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Re: “Why the Common Wisdom About TUSD's Declining Enrollment Is Wrong

It's just mathematical David. Not complex at all. Over 30% of TUSD parents rate their child's school excellent, well above the national average but not nearly good enough in Arizona's brutally competitive education marketplace.

Suppose they are at 40% excellent rating? That still leaves 60% times 46,000 current students looking for something better. That's over 27,000 students poised to walk out the door.

Just look at how tough the marketplace is. Chandler Unified has a 72% excellent rating. That could be the best in the nation for a large school district. Their academic gains were rated second highest in the nation among the large school districts. Yet, they have, if I remember the numbers correctly, 18% of their students not in their schools.

They also have a big chunk of other people's students in their schools.

It's a dog eat dog world in education. TUSD has enormous advantages from economies of scale but, they are not using them.

Back in the 50s, three scientists revolutionized the U.S. by first revolutionizing Japan: Deming, Juran and Drucker.

Deming's mantra was continuous improvement. Really simple concept: measure, think, change, improve, measure again.

But, this hasn't worked in education because of the complexity of test scores.

You have to measure the drivers of test scores, not the test scores themselves.

What drives test scores? Supported teachers (not money, classroom support), engaged parents and inspired students.

TUSD could easily pull a sample of parents, teachers and students every three months.

But, that would be a different cultural reality.

The second scientist was Juran. His whole concept was breakthrough. His classic story was the horse harness. When they harnessed horses with the ox harness, it was choking the horse. How long did it take to redesign the harness and triple pulling power? 750 years.

At the fifth grade, 10 percent of students read for less than 2 minutes per day. What kind of breakthrough would guarantee that every student reads at least 30 minutes per day?

The typical student does less than 10 math problems per day. What kind of breakthrough would be required to ensure that every student does at least 100 math problems per day?

In Gallup's annual poll, less than 40% of students say that they laughed or smiled a lot yesterday. What kinds of breakthroughs are necessary to ensure that over 90% of students can say that?

There is a school system out there. It is improving every year. In a decade, it is going to be able to say yes to all these questions. That school system will almost certainly arise in Arizona. It will be the Amazon of education.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 07/23/2019 at 2:31 PM

Re: “The Privatization Movement is Losing Support From Democrats and the Occasional Billionaire

Washington Post Headline:

" West Virginia teachers union says it will sue over charter school bill"

Arizona ranks first in the nation in charter school choice. West Virginia, dead last. Zero charters.

The West Virginia teachers union is suing over a bill allowing three charter schools.

Compare: Arizona spends $8,000 per student. West Virginia, $15,000 (NEA rankings and estimates)

Compare Arizona and West Virginia 8th grade math scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress..

First by education of parents and then by demographic:

Parents Arizona West Virginia
Did not finish high school 265 259
Graduated high school 269 262
Some education after high school 285 274
Graduated college 296 282

Arizona ranges from 60% of a school year ahead of West Virginia to 150% ahead.

Now by demographic:

Demographic Arizona West Virginia
White 296 274
Black 272 254
Hispanic 269 NA
Asian/Pacific Islander 316 NA

Arizona is two academic years ahead of West Virginia in each demographic of Whites and Blacks.

Allowing public education at charter and private schools is the easiest way to improve outcomes for student. Also saves money.

Arizona's $8,000 per student vs West Virginia at $15,000 is a huge problem. Money didn't improve results for West Virginia, it permanently trapped them at a low level of performance. This is a horrendous defeat for children in West Virginia.

A catastrophic defeat considering the terrible economic damage from taxing to no good end. Since 2000, West Virginia added 31,000 jobs. Arizona? Over 700,000 jobs.

2 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 07/15/2019 at 4:58 AM

Re: “The Privatization Movement is Losing Support From Democrats and the Occasional Billionaire

Competition in Arizona's education marketplace is just brutal. With over 550 charter schools and any number of districts which have increased their quality every single year in response to competition, a school has to be on their game.

No other state in the nation has done what Arizona has done- increase competitive choices and allowed competitive response to happen long enough to solidly change the quality of education. It's called critical mass.

And, it is only going to get better and better. Just look at Arizona's juvenile crime rates. Despite our massive influx of new juveniles that have not been yet civilized, we still have violent juvenile crime rates far below what our demographics would predict.

And, as you have mentioned David, school choice among charters is less than half of all our school choice. Over 200,000 Arizona students switching schools over the course of a year and much of that is a student picking one district school instead of another. In most other states, it is a crime to allow a member of the public into a district school- not Arizona.

The best is yet to come. At some point in the next 15 years, the public education caterpillar is going to metamorphose into a butterfly. A school system which has advanced students 15 SAT points per year and in which minority students are more than 70 SAT points behind and getting further behind every year is going to leap to 60 SAT points of productivity per year and for the first time allow every door of opportunity to be open to over 80% of all minority students- without affirmative action.

