Monday, January 26, 2015

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of January 18, 2015

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of January 18, 2015.

1. Fighting for public education isn’t about what party you belong to, it's about children. (By @8Amber8)

2. Vouchers are bad for Texas, bad for Texas schools, and bad for most Texas students. (By @RYHTexas)

3. When you can communicate and live the WHY of what you do, the likelihood of success increases greatly. (By @CabidaCain)

4. "Writing is the best intervention for reading. You can't write above your reading level." Alana Morris (By @donalynbooks)

5. You never see U.S. citizens that hate to pay taxes, long to live in places with lower rates, like Hong Kong, Pakistan, or Russia. (By @neiltyson)

6. Today's Quote:  “Education, in it's most elegant form, is simply the movement from darkness to light.” (By @DrRichAllen)

7. One teacher performs more of a public service than one hundred politicians. (By @NicholasFerroni)

8. Use data to determine the practices that are working and those that are not.... Don't use just to sort students. (By @dbrewsterdasd)

9. (Fundamental 5) Framing the Lesson keeps students from having to guess what the lesson is about. (By @MidwayMS)

10. How come the political answer for 1/2 of our students living in poverty is to punish those children for having poor parents? (By @LYSNation)

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TASSP Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); TEPSA Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); NAESP National Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Money Follows the Student... A Really Bad Idea For Taxpayers - Part 1

In response to the 10/21/14 post, “The Money Follows the Student... A Really Bad Idea for Taxpayers,” an Old School LYS Assistant Superintendent writes:

SC,

You didn't even scratch the surface with your post. Every educator needs to send the post to 10 people they know outside of the profession and to their elected representatives. Send that out to everyone. Let the “School Choice” movement be exposed for what it truly is, another subsidy for the affluent.

SC Response
For those who doubt what a bad idea vouchers and “School Choice” is for taxpayers, I’ll share a snippet of an editorial written by Republican State Board of Education Member, Thomas Ratliff.

In the current education debate over private school vouchers, we often hear the statement, “Let the money follow the child” but we never hear about WHOSE money is following that child.

Today, when a parent takes their child to a private school, the parents pay the school’s tuition. The parents’ money follows the child. Also, many public schools allow students from other districts to “transfer” and attend their school, so the state’s money (and tests, accountability, transparency, Common Core prohibition, etc.) follows the child based on the state’s funding formulas. Under a voucher, or a “taxpayer savings grant” proposal, the money following the child is not quite as simple.

The average cost of educating a child in a Texas public school is $8,500 per year, So, the question is, which taxpayers in Texas pay enough local property or state sales tax, or a combination thereof, to fully fund their child’s education without the aid of their fellow Texans or Texas businesses?

A Texas family must either own a home valued between $800,000 and $850,000 or spend between $100,000 and $150,000 in sales taxable transactions every year, or some combination of the two, to pay enough local property taxes to their school district and/or enough sales taxes to the State of Texas to fully fund their child’s education at a public school. These amounts are PER CHILD. For a family that has more than one child in public school we need to multiply these figures times the number of children.

As you can see, very few families fully fund their child’s public education. So, when we talk about the “money following the child” in this debate, we are really talking about money from taxpayers across the state following somebody else’s child or children. This is really no different for a “taxpayer savings grant” which allows a business to defer taxes it must pay to the State of Texas if that business contributes money for the purpose of funding scholarships for private school vouchers. These are tax dollars that are owed to the state and should be treated with the same accountability and transparency as every tax dollar given to and spent by the government.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TASSP Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); TEPSA Summer Conference (Multiple Presentations); NAESP National Conference
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook


Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Reader Asks... Really, Moses is a Founding Father?

A LYS Teacher asks the following:

SC,

I know you stay current with the politics that effect education, but I want to share a snippet of the debate surrounding the teaching of U.S. History in Texas.

“...There is a complex and interesting story to tell about the ways religion influenced American history. But creating a caricature of Moses and inserting him into America's founding is... well, bearing false witness...”

What the heck is going on in our elected bodies? I am very interested in your analysis.

