Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Grade Inflation: in Grade 8 Math
Some schools inflate grades
more than others

At last I have finally figured a way to measure grade inflation in eighth grade math in the Seattle Public Schools. Great thanks is extended to the Seattle Central administration for their publication of school report cards for each middle school and the category of 8th grade students leaving and ready for high school math. This percentage was computed from the percentage of students earning a C or better in 8th grade math classes at grade level or above.

The most inflated award goes to Madrona k-8 with 100% ready for high school math in 2009 and yet only 15% passing OSPI's Math WASL in 2009.

The no inflation award goes to Catherine Blaine k-8 where the prepared for high school math is almost the same as the OSPI math pass rate. In fact in 2010 67% prepared for high school math and 69% passing the OSPI MSP math test. Compare that with Aki Kurose in 2010: 73% prepared for high school math and 35% passing the OSPI MSP math test.

Anyway the data shows that for the comprehensive middle schools the higher the percentage of white students, coupled with lowest percentage of black students , and having a low percentage of Low Income students correlates with higher OSPI test pass rates and with substantially less grade inflation than in high minority, high poverty, low income SPS schools.

Here is the data for the three most economically advantaged comprehensive middle schools Eckstein, Whitman, and Hamilton; and the three least economically advantaged Aki Kurose, Mercer, and Denny.

Note in 2010:
The three most financially advantaged schools shown in Blue give shocking evidence to separate and unequal schools when compared to the three financially least advantaged schools shown in Green.

The Blue OSPI pass rates in 2010 for Hamilton, Whitman, and Eckstein:
H: 62.1 W: 74.8 E: 84.1 … avg = 73.7%

Prepared of HS math in “10: H: 77% W: 83% E: 92% … avg = 84%
Reliability factors: H: 0.81 W: 0.90 E: 0.92 average = 87.3%

note these are in the same order as expected from Low-Income %:
H: 35.2% W: 24.7% E: 15.2%; avg = 25.0%

The Green pass rates in 2010 for Aki, Mercer, Denny:
A: 34.8 M: 57.0 D: 51.9 … avg = 47.9%
Prepared of HS math in “10: A: 73% M: 86% D: 76% … avg = 78.3%
Reliability factors: A: 0.48 M: 0.66 D: 0.68 average = 60.3%

note these Reliability numbers are in the same order as expected from Low-Income %:
A: 82.3% M: 75.4% D: 65.4%; avg = 74.4%

When I say “expected”; in the SPS the lower the income level of the school the more likely the grades are inflated.
Clearly, no one wants to tell the truth about how bad math is in the Seattle Public Schools, especially in Southeast Seattle and West Seattle.

The prepared for HS math differential is only 6% lower in the three poor schools but the pass rate is 26% lower and the differential in reliability factor is 27% lower.

The district does not care to reliably tell the truth about the poor quality of math education delivered to educationally disadvantaged learners.

If you have not read my "Disproportionality and Discipline in Seattle" check it out at Ed News linked. It is another major part of the ongoing violation of article IX of the State Constitution, which states: It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children residing within its borders, without distinction or preference on account of race, color, caste, or sex.

The full stats are available with my School Board testimony for 1-5-2011 HERE.

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