Explaining to alarmed parents why their child’s school has failed to meet those goals can be a challenge.
In 2009, Appoquinimink’s Redding Middle School posted higher marks on the state assessment, seeing gains in nearly every group of children.
“Our scores were actually higher than they had ever been,” said Principal Matt Burrows.
But the Middletown school still was labeled as failing to meet federal test-score benchmarks.
The school’s special-education math scores missed the mark by 7 percentage points. That was enough to fail the entire school.
Parents, most of whom saw only that the school had failed test-score goals, were concerned, said Kim Wagner, co-president of the school’s parent-teacher organization and a teacher in Pennsylvania.
“They think it’s just one score for the whole school, and it’s not,” she said.
To help explain this, the school brought in Jeff Klein, who works on data analysis for the Appoquinimink School District. Klein, who has a particular knack for making abstract concepts understandable, used a 28-page PowerPoint presentation to explain the process. On page 15,
the words were bold and red: “Schools with fewer subgroups attain AYP more easily, even when their average student performance is lower.”
Indeed this is a terrible numbers game, and as you can clearly read, the parents needed to hear from a statistician that the school obviously did not address special education math. This is the both the hypocrisy of the system and its tragic failure. DE schools are chasing numbers instead of teaching children in some cases. They are managing a mathematical formula. It is disgusting at its core and the Aspen Institute, mentioned in the article, aligns itself with the ed-reformers that are masters of numerical manipulation: From Seattle, to Chicago, to Atlanta, New York and beyond…..
via Failing Schools