Judge Sides with Loudoun Parent Seeking Teachers’ Names, Student Test Scores

A years-long fight between a Loudoun County parent and the Virginia Department of Education over the release of student performance data has come to an end.

A Richmond Circuit Court judge has ruled that VDOE must release Loudoun County Public Schools’ Student Growth Percentile scores by school and by teacher. Brian Davison, a parent of two Loudoun students, has said the scores are a better indicator of students’ year-over-year progress and they would help administrators identify the division’s most effective teachers.

The court also ordered VDOE to pay Davison $35,000 to cover attorney’s fees and other costs.

Davison took the Virginia Department of Education to court in 2014 after his request for Loudoun County Public Schools’ SGP scores by school and teacher was denied. Several groups, including LCPS and the Virginia Education Association, filed petitions to intervene in the case, citing concerns that the information would unfairly target teachers whose students show low progress rates.

In January 2015, Judge Melvin R. Hughes Jr. stated that the scores must be released, but he was initially silent on whether VDOE could conceal teachers’ identities.

But in a final order dated April 12, Hughes said VDOE must release the data and “teacher identifying information” to Davison. He said that VDOE and the Loudoun school system failed to “meet the burden of proof to establish an exemption” under Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act.

Wayde Byard, Loudoun school system’s public information officer, declined to comment on the final ruling.

While Standards of Learning scores indicate whether a student has a minimum proficiency in a given subject, the SGP data illustrates the progress a student has made relative to the progress of students with similar achievement based on reading and mathematics SOL exams, according to a VDOE fact sheet.

Davison said he plans to publish the information on his “VirginiaSGP” Facebook page. Students will not be identified, but some of the teachers will. “I may mask the names of the worst performers when posting rankings/lists but other members of the public can analyze the data themselves to discover who those teachers are,” he said.

Loudoun administrators have cautioned against using the SGP information to assess a school’s or a school district’s quality of instruction. It only tracks students’ progress in math and reading in grades 3-8, and does not account for students who take alternative SOL exams, students who are new to Virginia or those who have transferred schools.


27 thoughts on “Judge Sides with Loudoun Parent Seeking Teachers’ Names, Student Test Scores

  • 2016-05-16 at 11:16 pm

    I am very uncomfortable with this man having my kids’ information and test scores.

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  • 2016-04-28 at 7:43 am

    The people you hear complaining the loudest here are most likely projecting how THEY would behave in the shoes of those educators and school officials whom they are criticizing. I have little doubt that were Edgar to somehow find himself employed as an educator, he probably would “feign concern” for his students. Likewise, it’s not difficult imagining Brian Davison doing whatever it takes to advance his career regardless of the impact his actions might have on colleagues or students or the institution he would be supposed to serve.

    I grew up in the sixties and seventies, so I naturally have a healthy distrust of government in general. I also realized that protests, sit-ins, and threats have little real, lasting impact. That requires learning enough about the system to influence it intelligently.

    Several people here interpret my sharing what I’ve learned about how LCPS works with being a mouthpiece for it or my support of and interaction with the LEA as being a mindless activist for them. They assume that anyone who does know these things must be “one of them” or “in collusion with them”, because that’s the only way THEY would bother learning any of this stuff.

    But they aren’t, they don’t, and I’m not. If you really do get to know some of those people, you see that their passion is driven by a genuine desire to make real, positive changes in the lives of the students we’ve entrusted to them.

    These changes go way beyond test scores and teacher evaluations. They transcend the complications of aging infrastructure despite unfounded claims of widespread waste and excessive cost. They deal with a reality you can understand and appreciate only if you get close enough to see it.

    What’s ironic is that the entire time Brian Davison has demanded that LCPS base its decisions on objective data that he found convenient to leverage – despite disagreement among experts in both education and mathematical analysis – ever since he “burst on the scene” as Virginia SGP – I have had a hand in doing exactly that.

    The concept I advocated is a component of what we now call “differentiated staffing” for the second budget cycle in a row. It seeks to focus resources according to objective measures of need. And it’s being used and refined with real, positive impact on our schools.

