Test Scores

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Beth2004, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 19, 2008

    Today at our all school professional development/orientation our school's executive director (charter school) announced that the DOE sent him our MCAS (state test) scores from the spring. Every year during this time he makes a powerpoint presentation and announces the percentage of students in the warning/failing, needs improvement, proficient, and advanced categories at each grade level. It's always a really tense time because he makes it very clear if the percentages have gone up or down compared to the last year's results.

    Well, when he got to 5th grade we were all holding our breath. The group of kids we had last year were REALLY LOW. Their test scores in 4th grade were horrendous and the 4th grade teachers were really embarrassed last year. He read our scores and, of course, they were much worse in every category compared to the 5th graders the year before. We expected that, but it was still embarrassing being the only grade level where the scores didn't improve.

    We went up to him afterwards and asked to compare our students' 5th grade scores to those same students' 4th grade scores. They improved by leaps and bounds!!! Pretty much the same number of students were in the warning/failing and advanced categories, but they went from 15%-35% in proficient! I am thrilled! :2up:
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Aug 19, 2008

    Congrats!!!! I know that took a lot of work on the part of your team. Your story needs to be told loudly and often to the district admins and the stuffed shirts making the laws. It's the perfect example of why comparing test scores between years based on grade levels DON'T WORK!!! Any comparison or determination of progress needs to be done based on comparing the student's progress from year to year. Anything else is smoke and mirrors.
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 19, 2008

    EXACTLY! This is something my team and I feel very strongly about...especially after this last year. All the state looks at is the scores from year to year, not how the individual cohort has improved.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Maybe the politicians need to take a basic stats course. That's one of the first things you learn...what makes good statistics, and what makes bad statisics.
     
  6. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 19, 2008

    I couldn't agree more. ;)

    I'm just really happy that I was able to compare their scores from 4th grade to 5th grade and see improvement, even if that's not the way the state does it.
     
  7. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 19, 2008

    Besides just showing scores, your director should have pointed out how this group has improved. Congratulations on all your hard work!
     
  8. nothermanda

    nothermanda Companion

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    Aug 19, 2008

    Congrats!

    Do you have access to their individual scores? It's always interesting to see which students improved, and by how much.
     
  9. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    Aug 19, 2008

    We do. I didn't get the chance to look at them today, but I'm hoping to get my hands on them tomorrow. Our school also uses a company that compiles all of the data, breaks the questions down by curriculum standard for each student, etc, so I'll get a big binder with extremely detailed information about my students' scores in October. I can't wait for that!
     

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