SC Response
First, the usual disclaimers:

1. This following is my opinion and personal analysis. 

2. I am an independent voter, voting a split ticket in every election, including the election last November.

It is no secret that over the last 10 years, The Tea Party and Far Right have essentially taken over the Republican Party in Texas. In fact, politicians that would have been considered ultra-conservative just a short 15 years ago are now branded as RINO (Republican In Name Only) and rarely survive primary battles.   And because Texas is a Red State, the Legislature, State Board of Education, Lt. Governor and Governor all tilt as far to the right and the most extreme liberal is skewed to left. 

Many of these politicians in word and deed are seemingly anti-science, anti-rational discourse, anti-poor, anti-non Christian, anti-tax, anti-public school, and anti-diversity.  They see textbooks and public schools as a battleground for the hearts and minds for their particular version of the ‘American Way.’  

Throw in the fact that their most ardent supporters are bullies, running effective “troll campaigns” on social media against those who espouse differing views and many of those in the middle simply stay quiet.  Because of my small influence in education and the fact that I will discuss facts and reality contrary to their ideology, even I, a self-professed school operations/leadership wonk, have been a target of the all too common, “He’s an evil liberal” campaigns.

As long as moderates (Independent, Republican and Democrat) stay away from primary voting, and those few who do vote in the general elections continue in large numbers to vote a straight ticket, things won’t change for a long time.

And in the short-run, the legislation concerning public education will become even more polarized.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fundamental 5 and Teacher Evaluation Alignment (PDAS)

Yesterday, I wrote that implementation of The Fundamental 5 should not be used for a teacher’s summative evaluation.  Instead, administrators should use the observed implementation of The Fundamental 5 for teacher formative assessment, feedback and coaching.  Essentially supporting a teacher in the honing of daily craft to make summative evaluations less stressful and more rewarding for the teacher. 

To illustrate how this works in practice I will use the PDAS as an example.  The PDAS is the current teacher formative evaluation tool in use in Texas.

When I Frame the Lesson, I make a positive impact on the following PDAS Domains:

Domain I (Student Participation)
Domain II (Learner-Centered Instruction)
Domain III (Evaluation and Feedback)
Domain IV (Management)
Domain V (Professional Communication)
Domain VIII (Improvement of Academic Performance of All Students)

When I Work in the Power Zone, I make a positive impact on the following PDAS Domains:

Domain I (Student Participation)
Domain II (Learner-Centered Instruction)
Domain III (Evaluation and Feedback)
Domain IV (Management)
Domain V (Professional Communication)
Domain VIII (Improvement of Academic Performance of All Students)

When I use Frequent Small Group Purposeful Talk, I make a positive impact on the following PDAS Domains:

Domain I (Student Participation)
Domain II (Learner-Centered Instruction)
Domain III (Evaluation and Feedback)
Domain IV (Management)
Domain VIII (Improvement of Academic Performance of All Students)

When I Recognize & Reinforce, I make a positive impact on the following PDAS Domains:

Domain I (Student Participation)
Domain II (Learner-Centered Instruction)
Domain III (Evaluation and Feedback)
Domain IV (Management)
Domain V (Professional Communication)
Domain VIII (Improvement of Academic Performance of All Students)

When I have my students Write Critically, I make a positive impact on the following PDAS Domains:

Domain I (Student Participation)
Domain II (Learner-Centered Instruction)
Domain III (Evaluation and Feedback)
Domain VIII (Improvement of Academic Performance of All Students)

As the teacher is observed implementing The Fundamental 5 at high frequency and high quality during a Summative Observation, the administrator should find it easy to evaluate that teacher as Exceeding Expectations in the following PDAS Domains:

Domain I (Student Participation)
Domain II (Learner-Centered Instruction)
Domain III (Evaluation and Feedback)
Domain IV (Management)
Domain V (Professional Communication)
Domain VIII (Improvement of Academic Performance of All Students)

The Bottom Line: When administrators use the Fundamental 5 for formative teacher support, as those practices are then implemented with increased frequency and quality, teachers can’t help but to met and exceed expectations on their PDAS summative evaluation.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Reader Asks... The Fundamental 5 and Teacher Evaluation

A LYS Teacher asks the following:

SC,

What do you think about administrators using the Fundamental 5 as basis for teacher evaluation?

SC Response
Good in theory... Horrible in practice. Here’s why.  

