Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What the Report Cards Will Really Mean.

South Dakota DOE has released the 2013 "report cards" for schools across the state.  The idea is that it will provide copious amounts of data for the schools to pour through.
"With the new accountability system, we are providing educators, parents and policy makers with a wealth of data," said Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp. "That's the purpose of this process: to provide rich data to schools as they prepare our students for the challenges of college and careers in the 21st century."
 My predictions for how this data will be used by the states:

1. Governor Daugaard will come out and argue that we need cut school funding even more since the data proves that giving education any increase does not lead to an increase in test scores.

2. The majority of the Republican legislature will want to know how these scores will help the business sector and may encourage arming teachers during the testing phase.

3. Parents that care about their student's education will be confused as to what this information actually means, and parents that don't care will still not care but will use this to complain about the wages teachers get.

The scoring method is a bit interesting:
High schools get 50 percent of their scores from student test results, 25 percent from high school completion rates and 25 percent from student scores on college-entrance tests. The Dakota STEP test is the basis for 80 percent of elementary and middle school scores, with the remaining 20 percent from attendance.
I feel bad for our elementary and middle school after we had an outbreak that took out about 25% of the school population for a few days.   In the end, the only prediction I can fill comfortable about predicting  what these test scores will bring is several hours of inservice going over what they mean and that next year everything will be different.

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