Test performance worse using sound analysis

info@islandpacket.comApril 14, 2013 

The story regarding school improvements on MAP test scores is depressing, not only in the results, but also in the comments from officials and the lack of in-depth analysis by school officials and journalists.

The issue should not be how first-graders this year compared with first-graders last year. The true measure of progress is how first-graders last year did as second-graders this year, and so forth.

For example, the percentage of last year's first-graders who were at or above grade level in math went from 75.6 percent to 70.3 percent as second-graders. In reading, it went from 74.1 percent to 56.2 percent.

In fact, every grade in the district is down for both reading and math this year compared with last.

Similar results apply to St. Helena Elementary School, except for reading scores improving significantly for those moving from fourth to fifth grade. Other than this, improvements cited by officials can largely be attributed to a class of poorly performing fifth graders moving from the school, being replaced by a fresh group of kindergartners.

I applaud St. Helena Elementary for its initiatives that might take time to show results, but I suggest that district officials need to be held accountable for the depressing results.

I also urge officials and editors to expect more from administrators and reporters who analyze and report on results.

Most importantly, teachers should be measured on the progress of the class they inherited.

Joe Tatarski

Callawassie Island

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