Saturday, June 25, 2011

Campbellsville Independent superintendent’s performance is perfect??

The Campbellsville school board thinks so. The Central Kentucky News-Journal reports in “Deaton doing 'outstanding' job, Board says” (Subscription) that Campbellsville’s superintendent just ‘maxed’ his annual evaluation, getting a full 4.0 points out of 4.0 points possible.

Supposedly, the evaluation included: “Student Achievement and learning.” Per the board, test scores improved in Campbellsville.

On Kentucky’s inflated – and now disbanded – Kentucky Core Content Tests (KCCT), last year’s Interim Performance Report for the district shows proficiency rates did increase for most subjects and school levels, with the exceptions of high school reading and high school social studies. But, the KCCT don’t measure what kids need for college and careers and will not be used again.

Once the KCCT goes away, Campbellsville may be in for some rude surprises. Some of those surprises – like better quality ACT tests – have already started. Others, like better quality graduation rate reporting, are due soon. I took a look at some better quality “stuff” for the district, and the results raise a question about whether the superintendent really is a 4.0 perfect score player.

The KCCT are now history. Tests that are aligned with college and careers are coming in the next school term. In fact, some of those tests, ones from the ACT, Incorporated are already in use.

The most recent 11th grade ACT test results for Campbellsville show a DROP in the composite score of 0.3 point between 2009 and 2010. And, the district’s 2010 ACT Composite Score of 17.2 is way behind the statewide average 18.5.

On the EXPLORE test, given in eighth grade, the district’s performance has been basically flat for the past four years with a 14.0 Composite Score, except for a dip in 2009-10 to a Composite of 13.4. In fact, the highest EXPLORE score the district ever had was way back in 2006-07, when the score was 14.6. Statewide, the 2010-11 Composite was 15.0.

On the PLAN test for 10th grade students, Campbellsville scored 16.1 in 2009-10 and dropped to 15.9 in 2010-11. The statewide average in 2010-11 was 16.7.

One more thing, another change coming soon will be more honest high school graduation rates using the federally developed Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate (AFGR) formula instead of the nonsense formula Kentucky has been misleading us with since No Child Left Behind began.

Unfortunately, the Kentucky Department of Education has delayed (stalled?) the release of the 2010 AFGRs for the state until August. However, another calculation, this one from the Johns Hopkins University, can give us a general idea of what the AFGRs for 2011 will look like. Usually, the Johns Hopkins results are a little lower than the AFGR, but the two are usually fairly close.

The Johns Hopkins formula, called the Promoting Power Index, shows the ratio of fall enrollment of 12th grade students for the graduation year in question to the enrollment count for the same class when it entered the 9th grade. It is often considered a graduation rate formula because not very many additional students drop out of school once they reach the 12th grade, so it is reasonable to assume those present in the fall will survive to get a diploma in the spring.

According to Kentucky Department of Education data on membership, from the Fall Growth Factor/Ethnic Reports, Campbellsville had 82 ninth grade students in the fall of the 2007-08 school year and 55 students in the fall of the 2010-11 term. That gives a Promoting Power Index of only 67 percent. That’s awfully low.

Oh, yeah, the latest available Transition to Adult Life data shows that among those that did graduate from Campbellsville in 2010, one year ago, only 51.52 percent went on to college. Statewide, the percentage was higher at 56.41 percent.

It will be interesting to see how Campbellsville turns out next year, once better metrics on performance are available. Somehow, I just don’t think the Campbellsville board thought about preparation for college and careers when it produced its 4.0 evaluation recently. That could come back to haunt them next year.

Note: EXPLORE, PLAN and ACT discussions are based on Excel spreadsheets with the respective testing data, available from portal here.

Data from the Interim Performance Report is on line in this portal.

Find Fall Growth Factor/Ethnic Excel Reports in this portal.

Transition to Adult Life Excel spreadsheet available here.

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