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Re: 90/90/90 Schools - Context and data, please



Am attaching a reference re Reeves and the 90 90 90 schools that you might
find interesting. The email is from an ongoing dialogue with authors of
book Pressures of teaching and is with a group of educators that I respect
very much. So in my view, his view is very positive of Reeves work. I
heard Reeve speaking several times and read some of his articles and work.
I cannot speak to the "data" he has about success. But I very much agreed
witht he conclusions he found about effective practices. They resonate with
me and aren't just sound bites. (I should add I come from a strongly
progressive perspective with 47 years ine ducation: elementary highs school
teacher education researcher etc etc. Haven't looked at it all in awhile
but I would remain open to the possibilities here. (check with Susan Harmon
re my creds!)

Of course all that said, school administrators and systems have ways of
turning good things into bad int he way they implement - often rigidly,
often without good understanding etc.

THE PRESSURES OF TEACHING
"F's" Instead of "Not Yet's"

Hi, this is Win whom Maureen asked to write for the book. Thanks Maureen.
Without your invitation and subsequent prodding, I probably would not have
contributed.

As I have been reading the posts and comments on tln@listserve.com, it
struck me that the connecting theme is one of consciousness. Consciousness
of the social and emotional needs of students as well as academic.
Consciousness of the true purpose of pressure-driven learning activities.
And, in my case, consciousness of the effects of the routine grading
policies and marking periods on student achievement. I spoke of "Jason" a
student who had failed the required 9th grade writing class before and did
so again with me. In truth, I failed him. And I failed scores of students
condemned by a routine I unconsciously followed of points for so many
assignments completed and averages of quizzes and essays handed in over the
course of a term. I failed Jason and others because of the pressures of
time. I could not thoughtfully read the 170 papers and homework responses I
assigned three or four times a week let alone the quizzes I gave in the time
I had. Like my colleagues, I borrowed or devised systems and formulae to
"grade" student work. The artificial "end of the term" meant I could not
extend time for Jason or others to complete work, and, indeed, with a new
term and a new set of classes totaling 170 students, it would have been
extraordinarily difficult to provide the feedback and coaching for students
who had not "made it" the term before.

What I knew was that I was doing a disservice to kids. As I became
conscious of the arbitrary nature of term and grading, I tried and continue
to try to find alternatives for more authentic assessment. Doug Reeves'
work most recently brought home the notion of "toxic grading practices" and
offers some solutions. ( See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHZyrz0NcuE for
a clip of Reeves speaking on subject.) Sadly, in my years as a supervisor
and assistant superintendent, I found that each effort to make change in
grading practice in schools seems to gradually revert to the averaging of
grades or nearly meaningless accumulation of points. As I point out in my
essay, I was taken aback by college education students asking to be given
the D rather than to revise or redo the test or assignment.

I wonder what other teachers have found in their efforts to assess,
encourage and re-teach students. I wonder how other mindful teachers are
struggling with the imperfect grading systems that exist especially in this
day and age of reliance on so-called standardized tests that are actually
re-normed each year. I wonder how my colleagues are dealing with giving
meaningful feedback to extended responses and essays.



On 1/17/11 5:16 PM, "Cbgord@aol.com" <Cbgord@aol.com> wrote:

> I think it was on ARN-L that I read a long time ago about the 90/90/90
> schools, namely schools where 90% or more students are in poverty/90%, 90% or
> more are of color, and 90% or more score at or above state standards. I
> vaguely recall reading that the data was skewed. At my high school in
> Oakland,
> with 100% students of color and close to 100% in poverty, the vast
> majority score Below Basic or Far Below Basic. Our faculty has been given the
> article "High Performance in High Poverty Schools: 90/90/90/ and Beyond,"
> (2003) by Douglas B. Reeves for discussion at our next professional
> development
> meeting. And I believe there will be a strong push to model ourselves on
> its approach.
>
> Could someone who knows about 90/90/90 provide some history and independent
> data beyond? Thanks.
>
> Craig Gordon
>