Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Question for Mike Miles demanding an answer in 2014

Multiple times Mike Miles has been responsible for student groups that were somehow reduced in size before testing that then showed rising grade averages compared to the previous larger group.

These incidents started with the Harrison School District Two Class of 2009, the first year with a smaller 12th grade enrollment than the previous year.  This process of smaller 12th grade enrollments continued past the Harrison Class of 2012, by which time the 12th grade enrollment had shrunk by 32%, but average ACT scores had gone up!   See details at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/05/damage-by-mike-miles-in-colorado.html

Meanwhile over at School District 11, to the north of Harrison School District Two, they were accepting a majority of Harrison 12th graders who were leaving under some apparent pressure.  The District 11 ACT scores went down.

Another incident happened in Dallas ISD with the first ACT testing after Mike Miles had started as DISD superintendent.  The percentage of minority students taking the ACT went down by over 23% following a 5 year history of this percentage constantly rising an average of 17 percentage points.   DISD reported the results of this test as showing a full point rise from 17 to 18 on the ACT.   However, upon closer study, the real change reported, as they had been reported for years with one point more of precision, was a change from 17.2 to 17.6.  See details at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/10/does-race-guide-how-disd-treats-students.html

The most recent incident was the NAEP testing under Mike Miles this past year.   The results were released and reported on December 18, 2013 in the Dallas Morning News with the headline:  “Compared to other big-city districts, Dallas ISD is on par in math, lags in reading” Mike Miles was quoted in the article as having called the results encouraging: “They showed increases in areas where we needed to make gains and confirm that Dallas ISD is making steady progress toward increasing student achievement levels”

However, what was not released by DISD, nor reported on by the Dallas Morning News, was that DISD had failed to test all students.  In another national publication it was reported:  “Then there’s Dallas Independent School District. It excluded 36 percent of fourth-graders in special ed ghettos from NAEP; it also excluded 30 percent of fourth-graders in ELL ghettos. These high levels of exclusions may explain why Dallas managed to reduce the percentage of fourth-graders reading Below Basic by three percentage points between 2011 and 2013. Dallas also excluded 26 percent of eighth-graders in special ed ghettos…”   This is reported from http://dropoutnation.net/2013/12/19/naep-dishonor-roll-urban-edition/

The current incident, still in process, involves the DISD Class of 2013, the last graduation class benefiting from the ongoing progress being made before July 2012.  It was the largest DISD graduation class in 31 years!  Changes by Mr. Miles started quickly showing in the Class of 2014. In November of 2013 the official enrollment count for the Class of 2014 recorded the greatest year to year drop in 12th grade enrollment in 29 years!  The Class of 2014 enrollment had lost over 530 students compared with the Class of 2013 enrollment!   Consistent with Mr. Miles history of reducing 12th grade enrollment, the remaining students in the Class of 2014 should provide college ready testing scores that are higher than the Class of 2013.   See more details at http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/2013/12/blog-post.html

These multiple incidents each involve reductions in the number of students being tested, apparently so as to eliminate lower scoring populations.  It appears to be a critical part of the strategy used by Mike Miles to increase the average test scores for students under his supervision. 

The question for Mr. Miles is:

 "Mr. Miles, how often have you raised college readiness grade averages and senior class sizes at the same time, compared with the number of times those class sizes dropped, in your career?"

To provide more detail it should also be asked:

"Is it true there is a correlation between higher college readiness test grade improvements happening when class sizes dropped the most during your years as a district superintendent?" 
(Note: since both Colorado Springs and Dallas were/are growing during his years, growing senior classes should be normal.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Can Dallas ignore what happened in 2013 in DISD?

The DISD Class of 2013 was the last graduation class benefiting from the ongoing progress being made before July 2012.  It was also the largest DISD graduation class in 31 years! 

Then, in November 2013, things rapidly changed.  The official enrollment count for the Class of 2014 recorded the greatest drop year to year in 12th grade enrollment in 29 years!  The Class of 2014 enrollment had lost over 530 students compared with the Class of 2013 enrollment!  What suddenly started happening in DISD?
Dallas ISD Graduation Demographics 1970-2014
(Click on chart to enlarge/print)
Is this record loss in Dallas ISD 12th grade enrollment in any way related to the identical losses that were created in the Harrison School District Two during the last 4 years that Mike Miles was Harrison Superintendent?   During those four years the 12th grade enrollment was constantly dropping while elementary enrollment was constantly rising.  Total district enrollment was therefore stable while 12th grade enrollment dropped over 32% under Mr. Miles.

How was this loss in 12th grade enrollment related to Mr. Miles strategy to develop a core of students with higher grade averages on college readiness tests?  Was he attempting to eliminate low scoring students, students who were not adequately prepared for the next grade? Was that strategy also a factor in the large number of Harrison seniors who transferred to Colorado Springs District 11, to the north of Harrison, where college readiness scores suddenly went down?  

How is this strategy for raising college readiness grade averages substantially different from the "disappeared student" strategy judged by the courts to have been used in El Paso by the now incarcerated former superintendent, Mr. Lorenzo Garcia?