Friday, July 25, 2014

Test scores drop, graduation rates soar; they can't both be,

not if graduation rates accurately indicate student achievement.
not if test scores accurately indicate student achievement.

One of them has to be less accurate than the other.
We should be paying more attention the one than the other.
We are paying attention to the wrong one.

The leadership of the APS and their friends in the establishment's media, have decided to focus on graduation rates as the measure of their success.

This though it manifestly the less valid of the two.
This though it is the more easily manipulated of the two.

All you have to do to raise graduation rates is to give kids 5 years to earn one that counts, instead of 4.  Or, you can simply not count the kids who are least likely to graduate, when you construct the "cohorts" upon which all of the mathematical manipulations are based.

Unless they start cheating by giving kids the answers or changing their answers, test scores are nearly impossible to manipulate.

Measuring the performance of public schools is a easy as creating "tests" that accurately measure whatever performance standards apply to whatever graduation certificate a particular student wants to earn.

The most accurate measure of whether the mission has been successfully completed will be the test scores of students demonstrating their proficiency regardless of how the acquired that proficiency or how long it took them.  That obvious conclusion is being relentlessly ignored by people making money off cemetery seating and all that implies.

For as long as the establishment's media, let's say
the Journal, does not investigate and report upon
student discipline in the APS, you cannot trust them
to investigate and report upon anything,
no matter how grievous to yours and the people's interests.

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