, Arnold, etc) who think they know exactly how to fix public education.

When Fenty was primaried out of office by a pissed-off electorate before his first term expired, it was clear to most pundits that many of the voters were doing so because they felt Rhee (and by extension Fenty) was so toxic.

It’s now been ten and a half years since that attack on the ‘public’ part of public education in DC. There has been no move to return to an elected school board – an institution which was the first democratically-elected public board in Washington DC in the 20th century. In that time, the charter school enrollment in DC has climbed to nearly equal the enrollment in traditional public schools.

(Not that there is anything miraculous about the charter schools here in general: Over 40 of them have been closed by the PCSB itself either for mismanagement and/or fraud and/or academic failure and/or low enrollment, though 120 remain. That is a huge fraction, and my list of closed schools is about four years out of date! One more charter school just got closed down four days ago, a few months after it was celebrated as a wondrous success by Betsy DeVos, Melania Trump, and the Queen of Jordan. )

But the test scores!

The biggest argument of backers of PERAA and the crazy mix of public and charter schools is basically this: test scores are going up in DC, which shows that what we did worked.

Some of the DC NAEP test scores are in fact going up over time, but:

(1) They were going up, at about the same rate or even higher, BEFORE the gutting of democratic control of schools in 2007 (see graphs below). This means that whatever it is that is slightly raising the average NAEP test scores in DC was in fact going on in DC public schools well before Rhee was appointed;

(2) The gap between scores of white kids and black kids in DC is still the highest anywhere in the nation; and the gap between the top and bottom on the NAEP has gotten much wider since PERAA.

(3) If you look at PERAA’s supposed success in fighting poverty by new educational structures and techniques and all-year-round testing, you will see that there has been no miracle. Among the charter schools AND the public schools, the correlation between poverty markers and test scores is very, very strong, and negative: the higher the percentage of formally denoted ‘at-risk’ students, in general, the lower the school average scores.

Let me show you a few graphs that show point #1.

(I used the NAEP data, since it’s administered nationally, is almost impossible for administrators or teachers to cheat on, and we know that there has been a LOT of cheating on the locally-administered tests like the DC-CAS or PARCC. Not to mention that the local tests keep being changed, drastically. I’m not saying that any of these tests really measure the most important things in a child’s education, but they are the yardstick being wielded by our overlords, so it makes sense to see if their lordships actually measure up. I claim that they don’t.)

My first two graphs show “average scale scores” on the NAEP in reading and math for black eighth-grade DC youngsters over time, starting about 20 years ago and going up to 2015, and compared to all national public school 8th grade black students, and to their AA 8th-grade counterparts in all large US cities. (The 2017 scores should be published this spring).

The DC scores are in green. National Public scores are in blue, and the Large City scores are in orange.

There is a heavy, dotted, vertical, red line separating the period prior to mayoral control and the period afterwards. Look carefully: is there a big difference in trends from, say, 2000-2007 and 2007- 2015?

 

Me, I don’t see one, really, except that in math, for some reason, all three groups saw a small drop in 2015, which makes me suspect some sort of a test glitch. In 8th grade reading, there has been essentially no closing of the gap between 8th grade black students in DC and those elsewhere.

On the other hand, in math at the 8th grade among AA students, that same gap (between DC and elsewhere) has essentially been closed, thanks to steady growth from the year 2000 and 2013. Hmm: PERAA began about half-way through that period, so it didn’t by itself cause that growth!

Now let’s take a look at fourth-grade NAEP scores for the same groups (African-American students in DC, all US Large Cities, and the National Public School sample, over the past couple of decades:

I see two things:

(1) It looks like the gap between black fourth grade students in DC and their national counterparts has essentially closed, thanks to fairly steady progress since the year 2000 (in math) or 2002 (in reading);

(2) On the other hand, you could make the argument that the rate of growth was stronger before PERAA (Mayoral Control of DC Schools) than it was afterwards!

Something to think about on this anniversary of the birth of MLK Jr, and during the 50th anniversary of his murder.

Next I’ll look at the same sort of thing for Hispanic students and white students.

 

Open Letter to DC Mayor & Council on Faked Grades

Retired DCPS teacher Erich Martel continues to hammer the issue of massive high school grade and attendance fraud in the District of Columbia. As you can imagine, the fraud is not done to help students; it’s done to make it appear that the leadership of DCPS are doing a bang-up job.

Many of them should be indicted for these frauds., which have been going on for a very long time. In fact, Martel was removed from Wilson SHS about 8 years ago for exposing such frauds. Look near the end of his email here to see where he quotes a DPCS internal investigation that showed very clear evidence of grade tampering at another school, commonly known as CHEC.

Here’s Erich’s most recent open letter:

=============

 

Please expand faked grades, attendance, graduation investigation to Columbia Hts EC & to all DCPS & charter high schools

From: Erich Martel <ehmartel@starpower.net>

[1-14-2018] at 3:16 PM

To           mayor@dc.gov  dme@dc.gov

CC           ‘Kang, Hanseul (OSSE)’  antwan.wilson@dc.gov  karl.racine@dc.gov  ‘A Strange (CM Bonds)’  ‘Anita Bonds’  and 47 more…

Dear Mayor Bowser,

(cc: State Supt Kang, DCPS Chancellor Wilson, DC Attorney-General Racine, DC Council Chairman Mendelson, DC Council Education Comm. Chair Grosso, DC State Board of Education Chair Williams, and Members)

Last week WJLA reported faked grades at DC’s Columbia Heights EC (CHEC). That followed the WAMU-NPR report on violations of grading, attendance rules and graduation certification procedures at Ballou HS, which likely occurred at most DCPS and charter high schools and calls for full audits of student records at all DCPS and DC charter high schools.  In 2002-03, after I reported grade and graduation violations at Wilson HS (http://tinyurl.com/y7u5p6oe), DCPS contracted an independent review of student grades at all DCPS high schools (2003 review link & Bell MC HS excerpt, below).

I am, therefore, requesting that you:

  1. Expand the investigation of grades, absences and graduation violations at Ballou HS to include a full investigation of allegations reported to WJLA at CHEC and to conduct a review of statistically valid sample of records of student grades, attendance and graduation certification for the graduating classes of 2017 and 2018 at all DCPS and DC charter high schools. According to the WJLA “Faking the grade” report,

 

“Thousands of individual student transcripts and attendance records obtained by the ABC7 I-Team reveal students passing required courses despite being marked ‘unexcused’ absent two-thirds of the school days in a semester. The records … focus on Columbia Heights Education Campus.”  http://wjla.com/features/faking-the-grade/faking-the-grade-records-show-columbia-heights-education-campus-appears-to-inflate-grades

2. Publicly release and post the final, full, redacted investigation report;

3. Ensure that there will be no retaliation against any teacher/staff at Ballou HS, Col Hts EC or any school whose staff reported violations of laws governing grading, unexcused absence referrals or the high school diploma certification process;

4. Report to the Council and public how DCPS, DME and other education officials in the multi-layer supervisory hierarchy linking your office of the mayor to each high school principal, failed to report these violations to you, including specific responsibility for “managing student attendance” (Oct 2017 DCPS organizational chart: https://dcps.dc.gov/publication/dcps-organizational-chart):

  • The positions linking the Office of Mayor to each high school principal are:
  • – Deputy Mayor for Education
  • – Chancellor of DCPS (plus a 14 member leadership team)
  • – Chief of Staff (plus 4 deputy chiefs)
  • – Chief Operating Officer (plus 5 deputy chiefs)
  • – Chief of School Design and Continuous Improvement (plus 3 deputy chiefs);
  • – Chief of Equity (plus a chief of staff; 2 senior deputy chiefs; 6 deputy chiefs);
  • – Chief of Family & Public Engagement (plus 3 deputy chiefs)
  •  Chief of Secondary Schools (plus 2 Instructional supts for 22 high schools);
  • – Chief of Teaching & Learning (plus 6 deputy chiefs; 2 directors).