    That’s what can happen when you try to understand and work with the system rather than do everything you can to further alienate yourself from it, as Brian Davison has done and continues to do. So go ahead and applaud his approach. You’re backing a failed strategy. Meanwhile, the rest of us find ways to endure the destructive distractions you present – because what we’re doing to build the best future we can for our society is worth that.

    • 2016-04-28 at 9:38 am

      Let’s consider what Dan Johnson just said.

      1. In order to assuage his guilt, he claimed that I would violate the rights of others as LCPS officials have done if I had their power. That I would essentially shut down their speech as well. But the facts clearly show it’s an empty character attack once again. Dan hurled some of the most vicious lies toward me from the very beginning. He claimed I was going to sell the data. Then, he claimed I was unemployed. Then, he made the most horrific charges against my family. All were untrue. Dan defended Chairman Eric Hornberger’s deletion of posts and claimed Dan would show the world the truth. That is until Dan deleted the ones that were inconvenient for him. Dan has deleted numerous posts on his own Facebook page that were politically problematic. Meanwhile, all kinds of anonymous attack dogs of the unions have posted crazy stuff on my page. I have never deleted their comments. But somehow you are supposed to believe but for me being in a position of power, I would change into this autocratic ruler. Ha!

      2. Dan defended LCPS’ fraud of the NCLB program. He doesn’t say “Well, LCPS shouldn’t have defrauded the NCLB program but I still disagree with it”. He boldly defends LCPS’ refusal to follow the law. Guess what that accomplished. That means that all of the LCPS SGP scores will be released with teacher names. Prince William followed the law and guess what…. their teacher names are protected. So let’s look at how good Dan’s advice to break the law worked after all. And to make matters worse, Dan’s housemate, LEA frontman Dave Palanzi’s own LCPS page was used against LCSB down in Richmond to prove that even LCSB’s own argument was disingenuous. I would say the two non-LCPS officials who most hurt your case are Dan and Dave.

      3. I agree that sit-ins and protests often don’t work. I came to that conclusion early on when Bill Fox for Loudoun County Schools and Hornberger told me, don’t worry we really will listen to you once we finish our budget and nobody is paying attention. You know what does work? Court victories. That is what you are going to see this year. Despite Judge McCahill apparently not caring how badly Irby butchers LCCC rulings, these cases will be heard in courtrooms outside of Loudoun where the proceedings are fair. And LCPS/LCSB will fall one after another after another. Heck, even in Dan’s own notes in the Loudoun court, he noted that LCPS should have lost on some of the counts. What a “surprise” that a judge from a bottom 10 law school who previously served as the Leesburg town attorney would protect a Loudoun public body. Truly shocking I tell you. There is nothing to protect LCPS officials now. And that’s one reason I’m heading over to meet with them for lunch about how they might drop the ban on me. You see every event of my child’s that I miss now just increases the jury’s award. There is no “win” for LCPS now, just limiting its losses. Someone finally wised up.

      Dan represents all that is bad in Loudoun county. His LEA and Dan’s refusal to admit that more than 0.5% of our teachers are ineffective is WHY we have disadvantaged kids being taught by such poor teachers. Their personal attacks levied against reformers along with the real retaliation against those who speak out is why more have not come forward. And just like I was cheered at the Leesburg rezoning hearing, more are cheering the the LCPS veil of secrecy being shred today. Get used to it Dan. It’s just the beginning.

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  • 2016-04-27 at 3:08 pm

    As predicted, fearmongering abounds, most likely LCPS employee postings, and their feigned concerned for the school children. It is shameful that they choose to manipulate things using the kids as pawns to further their agenda of obfuscation, deniability and subversion. Does a $10 million dollar spend to upgrade press boxes at the high school football stadiums existing press boxes qualify as “waste” rdj?

    • 2016-04-28 at 8:34 am

      Wow! Spoken like someone who has absolutely no idea what goes on inside a school. Here’s a challenge and a guarantee: Switch places with a teacher for a month. They will stay afloat in your job much much longer than you would inside a school. You simply cannot measure teacher performance or student achievement with a standardized test. Period. Giving this goober access like that only ramps up the already-entitled atmosphere that a lot of parents live in. Teachers are held “accountable” by these people, and their kids are hand-held and graduate unskilled in how to deal with real-life situations. Mommy and Daddy can’t twist arms to get junior his way once they’ve bullied his teachers into passing him through the system.

