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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Two truths and a lie.




Federal and state officials are fond of using our children to create data. In this post is a quote from an article, with an interesting claim:
"A large number of students opting out of New York state exams – about 220,000 or 20 percent – raises doubt about the validity of the results and may make them unsuitable to evaluate teachers or schools, according to a Syracuse University professor."


Well-respected New Orleans author, statistician and teacher, Mercedes Schneider,
has spent years studying the data and the attack on public education.
Schneider states emphatically,

"... under no conditions is it a valid use of student test scores to evaluate teachers or schools."

 Wait, what? The ranking of schools and firing of teachers was never valid?!

In the news this week is a lawsuit by a well-respected and beloved teacher in the high achieving, Great Neck, NY School District. This decision will be crucial for public school students, parents, and their harried teachers. Yes, Pennsylvania is using the same questionable statistical model (Called VAM). Here is the Florida VAM formula:

y_i=μ+∑_(g=1)^M▒〖δ_g x_g 〗+∑_(j=1)^K▒〖β_j x_j+θ_(k)i+ω_(mk)i+ε_i; 〗


Mathematicians, please feel free to comment.


 
It is concerning that we were misled about the purpose of high stakes standardized tests, like PSSA's.
Schneider reiterates the truth: "...this nonsense of grading teachers and schools using student scores was never a valid use of student tests."

So why should our kids take them?

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