Some of their job descriptions: “summarizes and analyzes data to ensure informed decision-making on DCPS’ top priorities;” “manages student attendance compliance;” “oversees student scheduling;” “promotes data-driven processes, planning & decision-making;” “dismantles institutionalized inequities;” “Instructional Superintendents … help principals ensure their schools are well-run, nurturing places of learning.”The 2002-03 review of DCPS h.s. student records

In 2002-03, Gardiner, Kamya & Assoc (GKA) was contracted to conduct an “agreed-upon procedures review” of student grade and graduation records in each DCPS high school. At each h.s., a sample of 59 students’ records was reviewed. The original report, released to the media in December 2003, is here:

http://nonpartisaneducation.org/Review/Resources/GardinerKamya.pdf

  1. 1-12: the procedures and types of records reviewed;
  2. 20-22: Ballou H.S.
  3. 23-26: Bell Multicultural HS, the h.s. predecessor of CHEC (The principal of Bell in 2002-03 is the current principal of CHEC).

In each high school, significant numbers of student records were missing and when available, “grades in their student records [in many cases] did not agree with teachers’ scan sheets” (grade reporting bubble sheets).

Excerpt from the 2003 review of Bell MC HS:

 “6. Tampering (Procedure #14, page 11)

“With respect to this procedure, we note the following:

– “Scan sheets were not available for 26 of the students in our sample [of 59], 10 of whom were transfer students;

– “Of the 32 for whom scan sheets were available, 12 had grades recorded in their student records that did not agree with the scan sheets (i.e. the grades were different or a grade was not recorded in the scan sheet at all).  The differences were not supported by any documentation in the student records;

– “In all instances where the grades were recorded on the scan sheets and the student records, the grades in the student records were higher than that recorded on the scan sheets.”

“These findings could be indications of tampering with grading process, particularly since the school did not implement the grade verification process mandated by the DCPS.  In the absence of the grade verification process, tampering may exist and not be detected, and may in fact be undetectable.” (pp.25-26)

 

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

 

Erich Martel

retired DCPS high school teacher (1969-2011: Cardozo HS, Wilson HS, Phelps HS)

Ward 3 resident

ehmartel@starpower.net

Who is “white” (and ‘good’) according to racists & Nazis changes over time

A little history lesson here: today, there are lots of neo Nazis in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and Hungary. But if you recall anything at all about Hitler, the NSDAP, and World War 2, surely you know that the raison d’être of the German Nazi régime was precisely to render their supposedly Slavic neighbors into slaves, exterminating most of them them along with all the Jews, Gypsies and all leftists.

I found in the first few sections of Mein Kampf (which was all I could stand to read, since it was so disgusting) Hitler expressing how much he hated Hungarians and Czechs or Slovaks because they dared to think they were his equal — which he found appalling. While Hitler was eager to try to make alliances with Arabs, urging them to help exterminate Jews, in fact both Arabs and Jews are literally cousins, speaking closely related (or the same) languages. And I’ll be damned if I could pick a German, a Russian, a Pole, a Hungarian, or a Czech out of a lineup of identically dressed people. (Or for that matter, from most of the Ashkenzi Jewish kibbutz members at Ein Hamifratz where I lived and worked back in the early 1970s.)

As we all know, the Nazi goal of mass slavery and genocide was ultimately defeated, at great cost in lives and material.

Here in the USA, back in the 1920s, the main goal of the second incarnation KKK was mostly to try to persecute Italian, Irish and anybody else from eastern or Southern Europe who wasn’t a “white Anglo Saxon Protestant”, in addition to their usual anti-Black, anti- Semitic, attitudes. Oh, and promoting dispossession and Genocide of Native American Indians.