      This is the “richest county in the country” yet schools lack the resources to implement any innovative educational advancements, there is overcrowding, and pay has become less competitive with surrounding counties. Why? Well, it’s because the county is held hostage by a few bullies who hate public education. They want vouchers, et al, so by squeezing LCPS’s budget, they see them try to do more with less, and if the test scores come down, the bullies can say, “Look, public education doesn’t work; we need more vouchers.” The manipulation of this school system by those who have no idea what they’re talking about is stunning. You can throw around all the 50-cent words you want, but it still shows that you probably begin most sentences with, “These teachers… (sarcastic tone)” You ignore the influx of students when you talk about overspending. Of course the budget is going to rise; there are thousands more students per year. Talk about fear-mongering. Your post is geared toward that.

  • 2016-04-27 at 2:59 pm

    Since when has LCPS been concerned about wasting money? Critics of Mr. Davidson gripe that LCPS has to pay tens of thousands of dollars. That is LAUGHABLE. You have no problem with millions for turf fields, sports complexes, press boxes, white boards, and bad land deals…but $35k…well that is just excessive.

    The real fear here is ACCOUNTABILITY. The educational complex is a big, giant jobs program. If we start actually looking at what these employees are doing and accomplishing empirically we will see definitely that many should not be getting what they “earn.”

    Laissez les bon temps rouler!

    Let’s see that data in all its glory.

  • 2016-04-27 at 12:50 pm

    “He’s gotten a court to divert LCPS resources away from educating kids and to paying lawyers instead.”

    The $35k that LCPS is being forced to pay for his legal expenses is a small drop of water in LCPS’ litigation bucket. Imagine if LCPS diverted the millions they spend each year on litigation to the students instead!

  • 2016-04-27 at 10:05 am

    I love how momof2 says the decision MUST be appealed on the one hand and then turns around and says “who cares” because the data is 2 years old.

    I actually agree with the latter statement. Rdj, LEA, VEA, NEA, LCPS and everybody else who thinks SGPs are random should just shrug your shoulders. All the teachers/parents who think 99.5% of LCPS teachers are effective should just ignore the data. But for the majority of parents (yes, a majority will look at this data) who believe the overwhelming science that proves VAMs measure teacher effectiveness (not completely but better than anything else), we will use this data when we approach the schools/principals to object to an ineffective teacher. One might hope that LCPS uses it to identify more great young teachers like John Tuck, but that’s probably wishful thinking.

    • 2016-04-27 at 2:05 pm

      I would like to commend Mr. Davison for his efforts to bring a higher level of accountability to public education. It’s very telling that most of the critics posting here are expressing fear about privacy violations and unfair targeting, because the truth is scary. If we, as taxpayers, want our schools to be black boxes where we send our children to be educated but don’t know or don’t care to know what goes on inside the walls, then why would anyone in the school system bother to do a good job when there are no consequences for lousy work? Or put differently, how do we reward the higher achievers and reinforce exemplary performance?

      Should teachers as well as administrators be held to the same standard as anyone who works for a paycheck? Before the testing regime, according to some, we had no objective way to measure performance and lay the groundwork for improving the system. I would argue, however, that it has made little change in the outcome of education. Some kids are more academically inclined than others, some teachers are more gifted, some schools are run by better administrators, some parents are more engaged. Some principals are inspirational leaders, some are not. However, lacking any other method, such as extensive peer review, student-driven teacher evaluation, impartial audit, longitudinal outcome evaluation, or the like, we need to have some basis to establish whether or not everyone in the educational system, including students, are doing their jobs. Punish the ones who cover up instead of measure up. Cheating isn’t fair.

      Nor is it fair to hold educators accountable for external influences such as student home enviroment, special needs, language barriers, drugs and behavioral issues. Failure to provide resources to manage these issues when the school system has to accomodate all students regardless of such externalities falls in the lap of legislators and local government. No teacher evaluation system should be so narrowly constructed that advancement decisions are made without a comprehensive review.

