« COWAbunga! Post-Convention Edition | Main | Grading skoolboy »

Predicting the Near Future*

| 7 Comments
question_marks.jpg

Sometime soon, with great fanfare, the New York City Department of Education will release this year’s School Progress Reports. (Word on the street is that schools already know their grades.) The School Progress Reports, for better or worse, are the centerpiece of the NYC accountability system. (skoolboy thinks for worse, but more on that later.)

The DOE has made a number of changes to the Progress Reports for this second iteration, and I think that eduwonkette had something to do with that (as did other critics and analysts outside of the Tweed inner circle.) We can expect to see separate letter grades for the three major dimensions on which the Progress Reports are based: school environment (including attendance, and parent, teacher and student surveys), student performance, and student progress. But the overall format appears to be unchanged: most of the grade is based on student progress on test scores, and such gains are not very reliable from one year to the next. There is, in skoolboy’s opinion, a false sense of precision conveyed by these letter grades, as they are based on components that are measured with error, but that measurement error is not reflected in how the grades are calculated. And I’m particularly annoyed at the misuse of social surveys for accountability purposes.

Nevertheless, the DOE is marching onward, and we’ll have this year’s grades to pore over in the near future. (And you can bet that eduwonkette will put on the green eyeshade for this, even though it clashes with her cape and mask.) How many schools will improve their grade from last year to this year? How many will fall? It’s time to make some predictions. What do you think, readers?

Here's a five-by-five table designed to show how this year’s grades are associated with last year’s grade. Each column represents last year’s grade, and each row represents a possible outcome for this year. The column percentages will add up to 100%. Try to fill in the blanks: What percentage of the schools that received A’s last year will receive an A this year? What percentage of A’s will decline to B’s? What fraction will fall further to C’s, D’s, and F’s? At the other end of the spectrum, what percentage of last year’s F’s will remain F’s? What percentage will climb out of the cellar to obtain a D? Will any make the leap from F to A?

crosstab.JPG

As a reminder, last year, about 23% of schools received an A; 38% received a B; 26% received a C; 8% received a D; and 4% (i.e., 53 schools) received an F.

A caveat: The DOE knows that the legitimacy of the School Progress Reports depends on the grades not being too volatile from year to year. If 75% of last year’s A’s became F’s this year, no one would take this scheme seriously. (And if schools that everyone views as exemplary or high-performing got middling grades, this too would call the scheme’s legitimacy into question. So don't expect Stuyvesant High School to get a C.) There may not be very much fluctuation from last year to this. You can be sure that the DOE has constructed this year’s scores so that there’s not too much instability from last year to this year.

But since we believe in incentives on this blog, the reader who comes closest to the actual association between last year and this year shall receive a prize to be selected by eduwonkette—and we know how creative she can be. Be sure to fill in all 25 blanks.

*Employees of Tweed Courthouse, KPMG Consulting, and the Parthenon Group are ineligible for this contest.

7 Comments

Great contest! But I'm going to take a pass on this. As the great futurologist Yogi Berra used to say, it's very hard to make good predictions, especially about the future.

Hey Sherman,

As an historian, you probably know that it's not even that easy to predict the past.

This seems like a fascinating probability exercise! I will have to settle for a guess:

80 10 10 5 0
15 75 20 5 5
5 10 55 40 20
0 3 10 30 25
0 2 5 20 50

I hope I am not the only contestant, and that others have emailed their entries! I did have a vague rationale behind my guess, but would not be surprised if I ended up way off. P.S. 8 got an F--under those conditions, who can make a prediction?

Diana,
You are the only contestant. This suggests either (a) vague incentives aren't meaningful enough to the targets of policy to evoke the desired behavior, (b) it's too depressing for followers of NYC education to think about these nasty school progress reports, (c) the mathematical demands of the task were too great, or (d) readers think they have a better chance of winning the state lottery than predicting the distribution of school progress reports.

75 15 15 10 5
10 70 15 10 10
10 10 40 30 15
5 5 20 30 40
0 0 10 20 30

My system based on *blind guesswork.*

My system based on *blind guesswork.*

Jen-M: So's the DOE's! (Not really--it just seems that way sometimes.)

Comments are now closed for this post.

Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • skoolboy: My system based on *blind guesswork.* Jen-M: So's the DOE's! read more
  • Jennifer M: 75 15 15 10 5 10 70 15 10 10 read more
  • skoolboy: Diana, You are the only contestant. This suggests either (a) read more
  • Diana Senechal: I hope I am not the only contestant, and that read more
  • Diana Senechal: This seems like a fascinating probability exercise! I will have read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here

Tags

8th grade retention
Fordham Foundation
The New Teacher Project
Tim Daly
absent teacher reserve
absent teacher reserve

accountability
accountability in Texas
accountability systems in education
achievement gap
achievement gap in New York City
acting white
admissions
AERA
AERA annual meetings
AERA conference
AERJ
Alexander Russo
Algebra II
American Association of University Women
American Education Research Associatio
American Education Research Association
American Educational Research Journal
American Federation of Teachers
Andrew Ho
Art Siebens
ATR
Baltimore City Public Schools
Barack Obama
Bill Ayers
black-white achievement gap
books
books on educational research
boy crisis
brain-based education
Brian Jacob
bubble kids
Building on the Basics
Cambridge Education
carnival of education
Caroline Hoxby
Caroline Hoxby charter schools
cell phone plan
charter schools
Checker Finn
Chicago
Chicago shooting
Chicago violence
Chris Cerf
class size
Coby Loup
college access
cool people you should know
credit recovery
curriculum narrowing
D3M
Dan Willingham
data driven
data-driven decision making
data-driven decision-making
David Cantor
DC
Dean Millot
demographics of schoolchildren
Department of Assessment and Accountability
Department of Education budget
desegregation
Diplomas Count
disadvantages of elite education
do schools matter
Doug Ready
Doug Staiger
dropout factories
dropout rate
dropouts
education books
education policy
education policy thinktanks
educational equity
educational research
educational triage
effects of neighborhoods on education
effects of No Child Left Behind
effects of schools
effects of Teach for America
elite education
ETS
Everyday Antiracism
excessed teachers
exit exams
experienced teachers
Fordham and Ogbu
Fordham Foundation
Frederick Douglass High School
Gates Foundation
gender
gender and education
gender and math
gender and science and mathematics
gifted and talented
gifted and talented admissions
gifted and talented program
gifted and talented programs in New York City
girls and math
good schools
graduate student union
graduation rate
graduation rates
guns in Chicago
health benefits for teachers
High Achievers
high school
high school dropouts
high school exit exams
high school graduates
high school graduation rate
high-stakes testing
high-stakes tests and science
higher ed
higher education
highly effective teachers
Houston Independent School District
how to choose a school
IES
incentives in education
Institute for Education Sciences
is teaching a profession?
is the No Child Left Behind Act working
Jay Greene
Jim Liebman
Joel Klein
John Merrow
Jonah Rockoff
Kevin Carey
KIPP
KIPP and boys
KIPP and gender
Lake Woebegon
Lars Lefgren
leaving teaching
Leonard Sax
Liam Julian

Marcus Winters
math achievement for girls
McGraw-Hill
meaning of high school diploma
Mica Pollock
Michael Bloomberg
Michelle Rhee
Michelle Rhee teacher contract
Mike Bloomberg
Mike Klonsky
Mike Petrilli
narrowing the curriculum
National Center for Education Statistics Condition of Education
NCLB
neuroscience
new teachers
New York City
New York City bonuses for principals
New York City budget
New York City budget cuts
New York City Budget cuts
New York City Department of Education
New York City Department of Education Truth Squad
New York City ELA and Math Results 2008
New York City gifted and talented
New York City Progress Report
New York City Quality Review
New York City school budget cuts
New York City school closing
New York City schools
New York City small schools
New York City social promotion
New York City teacher experiment
New York City teacher salaries
New York City teacher tenure
New York City Test scores 2008
New York City value-added
New York State ELA and Math 2008
New York State ELA and Math Results 2008
New York State ELA and Math Scores 2008
New York State ELA Exam
New York state ELA test
New York State Test scores
No Child Left Behind
No Child Left Behind Act
passing rates
Pearson
picking a school
press office
principal bonuses
proficiency scores
push outs
pushouts
qualitative educational research
qualitative research in education
quitting teaching
race and education
racial segregation in schools
Randall Reback
Randi Weingarten
Randy Reback
recovering credits in high school
Rick Hess
Robert Balfanz
Robert Pondiscio
Roland Fryer
Russ Whitehurst
Sarah Reckhow
school budget cuts in New York City
school choice
school effects
school integration
single sex education
skoolboy
small schools
small schools in New York City
social justice teaching
Sol Stern
SREE
Stefanie DeLuca
stereotype threat
talented and gifted
talking about race
talking about race in schools
Teach for America
teacher effectiveness
teacher effects
teacher quailty
teacher quality
teacher tenure
teachers
teachers and obesity
Teachers College
teachers versus doctors
teaching as career
teaching for social justice
teaching profession
test score inflation
test scores
test scores in New York City
testing
testing and accountability
Texas accountability
TFA
The No Child Left Behind Act
The Persistence of Teacher-Induced Learning Gains
thinktanks in educational research
Thomas B. Fordham Foundation
Tom Kane
Tweed
University of Iowa
Urban Institute study of Teach for America
Urban Institute Teach for America
value-addded
value-added
value-added assessment
Washington
Wendy Kopp
women and graduate school science and engineering
women and science
women in math and science
Woodrow Wilson High School