What is going on?
There are much larger problems than this 4.7% drop...read on potential statistical scholars. There was a drop of 16.2% for these fourth graders scores from their scores as third graders one year ago.
Statewide scores were significantly down but particularly shocking are the results for grade four from two schools that are teaching actual mathematics. ( As opposed to books that are well aligned to the WASL that are part of the USA reform math movement, which produces increasingly poor results for USA in international math comparisons).
North Beach has used Saxon for several years and Schmitz Park began using 100% Singapore in 2007-2008. SP teachers are enthusiastic about Singapore.
Since NCLB sanctions are WASL linked, I have to ask what is going on at OSPI that we still have this lame test in place.
Look at results in Math for Schmitz 4th graders in 2008 and compare it with their results in 2007. Do the same for Saxon at North Beach and the statewide results. Why does Dr Bergeson remain in office and a bigger question is what has the State Board of Education been doing the last decade? The Gov. appointed many of those on the State Board the others are elected by school directors in this state.
There is not a single person on the state board with a degree in a mathematically technical field. No degrees in Math, Physics, Chemistry, Engineering, or Computer Science.
Look at the drop from 3rd grade 2007 to 4th grade 2008.
First statewide, then at Schmitz Park and then at North Beach.
Statewide drop = 69.6% - 53.4% = 16.2%
Schmitz Park with Singapore in 2007-2008 school year:
Schmitz Park drop = 92.3% - 60.7% = 31.5%
North Beach with Saxon for several years:
North Beach drop = 92.3% - 70.8% = 21.5%
The idea that the grade three test in 2007 and the grade four test in 2008 are measuring the same subject tested on the same cohort of students seems impossible, given these results. I know the cohorts were the same. I guess the test is not testing the same subject. The question now is: "what subject is the WASL Math actually testing?" as it does not appear to be mathematics in any consistently measurable way.
Does either Dr. Bergeson or the SBE have an explanation ?
I sure have no clue about this beyond the fact that we are spending large sums of money to produce total nonsense.
Side note Seattle Elementary scores should have improved this year as math increased from around 45 minutes per day to 75 minutes per day and lots of dollars went into materials and coaching. In my opinion the Seattle Plan of Everyday Math is very problematic, considering the daily time on math increased by 66% these results are not very good. Again these are WASL Math results and what does that mean?
Here are Seattle's changes compared with our state's changes.
Seattle change from spring 07 to spring 08 minus the state's change in that period.
Grade Level Math
3rd Grade 2.40%
4th Grade -0.90%
5th Grade 1.50%
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we had a real math test with meaningful results to discuss? So why don't we? We certainly spent an incredibly expensive amount to get this travesty. ---- The answer is extremely poor leadership.