Last week, New Yorkers scratched their heads and tried to make sense of the Progress Report results. What does it mean, for example, when 77% of schools that received an F last year jump to an A or a B? Michael Bloomberg has a resolute answer to this question, “Not a single school failed again....The fact of the matter is it’s working.”Last week, skoolboy and I took to our computers with the newly released data. Of particular concern is the progress measure, which makes up 60% of a school’s grade. Both skoolboy and Dan Koretz have ...


This week's COWAbunga Award goes to DoubleDown, who provided his take on NYC's Progress Reports. Readers outside of New York, listen closely - this system could very well become a model for the nation. Here's an excerpt: You have to feel sorry for the brain trust working on [the Progress Reports]. Up until this week, if you told the American public that you had hired a group of really smart economists to develop some complicated statistical models that explain the entire universe, many people would have been very impressed. But that was before those really smart economists crashed the entire ...


Philissa Cramer totally geeks out over at GothamSchools, and posts a great figure showing that smaller schools were more likely to experience wild swings in their school grades. Head over and check it out....


Some days, skoolboy feels bad for the hard-working folks in the New York City Department of Education. They’re caught between a political rock and a statistical hard place. The political rock is the New York State accountability system, which complies with No Child Left Behind’s requirements to test students annually in grades 3-8 in Mathematics and English Language Arts, and to classify students, based on their test scores, as either Not Meeting Learning Standards (Level I), Partially Meeting Learning Standards (Level II), Meeting Learning Standards (Level III), or Meeting Learning Standards with Distinction (Level IV), and then aggregate ...


Daniel Koretz is a professor who teaches educational measurement at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He is the author of Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us. Below, he weighs in on the NYC Progress Reports that were released yesterday. eduwonkette: One of the key points of your book is that test scores alone are insufficient to evaluate a teacher, a school, or an educational program. Yesterday, the New York City Department of Education released its Progress Reports, which grade each school on an A-F scale. 60 percent of the grade is based on year-to-year growth and 25 ...


A week ago, skoolboy encouraged readers to predict schools' upward and downward grade mobility. Here's how that shook out. When 26% of elementary and middle schools that received Fs last year - 9 schools - climb from a F to an A, it does make you wonder what exactly it is that we are measuring. Likewise, 26 schools cascaded from As or Bs to Ds or Fs. Readers, stare into the table and tell me what you see......


Some of you have asked what fraction of NYC schools receiving each Progress Report grade are in good standing with NCLB. As a refresher, NCLB labels schools in need of improvement based on overall proficiency. NYC's system is based 60% on year-to-year growth, 25% on proficiency, 5% on attendance, and 10% on surveys. Given these differences, perhaps you won't be surprised to find that a higher fraction of F schools are in good NCLB standing than are A schools: * 74% of A schools are in good standing with NCLB * 67% of B schools are in good standing with NCLB * 69% ...


The new NYC Progress Reports are out, and I'm busy analyzing the data now. Have ideas about what I should look at? Leave a comment below....


My heart went out to Charlie Gibson last week, as he stared into those doe eyes that will not blink and realized that he could not wrangle a single straight answer out of Miss Wasilla.So I can only imagine how the NYC Department of Education analysts’ felt when they sat down to analyze the data from student, parent, and teacher surveys this year. It turns out that you get as much valid and reliable information out of these surveys as Gibson managed to pull out of Sarah Palin.The problem is a very simple – and very predictable – one. Survey ...


Suppose that your fourth-grader takes a state test that shows that she understands the associative property of multiplication, can multiply two-digit numbers by two-digit numbers, and can find the perimeter of a polygon by adding up the length of the sides. A year later, as a fifth-grader, she takes a test that shows that she can compare fractions and decimals using or =; identify the factors of a given number; simplify fractions to their lowest terms; and knows that the sum of the interior angles of a quadrilateral is 360 degrees—but she cannot yet create algebraic or geometric patterns using ...


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