2009: 14 out of 16 Robbinsdale schools fail AYP

Last year it was 13. From the MN Sun-Post:

Two of the 16 schools in Robbinsdale District 281 met Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards in 2009 under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

They are Robbinsdale Spanish Immersion School in Robbinsdale and Zachary Lane Elementary in Plymouth.

But our students are “achieving,” according to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Gayle Walkowiak:

“Student achievement has been the top priority of our district and our community,” Walkowiak said. “We will continue to research and implement strategies to improve student achievement.”

The district plans a number of interventions to improve student achievement during the 2009-10 school year, including the following:

– Approximately $4 million in federal stimulus funds will be used to hire up to nine instructional coaches and up to nine intervention specialists. The instructional coaches will support elementary teachers as they implement Response to Intervention, a systematic approach to improving whole-school reading and/or mathematics instruction.

– Both Armstrong and Cooper high schools will continue after-school homework help and credit recovery, and Cooper plans to increase participation, expand the number of courses for which help is offered and provide more follow-up to make sure students are getting the help they need.

$4,000,000 in federal stimulus funds used to hire “coaches” and “intervention specialists”? You might call that achievement if you’re Education Minnesota (where union memberships grow while student scores shrink). Once again, throwing money at (instead of addressing) the problem is the rule at 281. What are RSIS and Zachary doing that the other schools aren’t?

4 Responses to “2009: 14 out of 16 Robbinsdale schools fail AYP”

  1. keithhcrystal Says:

    No amount of money will ever be able to raise test scores in the schools that are failing to meet AYP standards. When I read about the coaches and intervention specialists, I nearly fell off my chair. The coaches and intervention specialists will act as surrogates for parents that do not place the needed emphasis on the importance of education and being involved in their childrens school.

    Point blank this is our money that is being thrown away into something that will never work, or more importantly, being taken away from students who may actually benefit from it.

    I am not an apologist for the school district, but I do believe it is unfair that teachers and the district share the crux of blame for these scores. The parents of the children who are consistently failing to meet standards need to shoulder as much, or more, of the blame for their childrens overall failure in school.

    We will never see an increase in these scores until all parents of the affected students understand that their childs educational success begins and ends with them.

    Keith in Crystal

  2. give2attain Says:

    Please remember that ZLE and RSI are not very good examples for best practices. The student demographics are too different from all of the other schools. They pass in part because they have ~17% and ~8% poverty, and have “not applicable” in many of the ~30 categories… Forest is the best performing “RAS representative” school from my limited viewpoint.

    Remember: Forest only missed in one of ~30 catagories, and that was was Special Education. That is incredibly great given their demographics.

  3. give2attain Says:

    Some books that help to explain the challenge we face:

    – Emotional Intelligence (Daniel Coleman)
    – Outliers (Malcom Gladwell)
    – Whatever It Takes (Geoffrey Canada)

  4. give2attain Says:

    In case this helps your readers understand the demographics comment I made earlier. Here is a link to the details.

    RDALE AYP Summary

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