The Fundamental 5 represents a cadre of high-yield instructional practices that when used with increasing frequency and quality improve teacher effectiveness and student performance.  Which means that it behooves teachers to work to use these practices as often as possible and it behooves administrators to support teachers in this endeavor.  This support is best implemented through an on-going cycle of training, planning, cueing; training, planning, cueing; training, planning, cueing...

But these practices do not represent the whole of teacher craft.  And there are teachers who are successful without using the practices (though they are working inefficiently).

Our recommendation is that administrators use individual teacher Fundamental 5 implementation for formative purposes only.  As teachers get better at Fundamental 5 implementation throughout the year, their end of the year evaluations cannot help but to get better.

And for those administrators who disagree with this, I don’t do this often, but I’m going to have to pull rank.  I did write the book.

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Monday, January 19, 2015

Top LYS Tweets From the Week of January 11, 2015

A number of you in the LYS Nation are now Twitter users.  If you haven’t done so yet, we want you to join us.  To let you see what you are missing, here are the Top 10 LYS Tweets from the week of January 11, 2015.

1. “Leadership in education doesn't start with how to improve others, it starts with how you improve yourself.  Model what you seek.” (By @DrRichAllen)

2. How can a teacher know if students are learning if he/she is the one doing all the talking? (By @DavidGeurin)

3. The more I observe Kindergarten classrooms; the more I am fascinated by Kindergarten classrooms. (By @LYSNation)

4. The Texas Legislature should focus on making up the difference in public school funding and less on vouchers. (By @RYHTexas)

5. The difference between "reply" and "reply all" can be the difference between "employed" and "in a transition phase." (By @BluntEducator)

6. Define what training you want for each job type in your school and then set up a process to ensure it happens. (By @TroyMooney)

7. The price of greatness is responsibility.  Own your mistakes and grow from the knowledge it provides you. (By @blitzkrieg607)

8. Racism. Classism. It still exists. In low expectation. In refusal to support schools now that they "don't have any kids in the system." (By @Snowmanlearning)

9. Day by day, week by week, month by month I am working to provide the leadership I want to see in others.  Be the change you wish to see. (By @blitzkrieg607)

10. Don't treat kids without a pen/pencil like outcasts from society. Give them something to write with for cryin' out loud. (By @BluntEducator)

Think. Work. Achieve.
Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Reader Asks... Common Assessment Reflection

A LYSer asks the following:

SC,

I have attended a number of your conference sessions over the past several years and always feel that your information is very pertinent and valuable.  Our campus will be conducting 3-week common assessments this year and I am curious about your thoughts on the reflective process following these assessments. 

What are your recommendations on what to include: weak TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills); plans for re-teaching; etc.; to help drive future instruction and fill gaps from previous teaching?

Thank you for your time and advice.

SC Response
Thank you for your kind words and great question!

Short-term data analysis and reflection is a quick process.  Think halftime adjustments in football.

A. What’s working? Let’s take advantage of that.

B. What’s not working? What will we do different to slow down the damage?

Most schools get hung up spending all their time either hating the assessment and/or sorting students into “can do/can’t do” groups.  Both of these actions are counter-productive.

In terms of immediate adjustments and actions, what the instructional team should do is identify the two deepest holes (the SE’s the students as a whole did the worst on) and re-teach those two elements as they continue to stay on pace with the curriculum.  Those identified deepest hole concepts should be added to the next checkpoint and then after the students take that checkpoint, the new deepest holes are identified and the process continues.

Do what works, quit doing what doesn’t work and re-teach the deepest holes as you continue teaching forward. That’s it in a nutshell. 

For more direct support, just call.

Think. Work. Achieve.

Your turn...

  • Call Jo at (832) 477-LEAD to order your campus set of “The Fundamental 5: The Formula for Quality Instruction.” Individual copies available on Amazon.com!  http://tinyurl.com/Fundamental5 
  • Now at the Apple App Store: Fun 5 Timer (Fundamental 5 Delivery Tool); PowerWalks CLC (Networked Formative Observation Tool) 
  • Upcoming Presentations: TMSA Winter Conference; ASCD Annual Conference; TEPSA Summer Conference 
  • Follow Sean Cain and LYS on www.Twitter.com/LYSNation  and like Lead Your School on Facebook