      Ultimately, the true measure of success will be the student’s progress through life after school. If they choose college, do they complete their studies and get a degree thanks to the academic fundamentals they mastered in high school? Do they subsequently hold jobs and build careers? How do we find a way to hold public education responsible when kids can’t analyze and communicate? These questions may be out of scope, but to demonize anyone who makes an effort to hold educators accountable is unfair, and plays right into the hands of those who benefit from hiding behind privacy rules to avoid being detected as poor performers.

      Indeed, for those who are flouting stranger danger, discrimination, and unfair lawsuits, get a grip. Giving non-performers a free pass is way more destructive than parents demanding that their children are provided an effective education, especially when the low performance is intitutionalized through policy. Sure, we live in a society where we expect to smoke, drink, eat cake, and get obese and atherosclerotic, and then don’t want our health insurance premiums to go up. We live in a society where normal sporting events are impossible because every kid somehow deserves a trophy just for showing up. So it follows that parents need to take out a second mortgage to pay for college because their kids are 18, whether the kids can cut it academically or not? Logically indefensible, of course, as much as denying any parent the ability to find out if the school system is being fair to their child.

      FOIA exists because this country needs a mechanism for leveling the playing field, so that those who hold public trust do not abuse their power. The fact that a presidential candidate is under investigation by the FBI should inform our thinking on this. The notion that school system administrators would cover up their shortcomings in lieu of maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and effectiveness should be of equal concern.

      • 2016-04-27 at 7:08 pm

        Rob Jones, how many teachers do you know personally? I don’t have a problem with accountability issues, but the fact of life is, there are great teachers and some not so great teachers, there are also great parents and not so great parents, also the same for students! It disturbs me when I go into a school, and the entire hallway is lined with student’s names that are on the honor roll. There is an issue that you are overlooking! When the teachers have to teach a test, to the point of everyone is expected to make the honor roll, what are they really being taught? If the main way of evaluating the effectiveness of the school system is based on test scores, that they have to teach the answers to, almost verbatim, the only fail rate is from the students who don’t test well. So if a student doesn’t test well it’s the teachers fault… How about the facts of honor roll used to be an honor because only the top of the class was able to achieve it. The students actually had to think, and work out problems in their heads. They weren’t given every exact question before hand to study. But we have to give an award to everyone!! What is that teaching? Not every teacher deserves “teacher of the year”, just like not every student deserves an award just for showing up.
        You mention that “the true measure of success will be the student’s progress through life after school”, have you paid attention to that the last decade or so? Why do you think the young adults coming out of the educational system are useless in the real world work environment? Guess what? It’s not the teachers! Unfortunately the school system is expected to be the parents as well! The parents need to teach work ethics, not support turning their kids into spoiled, entitled brats. Why not make them earn their own money to buy their own cell phone? Let alone a car! Why do so many parents have to drop their kids off at school, when there is bus service provided by your tax dollars.
        I could go on for days about what is “wrong with the school system”, but in a nut shell, it always starts with the parents!
        So look at yourself first! Stop pointing fingers at everyone else! What are you doing to raise responsible future adults?

        • 2016-04-28 at 3:20 am

          Let’s analyze “downtownres” comments in detail. Below he stated “[Davison’s] kids are probably too lazy or not smart enough to do on their own.” First, this is wild and inaccurate speculation. Let me quote from the email I provided to both newspapers regarding my real motivations:

          I also wanted to make sure that disadvantaged students who don’t have strong advocates to speak on their behalf will be assured of having a highly effective teacher in their classroom every year.” As I told the judge in Richmond, my children and his would probably be ok despite having ineffective teachers in their classrooms as we can teach them what they don’t get in school. However, the disadvantaged students of single parents who have never attended college cannot make up that year. Their future is seriously compromised. Who speaks for them? If LCPS can attack a decorated former military officer with an impeccable record, imagine what they would do to a minority parent who can’t forcefully represent their own interests!

