Monday, May 26, 2008

How Do Washington's Graduation Tests Measure Up?

How Do Washington's Graduation Tests Measure Up?

A Report from Achieve

* Full Report can be accessed HERE

Achieve was asked by the Washington State Academic Achievement and Accountability Commission, Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, and the Partnership for Learning to conduct a study of the 10th grade Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL). The intent of the study was to compare the content, rigor and passing scores on Washington's tests with those of six other states that participated in Achieve's earlier study Do Graduation Tests Measure Up?

Achieve determined that Washington's writing test is exemplary and its reading test is relatively strong as well. Although its reading passages are not as demanding as those in other states, the test contains challenging questions. The cut score for proficiency sets a standard comparable to other states in Achieve's study. The math test proved to be the least challenging of the three when compared to other states, mainly because the content is less rigorous. The cut score required to pass the test does not appear to set an unreasonable standard for high school graduates.

On this less than rigorous 10th grade Math test with a cut score that is not unreasonable. Here are test passing rates state wide:

For all Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
1998-99 ... 33.0%
1999-00 ... 35.0%
2000-01 ... 38.9%
2001-02 ... 37.3%
2002-03 ... 39.4%
2003-04 ... 43.9%
2004-05 ... 47.5%
2005-06 ... 51.0%
2006-07 ... 50.4%

For White Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
1998-99 ... 38.1%
1999-00 ... 40.1%
2000-01 ... 43.7%
2001-02 ... 41.9%
2002-03 ... 44.0%
2003-04 ... 49.2%
2004-05 ... 52.4%
2005-06 ... 56.5%
2006-07 ... 56.3%

For Black Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
1998-99 ... 9.5%
1999-00 ... 11.7%
2000-01 ... 11.9%
2001-02 ... 13.0%
2002-03 ... 14.2%
2003-04 ... 16.1%
2004-05 ... 20.4%
2005-06 ... 23.2%
2006-07 ... 22.5%

For Hispanic Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
1998-99 ... 11.6%
1999-00 ... 12.6%
2000-01 ... 14.6%
2001-02 ... 14.3%
2002-03 ... 16.2%
2003-04 ... 19.7%
2004-05 ... 23.9%
2005-06 ... 25.4%
2006-07 ... 25.6%

For Asian Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
1998-99 ... 37.3%
1999-00 ... 42.1%
2000-01 ... 47.6%
2001-02 ... 44.9%
2002-03 ... 46.8%
2003-04 ... 52.0%
2004-05 ... 56.9%
2005-06 ... 59.7%
2006-07 ... 59.9%

For Limited English Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
1998-99 ... 7.8%
1999-00 ... 7.3%
2000-01 ... 12.0%
2001-02 ... 8.7%
2002-03 ... 8.1%
2003-04 ... 9.0%
2004-05 ... 11.9%
2005-06 ... 12.8%
2006-07 ... 10.7%

For Low Income Students:
10th Grade Math
Year ... State
2002-03 ... 24.1%
2003-04 ... 24.6%
2004-05 ... 28.1%
2005-06 ... 30.4%
2006-07 ... 30.5%

Low Income vs Non-Low Income:
Grade 10 Math
Year ... Non-Low_Income ... Low_Income
2004-05 ... 55.5% .... ... ..... ... 28.1%
2005-06 ... 59.2% .... ... ..... ... 30.4%
2006-07 ... 58.8% .... ... ..... ..30.5%

Bulletin: Seattle seems to find these numbers so impressive that Dr Maria Goodloe-Johnson has decided in her Strategic Plan to use the currently most widely used Math texts in the state k-8 for the next five years

Connected Math for grades 6, 7, & 8
and Everyday Math for grades k-5

All together now lets say
"we believe in data driven decisions".
We have yet to have any but we believe in them.

Yes, where has there ever been any relevant data intelligently applied in regard to these math decisions????

Seattle's plan is to do the same thing over again for the next five years but to get different results.... well.. good luck with that.

On a happier note, Seattle's textbook selections will likely be right in line with the Fixed Pre-determined math text selections that OSPI is working so hard to produce.


Anonymous said...

Mathematically Sane will be posting a victory for their side celebration paid for by textbook publishers and the Broad Foundation. Bush will be the guest speaker. Yahoo!! More cuts in education.

They Win - Kids Lose

Where's the tar and feathers? We need another revolution.

dan dempsey said...

Hey there is no truth in advertising... look no further than.. the name Mathematically Sane.

