Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Before We Move On...AYP Results

The Loudoun County School Board has a very full plate this school year, but I don't want to forget what the Commonwealth of Virginia expects of LCPS this year. Here are the Annual Yearly Progress charts that were recently presented to the board:

AYP Progress Safe Harbor

The reading scores are for all students in grades 3 - 8 and grade 11.
The math scores are for all students in grades 3 - 11 or until they have taken 3 high school level math courses (they could be in 9th or 10th grade - tests end with Algebra II).

The students who were in 3rd grade in 2004/05, were in 8th grade in 2009/10.

The reading scores are pretty easy to understand, but without more information it is difficult to interpret the math scores. Clearly math scores went down in all groups in 2005/06 and did not completely rebound until 2007/08.

On the reading chart:
  • Black and Hispanic students started out at the same level (71%) in 2004/05, took different paths, but ended up at the same level (85%) five years later.
  • Black students have demonstrated no improvement for three years.
  • Limited English students and Students with Disabilities started very close together, but Students with Disabilities are now lagging behind all other groups and are still scoring in the 70's. This is disheartening as disabled students who cannot perform at the grade level of their peers have had alternative tests available to indicate their improvement.

To put it another way, 24% of disabled students who are expected to read at grade level are unable to indicate that they can do so.

There is a whole lot of information not available from these charts. There are two questions that are uppermost in my mind:
  • How many children fall into more than one of the non-white subgroups; specifically how many disabled students are in each of the other groups?
  • How are disabled students performing by disability group; is there a particular disability that is either over or under-performing?

The gaps between non-white sub-groups have narrowed, as have the gaps between white students and all of the other sub-groups.

I'm wondering if this chart makes the case for the legitimacy of No Child Left Behind. Would school districts have made a concerted effort to raise the reading scores of poor, minority and disabled students by 15 to 20 percentage points if it hadn't been mandated by law?

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1 comment:

  1. Dramatic data. Do the scores indicate actual passing percentages of students in each demographic, or do they measure progress (which, mathematically, I would expect to be first-order differential of the passing percentages)? I tried to find info on this via Google, but figured I might as well just ask.

    I'd also like to know how the extrapolations were done. Those future numbers look pretty good, but what are they based on? Simple curve-fitting?

    Has the school board responded to this? I'm always intrested in knowing how they reply to evidence that demographic disparity is demonstrable.

    Thanks for putting this up.