Tag Archives: results

The special education achievement gap

UPDATE: (Sept 13) The data have been updated by the CDE and so I’ve reposted it.

I learned tonight (August 25) that the CDE has pulled all of its special education results to recalculate them due to some unspecified error. So I’ve redacted the figures I posted last week and will correct them when new figures are available. This would be more suspicious if some kind of correction didn’t happen every year, but it does. More info as  it becomes available.

The gap in achievement between students with special learning needs and their typical peers gets less attention than the racial achievement gap, but it is no less important and no less shocking. Every once in a while someone points out that African American students in San Francisco have in recent years scored lower than special education students (that is actually not true this year, in English/Language Arts or Math). Does that mean it is somehow OK to expect special education students to score the lowest of all, and the height of shame when another group captures the bottom rung of the ladder?

The vast majority of students in San Francisco Unified identified as having a disability are not cognitively-impaired, but rather students who learn differently and who need more individualized attention and teaching strategies. This does not mean that these students cannot learn; nor does it mean that you cannot measure their learning in the same way you would measure the learning of a typical student. Assuming a student with a learning disability has been appropriately taught and receives appropriate accommodations during testing (say, a quiet room, extra time or strategies to curtail visual distractions during test-taking), we would expect that student to post a reasonable score on the tests.  Perhaps, if we were particularly enlightened, we would also recognize that many students do not adequately demonstrate what they actually know on multiple choice testing, and so we would consider test scores as only part of an overall measure of student achievement, but that is another discussion.

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It’s official!

Yesterday, the Department of Elections officially certified the results of the school board election. It’s official! In the end, I won the fourth seat with 76,904 votes, behind Norman Yee, Sandra Lee Fewer and Jill Wynns.

I will be formally sworn in on Wednesday, January 7 at Tenderloin Community School (627 Turk St. at Van Ness Ave.) at 6 p.m. – the ceremony is open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend!

Belated thanks!

The other day I came across this picture on the United Educators of SF (UESF) web site. I know exactly when it was taken – the Saturday before Election Day, when the rain was coming down in torrents. UESF members campaigned tirelessly for their endorsed candidates, and I’m truly, truly grateful for the support I received from UESF members.

On election results: the count will be certified soon and it looks good. Stay tuned!

And the count goes on . . .

There’s not much to update, which is why I haven’t. I’m still in 4th place, 765 votes behind Jill Wynns and 5034 votes ahead of Barbara Lopez. The trend we’ve seen since Election Night is holding. The Examiner has a piece this morning quoting the Elections Dept. as saying it has 5,000 ballots left to count. There are also a lot of provisional ballots left to count, so while it is getting mathematically more difficult for someone to edge me out for a seat, it’s not impossible.

Results are updated each afternoon at around 4 p.m. You can find them here.

Well, if the Guardian says so . . .

. . . It must be true!  From the SFBG politics blog tonight:

With the vast majority of the absentees now counted, it’s safe to call the school board election. Norman Yee was easily re-elected; Sandy Fewer is in second. Third place appears to be incumbent Jill Wynns, with Rachel Norton just a bit behind her. Those will be the four people elected.

Today’s updated election results do indeed show Jill Wynns and I holding steady in third and fourth place, respectively. Elections says there are about 20,000 absentees left to count, and another 16,000 provisional ballots. So while it’s not inconceivable that Barbara Lopez or Jaynry Mak could still come from behind and win a seat, I am starting to breathe a bit easier.

Sloooow going

Update: Tim Norton is demanding that I keep the Election Results link up top. I am in third place now.  And Tim Redmond at the Bay Guardian agrees with the S.F. Examiner that this count is going way too slowly.

The Chronicle has a relatively clear explanation of where the count currently stands and why things could change:

As of Wednesday morning, San Francisco’s Department of Elections reported having 136,000 ballots left to count and by Wednesday afternoon workers had counted only about 12,000 of those. Those ballots include both provisional ballots and mail-in and early ballots.

John Arntz, the city’s elections director, said it is unlikely that all those outstanding ballots will be counted until late next week. The reason? The sheer size of the San Francisco ballot, which was three or four cards depending where you live. It takes time to run those through the tabulation machines, which can do a maximum of 80,000 cards a day.

The Examiner is not happy about the slow pace:

With a mind-boggling 36 percent of The City’s ballots not even tallied as of 24 hours after Election Day, the results continue dribbling in daily. Only 4,000 additional ballots were counted on the first day after election, because just one person was available to process ballots Wednesday. And a paltry 12,000 more ballots were counted as of late Thursday afternoon.

Certainly, the Elections Department needed to field all its resources on Election Day to cope with the heavy crowds. But only one person processing mail-in ballots the day after — how is that even conceivable in a major city?

Updated counts are posted every afternoon (I’m not clear on whether they will update the counts over the weekend, but it seems to me it’s the least they could do).  As of Thursday afternoon, Barbara Lopez and I are essentially tied for the last two seats, with Jill Wynns not far behind.

Also, I talked to Natalie the Kindergarten Crusader last night. Since I don’t think five-year-olds grasp “cautiously optimistic,” I kept things straightforward. “It looks good,” I told her. “I’m still ahead.” But like the hard-boiled campaign operative she is, Natalie didn’t sugar-coat it. “But I don’t know if you won,” she responded calmly. Neither do I – but Natalie and I can be proud that we worked hard and ran a good race.

It’s tight . . .

This race is very tight and there are still ballots to be counted. From the Chronicle’s update this morning:

The top vote-getters, incumbent Norman Yee and newcomer Sandra Fewer, appeared to secure seats on the board. Barbara Lopez and Rachel Norton were also in the top four, but held a slim lead.
Jill Wynns, a 16-year veteran of the board, was running fifth, trailing Norton by only 0.15 percent. It remains to be seen whether provisional ballots could swing the race.

Stay tuned! Election results are here – scroll down for Board of Education results. Totals will be updated again at 4 p.m. Pacific.