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Archive for February, 2014

By Bob Seaby

testingA recent e-mail sent via the “Bainbridge News Wire”, the repackaged Trippwire, came with the subject line “Don’t Blame It On The Kids”. Upon reading this latest missive by our Island’s resident education critic we learn of the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test scores of 4th graders in our three elementary schools: Wilkes, Blakely and Ordway. The author sounds the alarm by stating that the statistics show that Blakely is “genuinely producing more ‘higher learners'(rankings of 80%+)” than either Wilkes or Ordway. In a subsequent e-mail the author poses the question, “What explains the difference in performance between the three schools?”  We are to believe that Blakely must be doing something right and the other two schools are at fault for not having as many “higher learners”. The author suggests the other two schools may be doing something wrong. Thus, the warning that we should not blame the kids. However, I must ask is it really necessary to blame anyone?

For the record I am not a supporter of the current trend to use standardized tests to evaluate our school children. This is an unfortunate result of the need to justify funding, evaluate teachers, rank students and schools and, in my opinion, cave in to the corporate interference in our educational system. Although some believe this business model to be the ideal, many feel it is inappropriate in the school setting. In many schools valuable instructional time is lost in test preparation, test administration and post test analysis. When I was teaching my curriculum was definitely compromised to accommodate the time needed for standardized testing. Unfortunately this lost time was never regained.

After reviewing the scores of the three elementary schools I offer the following for consideration. While Blakely is indeed showing impressive achievement scores in the 80% and above brackets (64% of their 4th graders are in these brackets)–more than Wilkes and Ordway–it is Wilkes that shows a higher percentage (36% of their 4th graders) in the 90% and above brackets compared to Blakely’s 33% in this same bracket. Does this mean that the students in the lower four brackets of these two schools are receiving less attention so as to produce “higher learners”? I doubt it because when evaluating 4th grade students in mathematics other factors must be considered. (more…)

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The Kitsap County Election Division results are in for the evening and the Bainbridge School District’s two levies are passing by enormous margins.

The Education Programs and Operations Levy is passing with a 75.4% yes vote and a 24.6% no vote. The yes votes number 5,583 and the no votes are 1,820.

The Technology Levy is passing with a 71.7% yes vote and a 28.3% no vote. Yes votes number 5,306 and no votes are 2,090.

Congratulations to the school district, its teachers, kids and parents. Well done, Bainbridge Island schools supporters!

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The Bainbridge Island Public School Supporters, the campaign organization for school ballot measures, tells me only 6742 ballots have been received by the Kitsap County Elections Division as of today. That’s just under 38% of eligible Bainbridge voters.

If you lost or didn’t receive your ballot, you can go online and vote here: https://wa.liveballot.com/kitsap.

Unless you’re living overseas or in the military, you’ll need to print out your ballot after you vote online, and either mail it, or deliver it to the ballot drop-off location at the  Bainbridge Island Fire Department at 8895 Madison Ave. N.E.

Kitsap County expects a county-wide turnout of 45% and we’re seven percentage points down. Bainbridge, you only have tomorrow to show your support for democracy. Don’t make Ron Burgundy judge you.

REALLY

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