Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Scott County Schools foolin’ with figures

Scott County just jumped on board the school performance denial bandwagon (see “Most schools raise scores on tests used with CATS” (subscription)), citing scores from a CATS throwback, Prichard Committee concocted school grading scheme. This scheme makes everyone feel good even though kids are not learning enough.

When will Kentucky’s school folks finally get it?

The CATS assessment is dead. It has been dead since 2009. It died because it was giving us an inflated idea about our school performance.

And, as the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recently stated, continuing to cite Prichard’s CATS-like scores is not helpful to bringing a better program on line. KDE spokesperson Lisa Gross says, “The index is misleading and it is not in the best interest of the implementation of Senate Bill 1.” She added that the index isn’t reliable, and then said of the state’s educators, “I hope they don’t use those."

Scott County obviously wasn’t listening to Gross.

And, Prichard’s “stuff” is misleading.

For example, the new Prichard Index for the Scott County High School was 79. That sounds pretty good.

Reality: Recently released 11th grade ACT testing results for 2011 for Scott County High show only 45.2 percent of the school’s students read well enough for college work and even lower percentages of the students are prepared for math (29.7%) and science (21.9%).

Doesn’t sound much like a ‘79’ performance, does it?

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