          But next, you assume I don’t want my kids graded objectively but rather given easy A’s. Did you not pay attention when I bemoaned the move from tests to “projects” last year? I noted that virtually everybody gets A’s on a project. I also noted that grade inflation was notoriously rampant in schools these days. Standardized tests at the state level enforce an objective standard. And yes, the updates forced by the ESEA increased the rigor of the SOLs a few years back. Not every student passes any longer.

          Third, you state there are some “not so great teachers”. Really? Why don’t you tell that to LCPS who rates 99.5% of LCPS teachers as effective. Everybody on God’s green Earth knows that’s highly inflated. Using SGPs would not allow only 0.5% of teachers to be rated ineffective. Why don’t you come up with your own plan on how we reward the great teachers but identify more than 0.5% of teachers as ineffective.

          Lastly, you bemoan the efforts of parents. This is a standard teacher fallback. It’s all the parents’ fault. If we were in Southeast DC, it would be the parents’ fault. If we were in southwest Virginia, it would be the parents’ fault. If we are in Loudoun or Fairfax, it’s still the “parents’ fault”. I have news for you buddy. No set of teachers has an easier group of kids to work with than LCPS teachers. The rate of FRL students is among the lowest in the state and country. The rate of parent volunteers is among the highest. Teachers in districts with high poverty laugh at your whining. Your complaint is laughable on its face. In fact, many of our students succeed because of their parents and in spite of their teachers.

          I am not saying there are no great teachers. I know there are more John Tuck’s out there. I imagine many of them are young and underpaid. This data will identify them as well. Isn’t it a shame LCPS couldn’t be bothered before now to identify their star teachers using this data? One might come to think most of those administrators are completely incompetent.

  • 2016-04-27 at 9:33 am

    I agree with patsanchez. This is a slippery slope. The safety of our children is paramount. Not only do we need to contact our school board members, but also the VDOE and our state legislators. This certainly needs to be appealed.

    What I find most interesting is that NCLB has been rewritten. The state waiver system connected to NCLB ( the very law that prompted the creation of SGPs, and that Mr. Davison accuses VDOE of violating) is gone. Why? Because it was flawed. The new law no longer requires states to set up teacher-evaluation systems based on students’ test score. So states are not required to gather data using THIS measurement any longer. So, whatever he thinks he won, is pretty much a moot point. And the information he requested is from 2 years ago….who cares?

  • 2016-04-27 at 8:43 am

    Pat Sanchez/Suzi, student names will not be released in the data. In fact, if there is a group of less than 10 students (say a small class has only 9 students that were tested that year), ALL of that data is suppressed and not even given to me. These are the same rules that are used on the VDOE website that publishes SOL results. There are no issues with student privacy.

    There was quite an extensive discussion of privacy in the court. VDOE acknowledged that if I/LCPS or anyone publicized that there were only 3 students in a group and at least one or more failed the SOL, then that could be a FERPA violation. Principal Tracy Stephens (and many others around LCPS) do just that when they retest students who fail the SOL. They single out a small group for retests with the most common reason for that retest being a failing score. That testimony will be used against LCSB during the federal civil rights trial when LCSB tries to claim Stephens did not violate FERPA in any way. My critical questions for which LCSB most directly retaliated were related to this FERPA violation by Stephens and LCPS.

    As to the masking of student ids/names, I work for a DoD client where we do exactly this. We convert the peron’s SSN to an unrecognizable code that can’t be reversed. This anonymous code is then used to track the anonymous individual. In fact, I was qualified as an expert witness in the trial and clearly knew more about the technical details of this process than anyone from LCSB/VDOE. I even took my white board and drew up how the process works to the judge. The masking of student ID’s was not the subject at hand for the Feb 19, 2016 hearing, but I wanted to get that information on the record so that LCSB has no chance at any appeal.

  • 2016-04-27 at 7:10 am

    It’s less than a hollow victory. The only reason he won the case was due to the technicality that LCPS happened not to use SGPs as part of teacher evaluations. All LCPS should need to do to protect teachers against nefarious outsiders seeking to attack them based on such narrow and misleading criteria is to include them somehow in the evaluation process.

    Meanwhile, in addition to costing LCPS a LOT of unanticipated expenses catering to his FOIA and court demands, he’s gotten a court to divert LCPS resources away from educating kids and to paying lawyers instead.

