Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Relationship By Objective

On March 21 and 22, members of the JEA Negotiations Team met with members of Jordan District Administration and School Board in a Relationship by Objective Training facilitated by LaVonne Ritter, the Federal Mediator who has worked with us over the past four years.  The goal of the training was to move from an adversarial relationship to a collaborative partnership.  Recognizing the many pressures facing public education, we must work together to find solutions that are mutually beneficial to all parties.  Improving the quality of the working relationship between the District and JEA will improve the quality of education students receive.

Roxane Siggard, Richard Osborn, Dr. Patrice Johsnon, Vicki Olsen, Susan Pulsipher, Tiffany Hardinger, Melissa Brown, Jennifer Boehme, Heather Reich, Cindy Carroll, Scott Thomas, Dr. Anthony Godfrey

Richard Osborn, Isael Hermasillo (mediator in training), Dr. Patrice Johnson, Vicki Olsen, Susan Pulsipher, LaVonne Ritter (mediator), Tiffany Hardinger, Melissa Brown, Jennifer Boehme, Heather Reich, Cindy Carroll, Scott Thomas, Dr. Anthony Godfrey

Our signatures committing to the objectives we set during the training.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jordan Education Foundation Luncheon

I represented JEA at the Jordan Education Foundation Luncheon last week.  I was pleased to see JEA member Kelly DeHaan as he directed the West Jordan High Madrigals when they performed.  You can tell by watching Kelly that he loves his job.  Rita Boullion, principal at Kauri Sue Hamilton School, introduce her students who also performed.  JEA members are doing great work throughout the district.

Computer Adaptive Testing Meeting

I attended the Computer Adaptive Testing meeting held by USOE last week.  These are my notes.  This is the USOE website where this information is found. 

UCAS-Utah Comprehensive Accountability System
SAGE- Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence

Accountability is only as good as the assessments.

School growth score calculation:  600 total = 300 growth (200 all students + 100 below proficient) + 300 achievement (percent at or above proficient for elementary and middle / high 150 at or above proficient + 150 for graduation rate)

AIR (American Institutes for Research) will create the assessments. AIR is a non-profit company which has experience in CAT (Computer Adaptive Testing) other states. Utah will have technology enhanced, machine-scored graphic response, machine-scored natural language, and machine-scored simulations to provide immediate results.  Assessments will work on iPad.

Utah is determining the questions unique to Utah. Focus in design is on student accessibility and providing tools to enable students to show what they know. You can enter accommodations for each student.

Three parts: formative (tools for teachers), interim and summative (similar tests given at beginning, middle, and end of year), instant and detailed reporting. Only end of year is required by law. Point of interim assessments is to provide tools to help teachers know what students are learning so they can make adjustments in instruction.

Features include:  standards-based, adaptive, accessible, instant-detailed reporting, link to formative tools.

UTIPS Core system will be replaced by formative system in AIR and will have an open-source library including UTIPS questions with instructional resources. Power in the system is in teachers using formative tools to adjust teaching.

Formative system will be live fall 2013 with UTIPS items and AIR items aligned to core. Assessments teachers have made under UTIPS Core will not be available. Teachers will have to reenter these in February when formative questions go live. No beginning and mid year assessments for 2013-2014. The end of year in spring 2014 will not have instant results available and those questions will be used as the pilot. System will be fully operational in 2014-2015.

Different approach to questions. More in depth understanding.

DWA will only be done for two more years. There will be writing response items within the CAT system. The testing will not look like DWA which is not aligned to new core.

Item difficulty changes based on student answers. Want difficulty to be at about 50% correct level. Recalculates ability after each item. Will not publish percent proficient or correct, because it is meaningless. Content measured will be the same. Must teach same content to all students including resource students. Don't restrict curriculum. Hope to have only 2-3% that will top out and not have any other questions available. Need to tell students next year that the test is designed to adapt to them so they will get about 50% correct. This will be more correct for lower students and less correct answers for higher end students.

Accessibility: text-to-speech, magnification, increased font size, highlighter, answer eliminator, keyboard navigation, text-to-Braille, tactile graphics, signing type

Various reports on individual students will be available. All systems are connected: formative, interim, summative.

