Friday, October 7, 2011

Educators just can’t give up on misleading test analysis

Keep up a mirage of great progress, even if it’s largely a mirage. That seems to be the bottom line motive behind a number of folks involved with Kentucky’s education system. These well-meaning, but misguided people keep trying to breathe a 10th life in to our now defunct CATS accountability system.

The latest example can be found in an article from the Kentucky New Era, “Transition index useful to schools” (Subscription), which defends an unofficial and privately developed CATS like reporting scheme for public school performance in Kentucky.

For example, the article shows that the Hopkinsville High School's “Transition Index,” as this unofficial grading system has been dubbed, rose from 70.5 in the 2009-10 school year to 77.6 in the recently completed 2010-11 term.

What do results from more credible testing show for Hopkinsville High?

This table lists the percentages of Hopkinsville High’s 11th grade students who met the ACT Benchmark scores that indicated good preparation for college and careers.

These numbers look a lot different, and a lot lower, than the cobbled together index, don’t they?

ACT testing shows there has been a little bit of improvement in English, Math and Reading, but the overall percentage of students with good preparation in these subjects is a whole lot lower than the misleading “Transition Index” would have us believe.

And, in science, the abysmally low level of preparation actually deteriorated between the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school terms.

That is definitely not a 77.6 performance!!!

No comments: