• Here Are The Facts… Now What, Stamford Board Of Education?

    By Dr. Rebecca Hamman

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    According to State of CT Report Card data, only 37.4% of our high school graduates demonstrate readiness to graduate, while 83.1% are pushed through to graduate. Fewer than half of our SPS graduates should be graduating. This is a fact, and this pattern has been happening for 10 years.

    All of this information is accessible through Connecticut EdSight Home Page (ct.gov). This data should be used to improve teaching and learning systems. As a Stamford Board of Education (BOE) member, I am simply doing my due diligence. I was elected to help all Stamford families and taxpayers be informed.

    The State of Connecticut district profile, SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium), NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), and SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) data tell us that Stamford Public Schools (SPS) is not meeting all students’ needs. Stamford BOE can do better.

    ▪We need to own this data… Knowing this dismal statistic has occurred at every level of the SPS system, the BOE can and should be much more data savvy. We need to own and share this data—especially with our students, families, and taxpayers.

    ▪We need to roll up our sleeves… When the district is ultimately judged by its graduation rates—embellished or not—we can improve. Healthy leaders at all levels know how to make this happen. We roll up our sleeves and step into instructional leadership from every angle.

    Currently, SPS leaders only show K-8 ‘skill’ I-Ready scores and high school profiles. These skill scores are in isolation if performance data does not support the growth. Taxpayers need to also see ‘curriculum’ performance assessments and mid-term/final scores aligned with this information. Teachers do not just teach skills—these skills are integrated into K-12 curriculums.

    ▪We have an obligation to be transparent… The BOE does not need to go to war with teachers every year but should do everything possible to work closely with them. Listening and collaborating with those that directly implement policies will help all students succeed.

    • Changing schedules from one year to the next at the high school level, disorients students and alienates teachers.
    • Chronic absenteeism and raising grade point averages by making 50 the lowest possible score (F grade), is not the answer.
    • Edgenuity, a recovery approach program, helps students pass, but where are the reports and analysis to attest to the program’s efficacy?
    • Tiered support through Scientific Research-Based Interventions (SRBI) has been implemented at all grade levels and is touted on the SPS website. Where is the evaluation to show its success?

    Ask the Stamford BOE to which facts they adhere. Central office administrators are accountable to them. Is the BOE doing its due diligence?

    Dr. Rebecca Hamman currently serves as the AdHoc Policy Chair for the Stamford Board of Education. Her comments are her own, and do not represent the official views of the Board of Education or its committees.

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