Pinkston Feeder Pattern

Week At A Glance - December 7, 2015

Core Beliefs

Core Beliefs

  • Our main purpose is to improve student academic achievement.

  • Effective instruction makes the most difference in student academic performance.

  • There is no excuse for poor quality instruction.

  • With our help, at risk students will achieve at the same rate as non-at risk students.

  • Staff members must have a commitment to children and a commitment to the pursuit of excellence.

In the News

Congratulations and Shout Outs:

De Zavala ES Robotics Team has qualified to compete at the Regional Competition in February!

Thank you, Principals! We appreciate your dedication and commitment to all the request made upon you. Especially in completing and submitting documentation:

- Principal Failure Plans

- Imagine 2020 Progress

- Data Meeting

- Elementary Goal Setting

- Community Newsletter Information

- Magnet Fair (Diana & Alyssa)

- Preparation for the Real Estate Council Tour (Dwain)

- Preparing for Mid-Years!

Y'all Rock!

Our next Principal Meeting is scheduled for December 10th at Quintanilla Middle School 8:00AM – 12:00PM. We will welcome Damen Lopez who will present to the team. Damen works with schools, districts, and educational organizations throughout the country sharing his groundbreaking book No Excuses University which describes Six Exceptional Systems that promote academic results for all students under the umbrella of college readiness. The following link will provide further information.

Prior to Damen presenting, Tanya Brown will present information about Access 2020 and Communications will present on marketing. Please arrive promptly, we have a jammed packed morning.

Angela West is hosting a holiday luncheon after the principal meeting. We will do the gift exchange this year and add the stealing part!!! The gift can be stolen up to 2 times. Please bring a gift no more than 10 dollars to the principal meeting. Both Pinkston and North Dallas feeder patterns will participate:).

Spot Tracker

I should receive a new spot tracker early this week. Each campus should be pretty close to 100% completion. All spots should be completed and entered by Friday, December 11, 2015.

Climate Surveys

Remember Climate Survey window is open until December 11th. I included the participation percentages in the Google folder for your review. Please encourage your staff to complete the survey prior to the 11th. You may want to consider providing them time during a staff meeting to complete the survey.

Mid-Year Review

Mid Year's begin tomorrow, if you have any questions as you prepare, please do not hesitate to reach out. I will closely follow the guiding questions, so I'll place them in this week's Google folder for quick access. This document is a good way to help you prepare.

Please have a copy of the following documents for me:

  • Color coded action plan
  • Self Assessment with highlighted rubrics (action plan, curriculum alignment, instructional feedback)
  • Observation/Feedback Data Analysis Template completed

ACP Schedules

Please submit you ACP schedules to Eliza by December 9th.

Literacy Cadre for 3-5 Reading CIC's and 2 teachers per campus

Our elementary schools will participate in the District Literacy Cadre beginning January 2016. We will reassess if we want to continue the feeder pattern training sessions in January. The material in the cadre trainings are the same trainings we receive as a feeder, except not we will cross pollinate with several other feeder patterns and take (2) 3-5 teachers along with the reading CIC. The teachers selected must make commitment to attend each time and work with the CIC to turn the training around. The training dates are on the powerpoint and the times are 2:00Pm - 5:00PM, so you will need coverage for the 2 selected teachers. I've included the Literacy Cadre Powerpoint in the Google folder for your review. This is the information I received from the meeting I informed you I attended last week.

I'll meet with middle school principals to determine the best way to continue the middle school reading partnership with the reading dept.

Math Olympiad

Deadline has been EXTENDED! Just a reminder that the window for MO is still open. You may register and submit your video by DEC 18th. Visit the Math Olympiad website for all the details.

Just in Time/Carnegie Learning for CICs

Thank you, Principals. We had 100% of our ES CICs/Campuses attend the Math JiT/Carnegie Learning. Please meet with your CICs to discuss re-delivery, homework and next steps from all of the trainings!

