Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Harvard Omitted from their Highland Elem. Case Study

9 months after Highland Elementary School in Silver Spring was awarded the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Blue Ribbon Award in December of 2008, the ink was dry on a Harvard Public Education Leadership Project Case Study on the school by Stacey Childress* and Andrew Goldin.


The Harvard Case Study was cited recently in the AJC article on Highland Elementary.  


However, the Harvard Case Study neglected to include some important data and information in their Case Study of the school. One of the authors of the Harvard Case Study also neglected to mention her personal involvement with the reading evaluation products used at Highland Elementary School (mClass and DIBELS are products of a company called Wireless Generation). 


Here's what should be added to the timeline in the Harvard Case Study: enrollment data and the relationship of one of the authors to the product used a Highland Elementary. 

  • August 2004:  Highland Elementary School students in School Community Based (SCB) program are permanently moved to Glen Haven Elementary School (Source: FY2005 MCPS Master Plan, p. 4-32)
  • August 2007:  Highland Elementary School is redistricted and 153 students from the northern part of the Highland district are moved to the re-opened Arcola Elementary School

*Note Ms. Childress wrote a separate Case Study on the relationship between MCPS and Wireless Generation and the $500,000 investment in the company that MCPS made.  That Case Study is no longer public on the Harvard PELP site and MCPS has not made that Case Study public. 


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UPDATE from Bob Astrove:  That only tells a small piece of the enrollment picture. The enrollment at the school dropped by over 300 students from 2002 (788 students) to 461 today (456 in 2009 when they won the award).
Enrollment dropped by 100 students from 2004 to 2006, and by another 150 or so from 2007 to 2008. Your comments only reference the second transfer out of students.
Overall enrollment was reduced by 40%.
Gee, you'd think that would be a big deal in the Harvard Case Study. But it wasn't. Too many people trying to pat themselves on the back and therefore overlooked the single number that moved the most - reducing the number of students.
In my mind that pretty much trashes the credibility of the entire case study. I guess sometimes even Harvard can screw up?...
Bob Astrove  

3 comments:

  1. That only tells a small piece of the enrollment picture. The enrollment at the school dropped by over 300 students from 2002 (788 students) to 461 today (456 in 2009 when they won the award)

    Enrollment dropped by 100 students from 2004 to 2006, and by another 150 or so from 2007 to 2008. Your comments only reference the second transfer out of students.

    Overall enrollment was reduced by 40%.

    Gee, you'd think that would be a big deal in the Harvard Case Study. But it wasn't. Too many people trying to pat themselves on the back and therefore overlooked the single number that moved the most - reducing the number of students.

    In my mind that pretty much trashes the credibility of the entire case study. I guess sometimes even Harvard can screw up?...

    Bob Astrove

    ReplyDelete
  2. There also appears to be some sort of re-centering that occurred for the 5th grade MSA in 2008. 33% of all Maryland 5th graders were advanced in 2007. 51% of all Maryland 5th graders were advanced in 2008. There was no similar drop off in 2011.

    http://www.mdreportcard.org/MsaTrends.aspx?PV=1:5:99:AAAA:1:N:0:13:1:2:2:1:1:1:3

    ReplyDelete
  3. Dan Hess, Highland GraduateMay 2, 2012 at 6:45 AM

    The smoking gun in my view for Highland Elementary is the very high percentage of students identified BY THE SCHOOL SYSTEM ITSELF as being eligible for the
    Limited English Proficient (LEP) Program.

    It is always above 60% for those several years when nearly every fifth grade student was reportedly reading English at an advanced level.

    http://www.mdreportcard.org/SpecialServices.aspx?PV=36:E:15:0774:1:N:0:14:1:2:1:1:1:1:3&static=Y

    What is the LEP Program?

    "Special Services: LEP Program Participants

    The number and percentage of students assessed as eligible for the Limited English Proficient (LEP) Program. LEP is also referred to as English as a Second Language (ESL).

    LEP students have a primary or home language other than English and have been assessed as having limited or no ability to understand, speak, read, or write English. The counts are reported as of the student's last day of enrollment in the school system - either the last day in school or the date the student withdrew. The percentage is calculated by dividing the number of LEP students by the June net enrollment. "

    http://www.mdreportcard.org/MsaOverview.aspx?PV=1:3:15:0774:1:N:0:13:1:1:0:1:1:1:3

    ReplyDelete

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