I have written occasionally on PLCs having been witness to an intimate discussion between Governor Markell and a group of Glasgow Students (here: http://bit.ly/VoIHX4) and I received a letter from a teacher:
The sense I have consistently gotten is that teachers are both skeptical and cautious about the new process. While I am sure there are some teachers who love the new process, the numbers come no where near the absurd statements from our over involved Governor. So imagine my reaction to reading this headline:
and find that the article is a lead in on this, hot off the presses report from the DOE:
in which the first sentence of the news story concludes:
“Working in collaborative groups is working for Delaware teachers, according to survey results released by the Delaware Department of Education Monday.”
The article then proceeds to bedazzle us with the following stats in support of the conclusion:
- More than 4,500 teachers (about 53 percent) responded and those results were released Monday.
- Feedback was positive, with 63 percent of those teachers surveyed answered that PLCs “are helping them build useful skills around the collection and use of data.”
- 59 percent indicated they “feel more confident in making instructional decisions based on data because of their PLCs.”
What does that all mean? Well, here’s my take:
- 63% of the 53% who bothered to respond means that 33.39% of all teachers in DE feel that PLC’s are helping them build useful skills.
- 59% of the 53% that bothered to respond means that 31.27% of all teachers in DE feel more confident making instructional decisions. You read that right “feel” more “confident” about their decisions. It does not speak to the efficacy of the decisions at all.
But mostly, I am awestruck by the lack of response. No worry, the “survey was taken right before summer excuse” is in overdrive!:
Donna Mitchell, deputy officer for the Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Unit at DDOE, said the department was pleased with the feedback and impressed with the percentage of teachers who responded at such a busy time of year.
So, as the DOE is publishing a survey with 53% response, I am left to wonder about the 47% who didn’t? Does the DOE care about the 47%? 47%, hmmm, where have I heard that number lately?
So I leave you with a few questions:
- How much did this survey cost DE taxpayers?
- Why did 47% fail to respond to such an amazing DOE initiative?
- If only 70% of the data coaches were rated effective by the 53% of respondents, do we get a $2.46MM refund on the 30% or do we get $5.158MM refund on the 62.19% not rated effective based on 70% of only 53% respondents yielding 62.19%?
- Is a word cloud really necessary?
And lastly, to April Hall, the reporter. Including DOE truisms that do not comport with the menacing threats issued by the DOE in 2010 and 2011 like:
The voluntary federal grant funded PLCs with $8.2 million…..
really reveals the slant. Balance is always better.