CA reading scores hit rock bottom

. . . and, it’s back to bad news, judging by this article in today’s SF Chronicle:

State shares rock bottom in U.S. reading scores
California remained at the bottom of the barrel in national test scores for reading, sharing last place with Louisiana, Arizona, New Mexico and Washington, D.C., according to the Nation’s Report Card released Wednesday.
. . .
In California, 54 percent of fourth-grade students and 64 percent of eighth-grade students tested in early 2009 scored at or above the basic reading level, a measure indicating a partial mastery of grade-level content. Nationally, 66 percent of fourth-graders and 74 percent of eighth-graders scored at basic or above levels.

Given California’s size and diverse student population along with the relatively low amount of money spent per child on education, the state’s scores aren’t as bad as they appear, said David Gordon, Sacramento County schools superintendent and member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

“It’s not really helpful to compare California to most of these other states,” he said. “The level of investment we’re making in our school system is really shameful.”

California spends about $8,000 per student. New Jersey and New York spend about twice as much and score among the top states.

“I think given its circumstances, I would say California is holding its own,” Gordon said. “It’s hard to expect a lot more.

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7 responses to “CA reading scores hit rock bottom

  1. Bernal Dad. I don’t make the rules – The EPC does. The point of my post is that the EPC did not follow their own policy.

    Also – do you think this is the only family in a difficult situation? You don’t think there are countless other families with their own unique situations and struggles that would love to transfer in the middle of the school year to a different public school?

    Why did these families at Alvarado get special treatment?

  2. “If waitlists were already dissolved, the policy states that transfers within SFUSD are not allowed (only for change of address, safety or discipline). The Alvarado Spanish spot should have remained open for out of district families or through the lottery the following year.”

    Alvarado GE would be at capacity. To do what you said would mean the kid in the SI program and who needed to leave would have had to suffer through a year a program that wasn’t suitable for them, or transfer out of district (disruptive to the kid), and the SI slot go unfilled.

    I’m not sure what the EPC policy is, but I can’t believe that for language programs they don’t have a mechanism for dealing with cases where a immersion or bilingual education for a kid is not suitable.

  3. Thank you Bernal Dad for confirming that this did happen.

    What you describe is against SFUSD policy. I am not aware of an exception process.

    If waitlists were still in place, the SP spot should have been filled by someone on the waitlist.

    If waitlists were already dissolved, the policy states that transfers within SFUSD are not allowed (only for change of address, safety or discipline). The Alvarado Spanish spot should have remained open for out of district families or through the lottery the following year.

    I get it that this worked well for the families involved. But – it is very unfair to the rest of SFUSD families. 144 families requested Alvarado SP as their #1 choice last year. If the district is going to allow a transfer within the school year – why not provide a fair and equitable means for offering and “awarding” this top choice slot?

    I am very dissappointed. I turned in our waitlist form on Friday and I listed Alvarado SP as our waitlist choice. I am starting to feel like a fool. I don’t feel confident that the SFUSD/EPC will follow their documented process.

  4. I think I know one of the families involved.

    IIRC, their kid (a Spanish-dominant kid) was in the GE program (the parents had listed Alvarado GE #1, as for some reason they thought that would improve their chance of getting in Alvarado SI, which they listed #2).

    A month or so into the school year, one of the English-speaking kids in the GE program wanted to transfer out, as he/she was having difficulty with the language. So the Spanish-dominant kid switched from the GE to the SI program, and the English-only kid switched from the SI to the GE program. I’m not at Alvarado, so I don’t know whether EPC were involved, but you can see how this would have been the least disruptive solution for the kids involved.

    This probably happened after the waitpools were dissolved.

  5. Thank you so much for your response.

    Just to add – It would also be unfair after the waitpools are dissolved, since transfers are only allowed for a change of address, disciplinary action or safety concerns (from the enrollment guide):

    “After the August waiting pool run, the waiting pool process will be considered finished and the waiting pools will be dissolved. For the remainder of the school year, no transfers within SFUSD schools will be allowed except for cases of change of address, disciplinary action or safety concerns.”

    Thanks again

  6. Dear Hopeful – I don’t know of a situation where students enrolled in Alvarado GE were transferred into the SP program — are you saying this definitely happened? I can’t guarantee you that it has never happened but if it did it was an unusual occurrence that may have happened for some unique reason. Anyway, I will check with the school but it is my understanding that EPC controls spaces, not the school sites. You’re right that it would be extremely unfair if the school was able to transfer students between strands without going through EPC, and especially if that occurred before the wait pools were dissolved.

  7. Hi Rachel – I posted this on another thread but I haven’t received a response. I am preparing to submit my R2/waitpool form tomorrow. Can you help?

    “What I got upset about was children transferring from a GE class at Alvarado into an immersion program. That is definitely not supposed to happen.”

    Rachel – Is it possible that you could confirm that this will not happen this year? We are considering waitlisting Alvarado SP. We don’t want to waste our only waitlist shot on a school that may fill openings from another program within the school.

    It is my understanding that any openings at a school (whether during waitlist or after waitlists are dissolved) are supposed to be filled by the EPC, not by the school itself.

    Can you please also confirm that this policy will be followed this year?

    This is seriously impacting our decision-making process.

    Thank you for everything you do and for reading my comment