Archive for March 31, 2011

When test scores seem too good to believe – USATODAY.com

I’m glad that it’s not just Atlanta, but it’s still depressing.  I guess that this is an example of two quotes that Richard Hake recently included in a post:

Dukenfield’s Law <http://bit.ly/bsRokM>: “If a thing is worth winning, it’s worth cheating for.”

Campbell’s Law <http://bit.ly/hMsyUr>: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes  it is intended to monitor.”

Such anomalies surfaced in Washington, D.C., and each of the states — Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Michigan and Ohio — where USA TODAY analyzed test scores. For each state, the newspaper obtained three to seven years’ worth of scores. There were another 317 examples of equally large, year-to-year declines in an entire grade’s scores.

USA TODAY used a methodology widely recognized by mathematicians, psychometricians and testing companies. It compared year-to-year changes in test scores and singled out grades within schools for which gains were 3 standard deviations or more from the average statewide gain on that test. In layman’s language, that means the students in that grade showed greater improvement than 99.9% of their classmates statewide.

via When test scores seem too good to believe – USATODAY.com.

March 31, 2011 at 9:43 am 5 comments


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