(Another historical aside: probably the most shameful genocide in American history was carried out in California by ’49ers against the First Nation tribes there… and let us also recall that German Nazis always acknowledged the great theoretical debt they owed to Americans like Henry Ford and large numbers of eugenicists and racist Jim Crow laws here…)

Nowadays, today’s newly emboldened racists continue to apologize for Hitler’s mass murders, but the supposedly “fixed”, “immutable” racial categories have seemingly changed — at least in their twisted, evil minds. Folks whose ancestors come from Ireland, Italy, Ukraine, Russia and pretty much anywhere in Europe are now welcome into their nasty movement. And among American evangelical Christians, whose ancestors used to be the core of the KKK, Jews and Zionists (ie Israelis) have gone from devils to essential forerunners of the Second Coming. And Arabs are now despised. Unless they are fabulously, obscenely wealthy individuals or tyrants…

It’s hard to keep track of which group is the chosen people any more. Which shows, once again, how completely full of shit today’s (and yesterday’s) racists are and always have been.

If you recall all the mixed-race but un-acknowledged offspring of America’s plantation owners, and you’ll note that those SOBs held and sold their OWN sons and daughters as slaves. Similar things happened in Mexico and the rest of Latin America, along with mass genocide (because, Gold). Which means that you don’t have to go back very many generations with a careful genealogist to find out that just about all of us Americans are in fact cousins of some degree or other.

====

Note: I just had to correct a bunch of goofy auto-corrections.

Published in: on January 13, 2018 at 2:59 pm  Comments (2)  

Erich Martel and David Grosso Argue About Fraud at Ballou SHS

You have probably noticed the WAMU-NPR story that showed that the feel-good story about all the students at Ballou SHS graduating and being accepted to college was, in fact, a fraud. Not only that, but the teachers who protested this fraud were fired.

Out of laziness and pressure of events, I have not posted on this. I will attempt to remedy this in part by posting an exchange of public emails between Erich Martel (like me, he is a retired DCPS teacher) and David Grosso, who is on the DC City Council.

Here goes.

=================================================

Ballou HS Investigation: Expand to all DCPS & charter high schools; Reinstate terminated Ballou HS teachers

FYI: Exchange between DC Council Education Comm. chair David Grosso and me.

 

1/7: Martel to Grosso: (summary: I request a full investigation of all DCPS & DC charter 2017 hs graduations AND that he request that the mayor reinstate terminated teachers who reported the violations)

 

1/8: Grosso to Martel: (summary: he says he cannot request reinstatement because of the investigation and “process”; he says he requested that all high schools be investigated)

 

1/11 (today): Martel to Grosso: (summary: I contest his refusal citing his attached interview where he criticized the media (WAMU-NPR) and others for reporting these violations, because it was “picking on Ballou” and “raining on their parade”; I also point out that he had the data showing the large number of students with over 20 unexcused absences for the last 4 years, which I summarize in a table).

 

It was cc’d to the mayor, all Council members and staff and separately to DC media and public school advocates (removed from this email).

 

The attachment is a partial transcript from a radio interview in which Chairman Grosso criticizes the media (NPR-WAMU) for reporting that large numbers of the 2017 Ballou HS graduates had large numbers of unexcused absences.

 

 

=================================

From: Erich Martel [mailto:ehmartel@starpower.net]

Sent: Thursday, January 11, 2018 3:38 PM

To: ‘Grosso, David (Council)’; ‘ mayor@dc.gov ‘

Subject: RE: Ballou HS Investigation: Expand to all DCPS & charter high schools; Reinstate terminated Ballou HS teachers

Dear Mr. Grosso,

Thank you for replying.  I look forward to education agencies’ responses to your more robust oversight questions regarding h.s. graduations. They should include numbers and %s of students at each DCPS & charter high school that needed online credit recovery (CR) to meet graduation requirements as well as absences and numbers of students requiring 1 or  2 or 3 or more CR courses. Here I will address some of your comments.

You wrote, “I will not make requests of the Mayor about … re-instating teachers in what is currently an ongoing investigation [because] …  there is a process that must be used in situations like this ….”