    Meanwhile, has he paid for the $500 sanction the circuit court ordered HIM to pay? Has he paid the substantial fees he incurred through dozens of detailed FOIA requests that he made for his multiple, failed lawsuits against LCPS school officials last year?

    So all of you who pretend to be interested in “improving” our public schools or “eliminating” waste are having EXACTLY the opposite effect. You’re also making our teachers’ jobs more difficult by causing them avoidable anxiety: which ones of them will be “called out”?

    On what authority does a man whose arrogant behavior – bordering on personally threatening but always carefully avoiding crossing that line – managed to get himself banned from his own childrens’ school claim to be qualified to evaluate our teachers? Or is he perhaps operating under more selfishly insidious motives? “Crafty” doesn’t make “right”.

    We’re not stupid. We see through you all. We can’t stop you, but we can call attention to your obviously destructive motives. And we will continue doing that, as long as it takes.

  • 2016-04-27 at 7:09 am

    I saw the data he used before this case. VDOE had carefully “sanitized” it by replacing both student IDs and teacher IDs. No names were included in any case. The synthetic IDs they used were consistent – meaning the same ID was used each time the same individual appeared in the data.

    Now, with teachers identified and knowing which sets of data correspond to which classes, one might have the additional information necessary to correlate with other “intelligence” to make inferences about student identity. But the data would not necessarily allow definitive identification, which probably satisfies privacy requirements.

    It depends on how crafty you are.

  • 2016-04-26 at 10:08 pm

    Here is the text of an email I received today from a Fairfax parent. Just because we have a lot of Loudoun teachers who are resisting any objective evaluations doesn’t mean there isn’t great interest in this data (all of my coworkers ask me when they can see the scores of teachers in their kids’ schools). Btw, the order won’t just be applicable to Loudoun. Fairfax, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, York County, Chesterfield, and Henrico counties all admitted they never used SGPs. Thus, their SGP data isn’t confidential. Ironcially, the county that everyone criticizes (but has good growth) – Prince William – did use SGP data and thus their data is exempt. You can find their FOIA responses in this False Claims Act complaint as exhibits.


    This is **** *****. I’m a parent of two young children in Fairfax County, and by day I work as an education policy analyst for *************. I’ve followed the Loudon SGP case from afar (congrats on that work!), and I’ve love to hear your thoughts on how to get similar data for Fairfax Schools.

    I have two interests in this. One is as a parent, I’d love to get information on my kids’ future schools. And two, from my interest in education policy, I’m interested in re-shaping the conversation from all about proficiency (where kids are) to also include growth (how much they improve over the course of a year).

    Any insights for me? Is there Fairfax data I could access? Or school-level data I could find somewhere? Thanks in advance,


  • 2016-04-26 at 9:53 pm

    Point of clarification – in this data that he was given, were student names also provided to him? I ask due to the paragraph in the article, “Davison said he plans to publish the information on his “VirginiaSGP” Facebook page. Students will not be identified, but some of the teachers will. “I may mask the names of the worst performers when posting rankings/lists but other members of the public can analyze the data themselves to discover who those teachers are,” he said.” This makes it sound as though he was provided not only teacher names but also student names in addition to the scores. Students will not be identified because he doesn’t have that information, or because he is such an upstanding guy?

  • 2016-04-26 at 8:35 pm

    Parents of Loudoun children, contact your school board rep immediately and let them know this must be appealed. Your child’s academic performance will be made available to anyone in public and it will be easy to decipher student identifications if this ruling is not overturned. The retired Judge in Richmond only handles overflow cases on an ad hoc basis and he obviously missed the fact that releasing your children’s thinly masked academic performance data will violate the Federal Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), numerous privacy standards and common sense.

    If it is not overturned, people with dubious backgrounds will have easy access to your child’s private academic performance data.