8 likes, 38 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 07/01/2019 at 10:52 AM

Re: “Childcare crisis

1% more likely to spend 30% or more of their income?

The Census Bureau lists Arizona as having a median household income of $61,300 for 2017. The bottom ten states have less than $52,000 according to wikipedia.

What's left after rent?

Other states? 70% of 52,000 is $37,000

Arizona? 70% of $61,300 is $43,000

Arizona is doing much better for its children than this pseudo ranking would indicate.

The percentage approach is a way of taking credit away from policy makers who have successfully steered Arizona to a huge increase in median household income.

If you ranked states by the amount of money a typical household has after covering housing costs, Arizona would rank in the top half of the nation. That's remarkable considering all of the challenges we face as a border state.

0 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 06/27/2019 at 3:15 PM

Re: “Did I Underestimate the Impact Of Open Enrollment In My Last Post?

For an English major, you do well with the numbers.

Not all minority school districts lose out on open enrollment. The Phoenix Elementary School district is a school choice juggernaut. 25% of their students come from other school districts. That's not students moving from school to school, that's moving from district to district.

In Sean Reardon's school ranking study, Phoenix Elementary was at the 99th percentile, improving academic outcomes more than 99% of all school districts in the United States based on five year academic gains.

Where did the Montgomery Alabama, birthplace of the civil rights movement, school district rank? The first percentile. No such thing as the zeroth percentile. Can't rank any lower than the first percentile.

Where did TUSD rank? The 70th percentile.

where did Vail rank? The 51st percentile.

These two rankings raise huge issues about all of our accountability. It may be a complete illusion. If five year gains are that out of whack with one and two year gains.

All of our feedback loops in education may be a complete fraud.

As you've noted many times, test scores are produced by parents and the differences we believe are produced by schools were there on the first day of kindergarten.

But, what you haven't talked about nearly enough is that gain scores might be produced, to a significant degree, by schools.

Simple question for you David: what were the one, two,...five year gain scores of TUSD in the FY2019 and prior school years and how do those compare with Vail and Catalina? In other words, if you take all the students who were in TUSD in 3rd grade and took the 3rd grade test and are still there in 8th grade and took the 8th grade test, how do their scale score gains compare with Vail? You might be surprised.

AZmerit has a scale just like SAT and the test gurus can easily transform the AIMS scale to compute gains across the divide.

Normally, the test score file released by the Department of Education contains the scale scores necessary to calculate gains. Not this year. We'll be waiting till August to get that data. Can you imagine how exciting a football game would be if you waited three months to learn the score?

What's more bizarre is that we have an education culture in which no one knows the score.

8 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 06/27/2019 at 8:36 AM

Re: “A Multi-Factored Look At TUSD's Enrollment Decline

"...TUSD...its too large..."


District size should be a huge asset. Apple, a trillion dollar corporation, is effective.

What's the difference? Four areas: Performance pay, budgeting systems, buildings, and leadership mechanics.

If TUSD teachers were Apple employees, they would be rewarded for the measured performance of the whole district and they would be rewarded for excellence as rated by customers.

If TUSD district headquarters employees were Apple employees, they would be able to talk to other people by simply turning their head while at their desk because they are in a room with many other people. In the course of a normal day, they would be in meetings with up to 50 other people and encounter many hundreds. By comparison, in that rabbit warren they call a TUSD headquarters, they are completely isolated by themselves and during the course of a normal day, they encounter very few people.

If TUSD principals were Apple employees, capital would be readily available with an acute sense of the accountability that goes along with it. At TUSD, capital is only available at the end of a bruising cage fight and comes with no accountability.

The beauty of size, you only need to measure 500 kids out of 46,000; 500 parents out of 92,000; or 500 teachers out of 2,500 to know exactly the blood pressure and health of Tucson Unified. That means that you can get information more frequently; as many as four times a year.

Done properly, TUSD could improve by 7 percentile points per year and be the best school district in the nation in seven years.

But, that would be a different cultural reality.

They say you can't run schools like a business. But, we do. We run them exactly the way that the worst managed businesses in America are run.

4 likes, 32 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 06/23/2019 at 2:44 PM

Re: “A Multi-Factored Look At TUSD's Enrollment Decline

One comment compares Tucson Unified with Chandler Unified. Chandler measures quality as rated by parents. Since 1998, that rating by parents has increased from 38% to a current 74%. A 19 year climb of about two painful points per year.

By comparison, the national annual measure done by Gallup collapsed from 36% in 2011 to 24% in 2016, a 47 year low. Phi Delta Kappa was so shocked it canceled its contract.

Where is TUSD? Last time I checked, their parent survey had them in the low 30s for the excellent rating.

Better than the national average but 20 years behind Chandler.

That means that over 60% of TUSD parents are open to a better offer.

It also means that TUSD will continue to be pealed like a ripe banana. Their bleeding isn't over.

5 likes, 27 dislikes
Posted by jhuppent@hotmail.com on 06/21/2019 at 6:13 PM

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