Reasoning Mind/5th grade RM PLC

We had a wonderful PLC on Friday. In addition to our own teachers and CICs, we had visitors from both Reasoning Mind and the Math Department collaborating with the work and next steps! Such Trail Blazers!!!!


Important action items in WAIP, please make sure you schedule time on your calendar to read. :)

WAIP cliff notes are in the Google folder:


Just in Time ES Science Presentation:

Reading Language Arts Professional Development Calendar/Spring 2016:

Campus Visits - I have a few spots I need to conduct at different school; therefore, I will stop by those schools in between mid-year review.

Monday - Carr, Pinkston (mid-year)

Tuesday - Carver, Stevens Park (mid-year)

Wednesday - Gabe Allen (mid-year)

Thursday - Feeder Pattern Principal Meeting, DESA (mid-year)

Friday - Spots

In Our Schools

Article of the Week

Is Poverty the Reason U.S. Students Don’t Compare Well Internationally?

In this article in Education Next, Michael Petrilli and Brandon Wright (Thomas B. Fordham Institute) examine the proposition that poverty is the major reason that American students’ test scores are mediocre compared to those of students in other developed nations. For this to be true, say Petrilli and Wright, at least two of the following claims need to be established:

  • Poverty is related to lower levels of student learning.

  • America’s poor students perform worse than those in other countries.

  • The poverty rate in the U.S. is substantially higher than comparison countries.

    The authors examine each in turn:

    Is there a correlation between poverty and academic achievement? Definitely, say Petrilli and Wright. “That’s not to say ‘poor children can’t learn,’” they continue. “It is to say, rather, that there’s long been a clear connection between families’ socioeconomic status and students’ academic achievement.” This is true at the state, district, and school level because financial stress can make it much more challenging for parents to afford books, computer access, educational games, afterschool activities, tutoring, museum trips, summer camps, and other educational experiences for their children outside of school. Poverty is also correlated with a number of other risk factors associated with lower test scores, including growing up with a single parent, lower parental educational attainment, and a higher incidence of alcoholism, drug abuse, and child neglect and abuse.

    Do low-income students in the U.S. perform worse than those in other countries? The best available data (which are not perfect, say Petrilli and Wright) are collected by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA). They show that the U.S. is right in the middle of the pack with other developed nations – it does equally well, and equally poorly, at teaching its least well-off students and its more-advantaged students. In other words, conclude the authors, “There is no evidence that disadvantaged students in the United States are underperforming other countries’ disadvantaged students. If anything, it is the ‘advantaged’ U.S. students (those whose parents have a high level of education) who are falling short in international comparisons.”

    Does the U.S. have a higher rate of child poverty than other countries? A number of experts believe it does, including Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg, Columbia University’s Michael Rebell and Jessica Wolff, and American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten (who says that poverty is “the elephant in the room” that accounts for poor student performance in the U.S.). But Petrilli and Wright say these opinions are formed by looking at the level of relative poverty, which they say is more a measure of income inequality and is weakly correlated with student achievement. Taking into account all sources of income and looking at the rate of absolute poverty (which is strongly correlated with student achievement), the U.S. is quite typical by international standards – the rate is lower than Ireland and the U.K, almost the same as Germany, and only slightly higher than Finland. “To be sure, the U.S. still has too much poverty,” say Petrilli and Wright. “But once social welfare benefits are included, and we look at absolute instead of relative poverty, the U.S. is hardly an outlier.” They note that these figures are for the general population; international data for child poverty are not available.

    What’s the bottom line? “[P]overty is an issue for every nation on the planet,” say Petrilli and Wright, but “poverty can’t explain away America’s lackluster academic performance. That excuse, however soothing it may be to educators, politicians, and social critics, turns out to be a crutch that’s unfounded in evidence… Why U.S. student performance is mediocre is a topic worthy of study and debate, as is how to help students at all points on the economic spectrum perform better.”

“America’s Mediocre Test Scores: Education Crisis or Poverty Crisis?” by Michael Petrilli and Brandon Wright in Education Next, Winter 2016 (Vol. 16, #1, p. 46-52)

Have an awesome learning week!