Tuesday, October 4, 2016

School Effectiveness Indices over 3 years & DISD Time Capsule Schools

The 11 Time Capsule Project Schools serving over 15,000 Dallas ISD students are the most rapidly improving schools in the district.

It is clearly documented that the 8 Time Capsule Project middle schools have the most consistently improving School Effectiveness Indices (SEI) scores of all 31 Dallas ISD middle schools!

Dallas ISD has a 14 year collection of priceless school achievement data in the School Effectiveness Indices (SEI) database, online at https://mydata.dallasisd.org/SL/SD/SEI/Default.jsp .  The SEI is a measure of how much students are improving during their years at a school.  It is one of the most valuable education measurement available in school district management.  Magnet schools do not necessarily have the highest SEI scores as the students who enter them are already achieving at a high level. Record setting progress beyond that is a challenge.

Below is a chart of the most recent three years of SEI scores for all 31 non-magnet DISD Middle Schools. The 7 schools with Time Capsule Projects are highlighted in yellow.  All 31 schools are listed in order starting with the highest most recent SEI score. The three year average is also given with the ranking by that average given.

The two schools with the oldest Time Capsule Projects have the highest average 3 year SEI scores of any middle schools in DISD. Since they were already achieving high SEI scores three years ago, their rise has slowed down. The 5 newest Time Capsule Project schools which started three years ago with an average SEI of only 42.8, are improving rapidly to catch up with the two more tenured Time Capsule Project schools.  They have improved an average of 6.7 points over the past 3 years!  The rest of the 24 non-Time-Capsule-Project schools reflect no such progress as a group.  They have lost an average of 0.7 points during the last 3 years.  
Dallas ISD Time Capsule Project Middle Schools compared with normal Middle Schools on SEI
(Since Rosemont was the newest middle school, and has a relatively small student body compared to the other schools, it was not included in this listing.)

The above chart is about improved SEI due to only having 8th graders write letters planning their futures. Many improvements have happened within the past 6 months! 
This year each of these schools began to have all three grades of students writing letters each year to practice and improve their letters year to year, building toward the 8th grade letters that stay in the schools time capsule for a decade.

In addition, now students have one additional writing project that starts off the project each year. They personally write a persuasive letter to their parents asking for a letter back about their parent's dreams for them.  This change both prepares the students to receive their parents thoughts back on this central issue and replaces a letter from the teacher or principal.  It has more than doubled the percentage of parents who write a letter to their child about their dreams for them.  Now as many as 85% of parents are writing letters to their child!

Next year all 7th and 8th grade students, and their parents, will receive back the letters they wrote this year to read before new letters are written.  The quality of the letters being written will hopefully continue to improve.

With this increased focus on the future, and planning by both parents and students every year, the schools SEI scores will continue to rise.  None of these improvements are reflected in the above SEI scores.  The SEI scores should continue to improve as these changes become normal annual events in Time Capsule Project schools.

At this time one elementary school is planning to apply such a future planning system to their language arts writing projects, storing the letters in a vault they have in the school.

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