Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Allen School in Chula Vista loses score on teacher cheating concerns

School loses score on teacher cheating concerns
Karen Kucher
Nov. 15, 2011

CHULA VISTA — The state didn’t issue a key academic performance score for a Chula Vista elementary school this year after several fifth-grade students told their homeroom teacher they had seen passages of the English language arts test material prior to taking the state exam.

Allen School, a 300-student school in the Chula Vista Elementary School District, reported the irregularity to the state Department of Education in May.

As a result, the school was not issued an Academic Performance Index or API score for 2011. The district did receive score information for individual students, classes and grade levels.

“It was brought to the attention of the principal there,” said district spokesman Anthony Millican. “It was dealt with swiftly and decisively.”

Millican said the teacher is no longer employed in the district. He said he couldn’t say anything more because it was a personnel matter.

“It is very unfortunate this was done. This is a very high achieving school and we are certain that they are continuing to make outstanding progress,” Millican said. “During this year’s (testing) we expect them to do extremely well.”

In 2010, the school scored 881 on its API. A score of 800 is a state goal.

News of the school’s testing irregularities were included in a Los Angeles Times story Sunday that found about three dozens teachers in the state were accused this year of cheating, making mistakes or engaging in other misconduct involving standardized achievement tests.

According to a report Chula Vista submitted to the state, the teacher said she used poor judgment by downloading test passages from the Internet to use for test preparation.

Millican said the school principal sent a letter to parents in late August telling them about the incident.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sweetwater Union High School District pushes charter schools out of guaranteed SDSU admission

I looks like the charter schools are just going to have to do a really good job so that their students can get into SDSU without a special guarantee.

South Bay School Competition Heats Up
By Rory Devine and Sarah Grieco

Parents are up in arms about a policy change that could impact whether or not their children get a guaranteed admission to San Diego State University.

The former policy used to be students who continuously went to Sweetwater Union High School District from 9th through 12th grade could take advantage of the district’s contract with SDSU for guaranteed admission.

With the change, students now have to attend Sweetwater Union High School District from 7th to 12th grade.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District said that change means middle school students in the five charter schools outside Sweetwater will lose the SDSU guarantee.

But the Sweetwater superintendent said the change is aimed at giving students more time to complete their A through G classes necessary to get into college.

“It's really, really, really important for all kids to get as many classes out of the way in the 7th and 8th grade as possible,” said Superintendent Ed Brand. “We're the only district that can do that because A to G has to be approved by UC and CSU … we've done that in our district charter schools haven't.”

The rationale is that by giving students more time to take their A through G classes, more students will complete them.

“It's Sweetwater's decision to make … we're definitely disappointed we don't really understand the rationale, but we want to continue to have a dialogue with Sweetwater about this issue,” said Matthew Tessier with the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

While charters may offer the A through G classes in middle school, those classes cannot be approved by University of California or California State University systems.