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I’ve been wondering how to address this, both in my head, and in how I present it to the world.

We got our test scores back – the raw numbers, at least.

Number of kids that I had who tested at Proficient or Advanced: Zero.

That was kind of a shock. I’m used to my kids doing about 5-10% better than other groups that teach the same demographic1.

When I brought this up with my non-teaching friends, they immediately pointed out that I’d been set uo to fail. I’m not ready to buy that. I can’t just look at that zeroe, blame it on someone else, and walk away. I need to find something worth chasing in there.

I’m still struggling with this. I know that I got some kids from Below Basic to Basic, and some from FBB to BB. Maybe that’ll be enough.

Thanks to Chris, who had a very timely post. For all our talk of data, these raw clumpings tell me very little – so little in fact that I can’t even align them with my own assessments. That’s something I need to be able to do – both from my side it how I develop those assessments, to the form that the testing companies give me the data in.

On the flip side of this, I’m also looking at our school’s scores overall – we’re doing dismally. The worst is, we have an advanced math program where we push 7th graders into algebra, and the 8th graders into geometry. In both of those, more than half are testing below Basic. We’re not doing those kids any favors, and this coming year those are the kids I’m going to be teaching.

Maybe it’s time to print this out and go in for a visit with my admins.

1 I realize 5-10% isn’t huge, but it’s an indication that I’m doing something right.

{ 5 } Comments

  1. dkzody | August 25, 2008 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Our math scores improved, ELA not so good. My students still achieved better than the school site or even the district. However, not as well as in years past. I don’t have sophomores this year so I won’t be able to get that good feeling when I see their scores. But, at least I don’t have to worry about getting seniors ready to test, just graduate.

  2. Sarah | August 25, 2008 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Seconding the wish for the data to be useful. Your data is actually better than mine—all I’ve seen is the school wide data broken down by grade, and only the percentages at advanced or proficient at that. I see it and know we need to change, but don’t know who did what, where, or how. I like Chris’s post, but I can’t begin to answer the questions he asks.

  3. Mr. K | August 25, 2008 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    all I’ve seen is the school wide data broken down by grade

    That’s all I’ve seen too. The only reason I can get any useful info out of that is that my kids (along with one other teacher’s) took a different test from all of the other 8th graders, so that data stands out.

    The other data that stands out is the 7th grade algebra scores, and the 8th grade geometry scores. The more I ponder those, the more it irks me that we’re so shortchanging our gifted kids.

  4. Sarah | August 26, 2008 at 4:18 am | Permalink


  5. emily | September 5, 2008 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Hey, after reading this post, your troubles seem just like ours! We have a consent decree placed on our district and we have 8th graders who are placed simply by the class they took in 8th grade whether they failed or passed! Basically, if you took Pre-Algebra as an 8th grader and failed or passed, you will still be placed into Algebra I at my high school. If as an 8th grader, you took Algebra I, you are placed in to Geometry (even if you failed Algebra!)Also at the Algebra level, we have no tracking so there is only one Algebra class students can take, which creates an even huger gap.

    So I can relate to those troubles, but the math teachers are trying to come up with a better solution. We are implemented 3 different strategies with our Algebra I classes this year. We’ll see how those go!!