Fire the bad ones! An AP poll found 78 percent of those surveyed believe there should be a better way to get rid of under-performing educators. Dale Mezzacappa, Contributing Editor for The Notebook and Dr. Chuck Williams (a.k.a., Dr. Chuck) from Drexel University debate one another (via video editing, not face to face) on the topic on this recent Fox 29 piece. Personally, I feel that standardized tests are only one measure of a teacher’s performance and I’d hate to see even more schools trending towards ‘teaching to the test’ which is already an unfortunate side effect of No Child Left Behind. I think that the most likely way to get rid of underperforming teachers is through revamping or outright eliminating the tenure system. Charter schools that I have visited that I am most impressed by do not have strong tenure systems. Teachers perform or are not asked back. I believe that this practice is directly responsible for the success of those charters. If school districts scale back the tenure system and make teaching jobs more competitive to obtain (by increasing salaries to attract more people to the profession–easier said than done, admittedly), I know that we would see teacher performance improve across the board. And how do you figure out who are the underperformers, without relying on standardized test results? There are lots of great ideas out there, but that’s a topic for another post. What are your thoughts?
We’re all very passionate about our families and school choices, right? In order to promote more dialog on Philly School Search, we have just added a new commenting service to our site, Intense Debate. Now you can comment more easily on our posts using your existing Twitter, Facebook, OpenID, or WordPress account. There are additional features of Intense Debate–you can vote comments up or down, subscribe to comments, and more. Let’s hear what you have to say!
I’ve written about JS Jenks, my catchment school, extensively. Now another local blog, Chestnut Hill Patch, is getting into the act. The article, entitled “Yes, Chestnut Hill Has A Public School” has a lot of great information about Jenks, their accomplishments, and some of their unique programs in the arts and foreign language study. The article is well researched and features interviews with parents and the principal. If you are considering Jenks, it is definitely worth a read.
I’m a big fan of Infographics. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words–When an Infographic is done well, it conveys a million words–in an effective and entertaining way. I read the website Daily Infographic well….almost daily, and yesterday they posted this “Homeschooling By the Numbers” Infographic. Given the interest from Phillyschoolsearch readership and contributors in home schooling, I thought that it was worth sharing. If you are considering homeschooling or are simply interested in such things, it is worth taking a look at this informative infographic covering the performance and prevalence of homeschooling. Click the image for a zoomed in view.
How do I calculate the probability of getting into at least 1 charter school? I can figure out the chances of getting into each school individually, but in considering my school choice it would be helpful to know what my chances are of getting into ANY of the charter schools to which I am applying. I’m no statistics expert, but I was pretty good in math 20 years ago, and I know that I can’t just add up the acceptance percentages of the schools. Get out your slide rules people!
I consulted with a statistician friend of mine, and here is the formula that she shared.
- [box]1 – (probability of getting REJECTED by all the schools)[/box]
To get the probability of getting rejected (where rejection=100-acceptance) by all the schools you have to multiply all of the rejection rates together. So the formula ultimately looks like this.
- [box]1 – (rejectionrate1 * rejectionrate2 * rejectionrate3 * etc…)[/box]
I will use my situation as an example. I am applying to 4 charter schools whose acceptances are all by lottery. I was already denied a seat at one charter already, but let’s leave that fact alone for the sake of simplicity. Their acceptances by lottery give us a chance of 10%, 10%, 15%, and 15% respectively. Each lottery is run independently and my results in one lottery have no bearing on the other lotteries.
In my case of acceptance rates (10%, 10%, 15%, 15%), I would do the following:
- [box]90% * 90% * 85% *85% = 58.5%
(otherwise represented as .90 * .90 * .85 * .85 = .585)
This is the probability of not being selected in any charter school lottery.
So applying the rest of the formula, you have to subtract that value from 1.
- [box]1 – (probability of getting rejected by all the schools): 1.00-.58 = .415 (or 41.5%)[/box]
This means that my son has a greater chance a not getting into any school (58.5%) then he has of getting into at least 1 (41.5%).
Maybe I would be happier if I had stayed ignorant.