What changes were made in the data analysis from 2015/16 to 2016/17 that caused the delay in reporting to the public?
Response: You’d asked earlier what was different about this year’s release. Superintendent Reykdal, first and foremost, wanted students and families and the public to know that this was one test – a single measure that should never be the sole indicator of a student’s success. Regarding the data, he was very intentional in focusing on gaps in the achievement of racial/ethnic groups; students who come from high poverty families vs. those who do not; and whether students move from district to district, or whether they remain in a single district. While former State Superintendent Dorn also focused on achievement gaps, during his tenure we were only able (mainly because of data constraints) to focus on racial/ethnic groups, not the other two areas.
Superintendent Reykdal also was less interested in the passage rates of high school students (specifically the Class of 2017) because of the passage of Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2224, which creates a waiver process for students who don’t pass the test(s). And because the bill also delays the science graduation requirement until 2021, we didn’t include data on passage rates for that. If you want it, you can find it at our data files page: http://reportcard.ospi.k12.wa.us/DataDownload.aspx.
Editor Comment: The focus on racial/ethnic and poverty students appears to be an attempt to divert the discussion from the bulk of the students. Here are some data points for the State as of May 2017:
- Student Count = 1,102,579
- Male = 51.6% Female = 48.4%
Race/Ethnicity (October 2016) Hispanic / Latino of any race(s) 251,334 22.8% American Indian / Alaskan Native 15,406 1.4% Asian 82,428 7.5% Black / African American 48,192 4.4% Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander 11,713 1.1% White 607,910 55.2% Two or More Races 85,222 7.7%
Note: By trying to focus on racial/ethnic/poverty OSPI (Mr. Reykdal) is presuming that those groups are inherently under-performing…whether that’s true or not. I would venture to say that there are a number of people/parents in those groups who would take umbrage at that assumption. So the underlying question is what portion of those are truly under-performing? The Asian community has had a history of VERY high performance. Are they saying that the Hispanic population is inherently poor and thus performing at a lower level? Perhaps some real data looking at these sub-groups and determining whether the assumption is valid or bogus?
What was the Opt-Out rate/data for 2016/2017?
Response: Attached is a slide showing percentages of students who participated. You can find 2015-16 numbers at http://www.k12.wa.us/
For those who don’t want to click the link here’s the table: Washington State SBAc Participation rates 2016-2017
This table offers us several pieces of useful information:
- We see that OSPI claims that in grades 3-8 only 1.8% of students/parents refused to take the test
- Of the students who “participated” ~41-44% of ELA FAILED (got scores or 1 or 2) Question: Did the “cut scores” change?
- Of the students who “participated” ~41-51% of MATH FAILED (got scores of 1 or 2)
- High school participation fell below the required 95% level so the State is in technical violation of federal standards
For those of us who oppose the Common Core (CC) and the testing it’s NOT a matter of having lower standards so the test scores are higher. We WANT high standards. We understand the need for benchmarks and testing. What we WANT is a valid test that measures true performance and can help support our children. The SBAC and CC do NOT do that. They are a tremendous waste of time and money…both of which are in constant short supply.
Whatever your view PLEASE reach out to OSPI and your House/Senate reps in Washington State and share your thoughts.