Anonymous said...

yes, here's an article mathematically insane -- called In the Trenches: Three Teachers' Perspectives on Moving Beyond the Math Wars

By Susan Brown, Antoinette Seidelmann, and Gwendolyn Zimmermann

Here's how they begin:

They consider James Fey an expert on math education - he wrote Connected math

How about Michael - he's the prof from Ann Arbor that founded MS and he also sits on the NSF committee that awards the grants.

"Why can't they remember how to graph a line? It's January, and we are beginning the unit on systems of equations. Graphing is one way my students are expected to solve a system of equations, but they can't even graph a line. We spent how many weeks on graphing linear equations back in November? So why does it seem as if they've never graphed a line before?"

Are these teachers or college professors?

Susan Brown - Susan has been working at Manchester University for two years and is herself a recent graduate of the MA in Educational technology & TESOL. She teaches on the MA Educational Technology in Education and has developed and assisted in the development of a number of MA Edtech & TESOL courses for distance students.

Antoinette Seidleman, Ph.D., adjunct math professor Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA, and former math department chair and teacher at Thornridge High School in Dolton, IL.

Gwen Zimmerman thankfully is a Illinois high school teacher and a finalist for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (2001). Also has a dissertation STUDENTS’ REASONING ABOUT PROBABILITY
SIMULATIONS DURING INSTRUCTION (Illinois State, 2002). So lets presume these are her thoughts.

This was the committee

Graham A. Jones, Co-Chair
Cynthia Langrall, Co-Chair
Kenneth Berk
Edward S. Mooney
Gwendolyn Zimmermann - Students’ Reasoning About Probability Simulations During Instruction

I'll say it now her classroom is an AP Statistics class.

Here's the rationale in her dissertation

Four of the students were purposefully sampled (Miles & Huberman, 1994) in order to create a case-study analysis. The rationale of the case-study analysis was to provide a more in-depth view of student reasoning and beliefs as they evolved during the whole-class teaching experiment. Based on the results of a preassessment (discussed in more detail later), 1 student was selected from each of the upper and lower quartiles and 2 students were selected from the middle quartiles in order to provide a range of student abilities. Students were also chosen based on their ability to communicate their reasoning and beliefs in an effective manner.
As the teacher-researcher, I was also a participant in this whole-class teaching experiment. As the name implies, I was both the daily classroom teacher of the APS students and the researcher conducting the whole-class teaching experiment. I am a full-time high school mathematics teacher with 7 years experience in the classroom.
Finally, both a witness and an additional researcher were participants in this research study. The witness was present during the entirety of the whole-class teaching experiment. She is a former high school mathematics teacher with over 30 years experience, and her role was to act as another pair of eyes in the classroom. The witness recorded what transpired during the instructional lessons, as well as collaborated with me to develop and revise the hypothetical learning trajectories for the subsequent instructional sessions. She also coordinated the videotaping of the teaching experiment. More specifically, the witness focused her attentions on the 4-student case study group and attempted to identify the emergence and evolution of classroom sociomathematical norms and mathematical practices. An additional researcher was brought in to conduct the student case-study interviews in order to protect against any bias students may have exhibited had their teacher or the witness interviewed them.

She's also attended the Park City mathematics Institute (2005) organized by Gail Burril and Johnny Lott. Hyman Bass was one of the 'reflectors' and Joan Ferrini Mundy, Assoc Dean of Natural Science (and former Division Director of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education, in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources)

and friends with Lappan, Phillips, and Fey

I think she wrote a book about the Math Reform Movement. Here's more showing her involvement with the NSF and how these rascals worked the grants to adapt their curriculum.

Carnegie-supported Teachers for A New Era Initiative, the NSF-funded Knowledge of Algebra for Teaching project, and Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics/Science Education (PROM/SE), an NSF Mathematics and Science Partnership.

These people have hardly worked in the trenches, as they so put it.

Anonymous said...

Take Graham Jones for instance, wouldn't you know it, he writes textbooks that use the TI-82 calculator and I read a paper with his name on it that also references Brousseau (Warfield's idol) - you could have a field day with the reformists featured over at Mathematically Corrupt. This paper by the way observed two novice teachers and was part of the Prime Project (2002) - local systemic change grant from the NSF

Were they evaluating curriculum I wonder or were they observing new teachers interacting with students? Or was it both. In either case, it hardly qualifies as a study about curriculum.

Universities rely on those textbook (I mean curriculum) grants.

Anonymous said...

Yes, lets not talk about textbooks, that would be too simple.
Rather I think its the curriculum that ought to be changed.
What the....?
That is so stupid!!!
Are you ready to be aligned?
I guess I better watch my backside.

AP Stats teachers should sit down and let real teachers talk.