On September 25th we brought you the results of the Battle Ground School District’s 2016/17 Common Core Test known as the SBAc. You can find that article at: http://www.swweducation.org/?p=4299
On October 2nd we brought you the data for the Evergreen School District (click this link): http://www.swweducation.org/?p=4315
Today we bring you the data for the Vancouver School District (VSD) and show how their test results compare to the Washington State averages. Like the other two reports it is very detailed. The report is nine (9) pages in length and can be downloaded by clicking this link: VSD vs WA State SBAC performance 14-15 to 16-17
Let’s walk through the highlights:
- Washington State, for ELA, across the three (3) years of available data, showed slight improvement across all grade ranges tested
- The VSD varied a bit. In two (s) of the groups VSD declined rather than improved and went the opposite in almost the same value which means they really declined (ELA)
- In Math the State showed slight overall improvements across all grades tested
- The VSD, in Math, showed declines in three (3) of the 6 grades tested ranging from 2 to 6.8pt drops. Those declines are significant.
- In ELA, the VSD, 45 to 55% of all students are FAILING
- In Math, the VSD, 52 to 61% of students are FAILING
We tracked testing results a 2nd way. We took 3rd grader scores in 2014/15 and looked at them as 4th graders in 2015/16 and then when they became 5th graders in 2016/17. Doing this, some suggest, is a better way to track the same children to see how they do as they progress. Are they scoring lower, the same or better? Here is the summary:
- As a whole Washington State showed improving scores ranging from a 1.5 to as much as a 6.5 point improvement
- The VSD showed notable declines in scores in a number of grade step groups. In ELA 3-4-5 and 5-6-7 showed marked declines while 6-7-8 showed a gain 2x higher than the State. Math was a disaster. Three (3) of the four (4) groups had failure rates much higher than the State with only 6-7-8 slightly better than the State average.
Finally, we looked at the demographics for the three (3) testing years and here’s what we saw:
- The VSD showed a growth of 310 students over the 3 years (+1.3%)
- Student ethnic population had a tiny decline (0.045%) in white students
- The high school graduation rate improved from 73.5 to 80.4% (6.9% vs State’s 1.9%). However, VSD started below the State so it’s less impressive.
- In the 3 years the expenditure per student increased by $1,418 or 14.8%.
- The inflation rate for the 3 year period (http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/current-inflation-rates/) was 3% in total so the increase in spending per student is 7.6x the inflation rate.
- The VSD fell short in a number of grade ranges and some were whoppers.
- While the high school grad rate showed a nice growth it was already notably short of the State average so it’s not as impressive as it might seem at first glance
- The spending per student suggests that more money isn’t the answer to improving test scores
- The SBAc test itself is unvalidated, can’t be used to compare to any other test and is simply a poor method of assessing student performance. The ONLY proven measure of student performance in advanced education and the job market is….GPA (Grade Point Average). Strange how school districts and OSPI are so bent on tests that do nothing to help deliver education. Go check the test example questions for yourself: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/assessments/practice-and-training-tests/
What do you think?