Your reasons, “ongoing investigation” and “process,” are excuses, not obstacles, and are selectively limited to teachers, in fact, teachers terminated after having reported legal and ethical violations by DCPS officials. But you are not applying that same standard to DCPS officials’ failure to follow mandatory rules regarding passing grades, unexcused absences, and eligibility for the DCPS high school diploma. For each one, there is a “process” that a student’s parent can use to challenge a failing grade, a disciplinary referral or diploma denial.  Instead of demanding accountability from the mayor and chancellor, you criticized the messenger.  On the December 8th Kojo Nnamdi Show, you labeled the WAMU-NPR report of these violations (which was a revision of an earlier, uncritical report) as “unfair” and “picking on Ballou” (partial transcript, attached).  Please go back and read the report; it makes no negative generalizations about Ballou H.S.; it reports the facts.

Several times on the Kojo Show you said that these problems “are not just a Ballou H.S. situation.” I agree, but it is unclear to what extent other high schools will be investigated.

You stated, that “It is my understanding that OSSE has broadened the scope to reviewing the Public Charter School Board’s oversight of diplomas being awarded.”

It does not appear that other DCPS high schools will be investigated.  A review is not an investigation.  The PCSB is not independent in any meaningful sense.  It is a charter advocacy body with a vested interest in charter schools. More to the point, each charter high school needs to be investigated by the same criteria as Ballou H.S.

There’s an even more troubling element: You could have prevented the scandal. Had you informed the mayor that the principal’s 100% college application claim and potential graduation numbers were not supported by 4 years of DCPS unexcused absence data (or by PARCC scores) submitted in each year’s oversight report to the Council Education Comm., she would have known that the 100% college application policy was a diversion from dismal facts and needed a closer review.

The following table shows four years of  numbers and %s of students with 21 or more unexcused absences for Ballou HS.

ballou unexcused absences

By failing to inform the mayor and then criticizing the media for its coverage and washing your hands of responsibility for supporting teachers who reported violations of the laws and regulations passed by the Council or by agencies acting under the authority of the mayoral control statute (PERAA), you missed an opportunity to find out why so many students are unable to legitimately earn a high school diploma.

DCPS and the charter schools are now in the 11th year of mayoral control under the Public Education Reform Amendment Act (PERAA) of 2007.  The graduating class of 2017 was in 2nd grade during first year of mayor control and chancellor management of DCPS, yet the graduation rate in 2017 for both charter and DCPS high schools was 73%, a statistic that is meaningless given that over half required credit recovery and/or unearned passing grades.

Sincerely,

Erich Martel

Retired DCPS high school teacher

(1969-2011: Cardozo HS; Wilson HS; Phelps ACE HS)

ehmartel@starpower.net

=================================================

Some documents re previous graduation scandals in DCPS are here:

http://nonpartisaneducation.org/

==================================================================

From: Grosso, David (Council) [mailto:dgrosso@DCCOUNCIL.US]

Sent: Monday, January 08, 2018 10:13 AM

To: Erich Martel; mayor@dc.gov

Cc:

Subject: Re: Ballou HS Investigation: Expand to all DCPS & charter high schools; Reinstate terminated Ballou HS teachers

Mr. Martel,

Thank you for your engagement on this issue.  I have spoken with the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor for Education, the Chancellor, and the State Superintendent about the importance of the internal DCPS investigation and the OSSE investigation.  At the December 15th Committee on Education hearing, I requested to OSSE that they include high schools other than Ballou and also charter high schools in their audit.  It is my understanding that OSSE has broadened the scope to reviewing the Public Charter School Board’s oversight of diplomas being awarded.

The Committee on Education staff and I are anticipating both DCPS and OSSE reports this month and will thoroughly review them.  My office is also currently working on a report and have our hearing record open in order to reconvene the December 15th hearing.  Over the past month, we have received a lot of testimony that will be included.  Last Friday, the Committee on Education also transmitted the questions for agency performance oversight to DCPS and they include even more robust questions about graduation than in years past.  Those answers are due to the Committee for oversight hearings on February 2nd.

