by Max Brantley
Here's just one little example of why some are resistant to the dogma that standardized test scores are virtually infallible measures of education -- students, teachers, schools and whole school districts.
Interim Little Rock Superintendent Dr. Linda Watson today asked the state Department of Education for a re-evaluation of student performance in every school in the Little Rock district, saying the AYP (adequate yearly performance) 2007 report was based on incorrect demographic data. The district’s computer information services has corrected the data and submitted it to the state department for the appeal.
Demographic data on student mobility and other variables factored into test results could bring some schools off the school improvement list and put others on. Dr. Karen deJarnette, head of Planning, Research and Development for the district, said principals had been informed of the district’s plan to appeal and that the state department would try to get the new results back to the district sooner than the usual 30 days the process requires.
Chief Financial Officer Mark Milhollen couldn’t be reached for details on how far off the demographic data is for 2007. The 2006 report, however, had 16,777 mismatches on ethnic data, for example, and the list of incorrect records since 2005 totals 44,000.
Has the LR district been improving on the number of schools in the improvement list in recent years or not? Who knows?
-- Leslie Newell Peacock