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The problems with AYP are clearly evident in .... schools whose students are meeting their AYP goals, but little growth is occurring. Most such schools are found in affluent communities, where high test scores go hand in hand with high family income. These schools can be referred to as “slideand- glide” schools because they rest easily on the laurels of their students. It is important to understand that NCLB does nothing to hold these schools accountable for providing their students with the annual growth to which they are entitled. In a global economy characterized by fierce competition for demanding jobs that pay high salaries and benefits, this is a highly significant shortcoming. Value-Added Assessment and Systemic Reform: A Response to the Challenge of Human Capital Development
The KIPP Academy is in the lower right-hand corner.
slide and glide in Seattle
The Seattle Times requested the district's data for all schools from 2002-04 and shared its findings with district officials, who agreed with the trends The Times identified. The analysis revealed: • High WASL scores don't automatically mean students learned more: For example, in reading, six elementary schools — all of them in affluent neighborhoods — with above-average WASL scores gave the average student less than a year's growth. • Districtwide, the average student in grades four and seven is gaining more than a year's growth in math and reading; in grades six, nine and 10, normal growth. But there is wide variation among schools, with high-poverty schools tending to show the most robust gains. • High schools vary greatly: In 2004 the average 10th-grade student at three schools fell behind in reading, and at five other schools grew more than a year. Passing the WASL is a graduation requirement starting with the Class of 2008. • The average student falls behind the year after taking the WASL, which has been given in grades four, seven and 10. In half the schools, eighth-graders didn't show a year's gain in reading and math, and in more than half the schools, fifth-graders didn't show a year's gain in math. Those trends raise many questions: Are advanced students in some schools being challenged enough? Why are students advancing their skills in some grades and falling behind in others? Why is one high school more successful than another in taking its slowest students' skills to the next level? And does this measuring tool simply allow schools to shift the focus off low test scores?
slide and glide Those are the words I've been missing. Unfortunately, "slide and glide" doesn't solve the issue of factoring out the tutors and parent reteachers. Unless Sanders has something to say about that, too. Which I imagine he may.
Clowes: Is there any reason why students in schools with high concentrations of poverty should learn any less than students in an affluent district? Sanders: Interestingly, I've caught the most political heat from some of the schools in affluent areas, where we've exposed what I call "slide and glide." One of the top-dollar districts in the state had always bragged about its test scores, but our measurements showed that their average second-grader was in the 72nd percentile. By the time those children were sixth-graders, they were in the 44th percentile. Under our value-added scheme, the district was profiled in the bottom 10 percent of districts in state. They were not happy. You'd think I had nuked the place. With our value-added approach, we can demonstrate that our measure of school effectiveness is totally unrelated to traditional socioeconomic indicators. We have more than 1,300 elementary schools in this state; their effectiveness is totally unrelated to the racial composition of the school or the percentage of children in the federal free and reduced-price lunch program. That's looking at measures of progress, not at raw test scores. You shouldn't hold teachers and principals of school districts accountable for things over which they have no control. You should hold them accountable for those things they do have control over. Schools and teachers don't have control over the achievement level when children walk in the door, but they do have control over how much that level is raised during the year. If that is sustained over time, it becomes like compound interest, and what you see is populations of children constantly rising to higher and higher levels of achievement in later grades, regardless of where they started. interview, William Sanders
-- CatherineJohnson - 06 Dec 2006 Back to: Main Page.