Demo of formative system during webinar on April 3 at this website starting at 2:00 p.m.  Archived at this website under Monthly Webinars.

Teachers can be trained as a test item writer or as a reviewer.

Combination of accountability using growth and CAT is a big deal in a positive way.

Teachers need a paradigm shift. Assessing needs to be part of instruction. Formative will be part of how we teach and deliver instruction.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Education Rally

I loved seeing all the JEA members and Jordan School Board members at the Education Rally at the Capitol on March 11.  There was great attendance overall!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


I attended the Instructional Supply Advisory Board meeting yesterday.  The warehouse is going to start storing food items, so they need space.  That space will be created by retiring some items currently stocked by the District Warehouse.  I will post a full list when I receive it.  Some of the items mentioned in the meeting were batteries, hand sanitizer, book pockets, K-5 LA specific paper, yarn, and compasses.

They will be offering the hand sanitizer for free, because it expired in February 2012.  Your school will decide if it wants outdated hand sanitizer.

Did you know you can have items spiral bound?  You can take the items to the ISC at Terra Linda and pay for the spiral binding, then they are sent to the ASB where the machine is located to be bound.  They can't guarantee specific dates for the binding, because there are only two people who do that work.  If you are planning for next year, now may be the time to get this going.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Educator Day on the Hill

Today was the last Educator Day on the Hill.  Several teachers from Jordan and Canyons were in attendance.  We were able to speak to several legislators about the budget, SB133 and SB110.  It is looking like there will be a 2% increase in the WPU or a 1% increase in the WPU with 1% increase to cover social security and retirement.  The budget should also include $68 million to cover enrollment growth.  as you talk to your legislators in the next few days, thank them for funding public education this year!

Please contact your state senator about voting NO on SB133 (publishing average test scores by teacher name) unless it is amended by Senator Osmond.  Also ask your senator to vote NO on SB110 (funding by student directly to the school).  These two bills will be voted on in the Senate on Monday.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Council of Local Presidents

Judy Park from the Utah State Office of Education spoke about Computer Adaptive Testing.  The test will adapt from the lowest level of content within a grade and/or subject to the highest level of content.  There are some informational meetings scheduled to share information about the new testing system.  I encourage you to attend on of the meeings in our area:
  • Tuesday, March 19 at Elk Ridge Middle from 4 - 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 20 at Granite District Office (2500 S. State) from 4 - 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 21 at Salt Lake District Office (440 E. 100 S.) from 4 - 6 p.m.
There are questions about flipping to EFT and seeing the large amount.  The system takes the entire year's dues and divides by the number of EFT months remaining without considering the amount already paid by payroll deduction.  Members should be told that the amount is incorrect and is adjusted by Michelle, our administrative assistant, to be the correct amount per month for the remaining months after the member has flipped.

NEA has an anti-bullying program called "Bully Free, It Starts with Me."  UEA has a goal to reduce and eventually eradicate bullying and arrassment, in all their forms, among students and adults. 

Sara Jones and I presented information about the Evaluation Organizing Project.  Our first step is to inform all members about the Public Education Employment Reform Act of 2012 (SB64).  We will be showing a video to all licensed educators over the next two months.  You can view the presentation on the myUEA.org website now.

Sue Dickey and Ryan Anderson, NEA Directors, shared their report.  "Raise Your Hand" campaign is about leading the profession of public education.  They work to build relationships with members of Congress to influence policy at the national level. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Educator Day on the Hill

I was joined yesterday by Jack Duffy, James Maughan, Mallory Record, Leota Pearson, Krista Pippin, and Cyndee Bowser for Educator Day on the Hill. In the Senate Education Committee, Senator Howard Stephenson's SB133: School Performance Reporting was heard and passed out of committee on a 5-2 vote. This bill requires reporting of average class test scores by teacher. Please contact your senator and representative and request a no vote on SB133. A positive was that Representative Jim Bird's HB271s2: Funding for Public Education will be reconsidered, which will provide about $7 million one time money for this year.
There is one more Educator Day on the Hill on March 8. Email me if you are interested in attending. There is still money available to fund a substitute for those wishing to use an Alternative Leave Day.

Since March 1 is Read Across America Day, the Cat in the Hat visited the legislature, sponsored by UEA.