    This is a slippery slope that opens up more and more of your child’s private records. It begins with a simple analysis – “Johnny has a SOL score higher than Susie, but we noted that Susie is in Futura while Johnny is not. Maybe Susie has better grades and deserves to be Futura.” A lawsuit is then filed for access to student reports cards so correlations between SOLs, grades and Futura can be analyzed. “Susie has better grades but did not do well on her SOL test. Maybe she was sick that day.” A lawsuit is then filed to get your child’s medical records to determine a correlation between health, SOLs, grades and Futura. Our children’s private records should not be accessible to the public whenever someone wants to analyze data.

    The Judge’s ruling creates uncountable dangers for children. Contact your school board rep immediately and let them know this must be appealed. The safety of our children depends on it.

  • 2016-04-26 at 5:05 pm

    There are no congratulations to be given. Just because a butt head of a parent wants all of his data so he came blame teachers on what his kids are probably too lazy or not smart enough to do on their own. As well as waisting a lot of taxpayer money, on data that can’t be reliable because of the many variables that have to be taken into consideration of that data. Mr Davidson, please quit while you are ahead!

  • 2016-04-26 at 10:34 am

    Congratulations Brian! It is a shame you had to endure such a ridiculous protracted legal fight for public data. SOL scores are touted as a metric of a school’s academic success year over year, yet in the same breath LCPS claims it should not be used as a measure to determine effective teaching. It is going to be incredible compelling data your efforts will reveal, and something that is going to benefit all the kids in the long run, despite the dismay by LCPS and the fearmongering.

  • 2016-04-26 at 9:17 am

    A couple of minor notes.

    1. For the overwhelming majority of the case, I was well represented by a lawyer from Moreton & Edrington. Nearly every key victory was won with the help of my attorney.

    2. The reason why teacher identities were not addressed in the Jan 9, 2015 letter opinion from Judge Hughes was because VDOE failed to raise it and LCSB watched on the sidelines since Oct 2014 instead of intervening. LCSB waiting till VDOE initially lost and begging for a “second bite at the apple” is tantamount to fraud. The judge only reluctantly let them intervene in the case because the legal issue raised was significant. However, it was clear that VDOE’s failure to raise the teacher exemption in Dec 2014 and/or LCSB’s failure to intervene in Oct-Dec 2014 was either incompetence or fraudulent collusion.

    3. SGPs track the overwhelming majority of LCPS students. The only significant portion of students not tracked in grades 3-8 are those who transfer in the middle of a year (transfers at the conclusion of the year have no effect on SGPs) or whose scores are near the maximum for the SOL (500+ for multiple years). We have a significant portion of the latter and it was deemed unfair to calculate growth when the student is near the test’s ceiling.

    4. One of the main reasons I wanted the data by names is to align it to salary and step data. LCPS FY16 teacher of the year John Tuck was a Step 9 teacher getting paid about one half of what a step 30 teacher with a Masters degree earns. How is that fair? This data will almost certainly show that the effectiveness of teachers in LCPS, like other districts, does not significantly improve with time after the first 3 years. So why are we paying teachers based solely on how long they have been teaching?

    • 2016-04-26 at 10:33 am

      Brian – please keep your messages targeted to the appropriate teachers in grades 3-8. As you wrote your last comment, you are addressing all teachers in all subjects. You disparage all teachers when you are not specific.

  • 2016-04-26 at 9:12 am

    Congrats, Brian.

    Now, the burder is on you not to misuse the data by labeling teachers as good or bad. It is also imperative that you account for the items listed above in your future posts: only grades 3-8, does not apply to all students, does not account for special circumstances, etc. In other words, you must be specific in your analysis and posts and not make any conclusions about individual teachers based solely on this data.

    I also challenge you not to post anything that will allow parents to identify specific students. This one will be tough because all kids know who in their class is at the top and at the bottom. How you will not identify individuals who pull down the entire class and teachers’ scores will be interesting.

    Finally, I am curious how you will account for parents and students who simply do not care about SOL tests in those grades. From my own experience with my own kids, some were motivated by testing and some were not. Since the 3-8 grade SOL tests mean nothing in either the short or long term, we did not prepare our kids or even worry about their scores. How will you account for outside the classroom influence on teacher evaluations?

  • 2016-04-26 at 8:42 am

    Congratulations to Mr. Brian Davison who has taken a LOT of slack over this for years.

    The data should be very interesting.

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