I will not make requests of the Mayor about the particular staffing positions or re-instating teachers in what is currently an ongoing investigation.  The Washington Teacher’s Union represents these teachers and there is a process that must be used in situations like this where a teacher does not feel like she was treated fairly.  Last year, Ms. Brokenborough provided me with packets of information, my staff reviewed them, and gave them to DCPS asking them at the time to respond given the allegation that were being made about Ballou.  She also held a community meeting that my staff attended and reported back to me about the discussions. It is my understanding that Ms. Brokenborough did have a hearing with the WTU and DCPS prior to being excused from Ballou.  And for the record she did not attend my hearing on December 15th and has not submitted testimony for the record either.

Sincerely,

David Grosso

Council of the District of Columbia

Chairperson, Committee on Education

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 402

Washington, D.C. 20004

Phone: (202) 724-8105

================================================================

 

From: Erich Martel <ehmartel@starpower.net>

Date: Sunday, January 7, 2018 at 6:01 PM

To: “Grosso, David (Council)” <dgrosso@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “mayor@dc.gov” <mayor@dc.gov>

Cc: “Strange, Ashley (Council)” <astrange@DCCOUNCIL.US>, “Bonds, Anita (

Subject: Ballou HS Investigation: Expand to all DCPS & charter high schools; Reinstate terminated Ballou HS teachers

Council Member David Grosso

Chairman, Committee on Education, Council of the District of Columbia

 

Dear Chairman Grosso,

Today’s Washington Post article on the investigation into the Ballou H.S. graduation scandal reports that “a group of [Ballou H.S.] teachers met with D.C. Public School officials” the day after the June 2017 graduation to report that “students who missed dozens of classes had been able to earn passing grades and graduate.”  https://tinyurl.com/yc37lerj

A month later, music teacher Monica Brokenborough wrote to Chancellor Antwan Wilson requesting a “thorough investigation … inclusive of pertinent stakeholders,” but never heard back from him.  The Washington Post has evidence that Ms. Brokenborough, the WTU representative “tried time and again to reach district officials about her concerns” resulting in the principal cutting her position from the school budget this year.

Chancellor Antwan Wilson conceded at your December 15th Education Committee hearing that effort “he and other officials did not look into it until the November airing of a WAMU and NPR news report.”  His words of acknowledgement were chilling:

“‘We know that there was a Ballou teacher who in August complained through the grievance procedure about concerns along with 30 other concerns,’ Wilson said at the hearing.  ‘Our team, prioritizing impact [IMPACT???], had not gotten to it.'”

Question:

Will you request that Mayor Bowser immediately instruct Chancellor Wilson to reinstate whole all Ballou teachers who reported  these violations and were subsequently terminated/excessed by the principal?

On the December 8th Kojo Nnambi show, you stated,

“I think it is unfair to focus only on Ballou H.S. in this situation.  Ballou HS has some wonderful things going on there that we need to celebrate.”

“I’m saying it just frustrates me that this is always going to come down on Ballou.”

“To pick on Ballou alone is unfair. … But let me tell you, that’s not the only place where students are leaving high school not ready for college in the District of Columbia .”

The current investigation appears to be focused solely on Ballou H.S., but I haven’t heard of you requesting that it include all DCPS and charter high schools.

Question:

Will you request that Mayor Bowser expand the investigation to all DCPS AND all DC charter high schools?

I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Erich Martel

Ward 3, Retired DCPS high school teacher (Cardozo HS, Wilson HS, Phelps ACE HS)

ehmartel@starpower.net

==========================================================

Kojo Show Grosso on Ballou Transcript 17 1208 .doc

Published in: on January 12, 2018 at 9:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Encouraging News – Quinnipiac Poll

I just looked at the latest Quinnipiac Poll summary, and felt very much encouraged! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

On issue after issue, if this poll is in fact representative of the nation, the vast majority of American agree with me rather than the Republican 🤮🤮🤮’s who run the US government at the moment.

Look for yourself.

Published in: on January 11, 2018 at 3:44 pm  Comments (1)  

Valerie Jablow Explains How the VA and DC Public Schools Game Their Own Rating Systems

Read her column and you will see once again how accurate Campbell’s law is in practice.

Published in: on January 2, 2018 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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