Wednesday, October 21, 2009
WHEN A DISTRICT'S AVERAGE ACT SCORE
IS MUCH, MUCH WORSE THAN ITS "ASSESSMENTS" WOULD PREDICT
Here's a head-scratcher: according to the Douglas County Post-Gazette, which covered the Oct. 12 meeting of the board of the Elkhorn Public Schools, fourth and fifth graders scored in the 96th to 100th percentile of mastery on state standards, as measured by the constant barrage of assessments
On the statewide writing assessment, Elkhorn fourth, eighth and eleventh graders scored in the 98th, 96th and 93rd percentiles of mastery.
Wow! Incredible! Sure looks like Elkhorn teachers are hot stuff.
But wait: the board also was told that Elkhorn's 2009 graduating class averaged 22.9 on the ACT exam, the same score as last year. The best score -- 100% mastery -- is a 36.
So let the head-scratching begin. The Elkhorn average of 22.9 computes to about a 47.6% on the ACT. And these are the kids whose parents' chests are bustin' with pride because their standardized test scores in the earlier grades are close to 100%?!?
I hate to pick on Elkhorn. This is going on all across the state.
What does that say about the value of our statewide learning standards, and all those assessments that teachers are complaining are substantially interfering with their ability to teach? Could the standards and assessments be a big, fat waste of time?!?
And what does that say about the actual, apples-to-apples quality of the education we are giving kids in Nebraska? Are you happy with a 47.6% for your close-to-$10,000 per pupil per year in tax funding? Didn't think so.
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