Friday, September 9, 2016

MDE: No curve for school ratings

The Mississippi Department of Education issued the following press release:


Points Will Determine School, District Letter Grades

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is providing additional information to clarify how school and district accountability grades will be determined for 2015-16 and future years.

The same accountability system that was first used in 2013-14 to determine grades on an A through F scale will be used to determine grades for 2015-16 and subsequent years. Schools and districts must earn a certain number of points to achieve each grade. Points are based on several factors, including test scores, graduation rates and student academic growth.

Because Mississippi students took a new statewide assessment in 2015-16 and two new high school components to the accountability system go into effect for the 2015-16 school year, the MDE had to reset the point scale for assigning grades.

Accountability grades will be determined by the corresponding numeric score for schools and districts ranking at or above the 90th (A), 63rd (B), 38th (C), and 14th (D) percentiles in 2015-16. The exact scores needed to earn a particular grade will be finalized in the first week of October after all school districts have had the opportunity to review their data for accuracy. These scores will be used to determine grades for 2015-16 and future years.

Final statewide accountability results for 2015-16 will be released to districts on October 18. The results will be released to the public on October 20 after the Mississippi State Board of Education meets to approve the grades.

Once final data are approved by districts and verified by MDE, the numeric values for each grade will be set and they will not change. This way district leaders will always know the target needed to reach a particular grade. The target will not move,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “As always, every decision we make is based on what is in the best interest of students, teachers and administrators. We know all schools and districts are committed to helping students achieve the highest possible goals. There is no limit to the number of schools and districts that can earn an ‘A’ or any other grade.”

More accountability information is available here.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

using academic growth as a statistical indicator hurts good schools--if a school has 90 percent proficiency and improves to 91, it's not as 'good' as a 20 percent proficiency school going to 21. which school is still far superior, but which showed the best 'percentage' of academic growth?

(1 percent academic growth vs 5 percent..which sounds better? is 21 percent proficiency better than 91?)

F mickns said...

The following letter in response to the previous "clarification" issued by MDEfrom constituents was probably typical of the comments MDE received. Whether or not these letters were the cause for MDE to go away from the curve is unknown, but obviously something got MDE to change their minds.

In our opinion, MDE’s clarification reported in the Clarion Ledger reinforces my objection to the proposed school/district grading policy. The percentiles listed still create a Normal (Gaussian) Curve.

"The use of the curve statistically skews towards increasing the possibility of creating and maintaining, fixed subsets of schools/districts at the extreme ends of the curve.

In our experience, percentiles were used in higher education in the 60's to ration the scarce number of available college admissions through the use of tests such as the SAT, ACT, etc. Yes, we know these tests were touted to predict the chances of a student being successful in college, but the net effect was to ration the awarding of limited college admissions.

Recognition of excellence, achievement and yes, underachievement, shouldn’t be arbitrarily rationed by fitting raw scores to a theoretical curve. By objectively identifying under achieving schools/districts, equitable resources can be allocated to increase their achievement levels.

Rather go back to reporting raw scores and the A-, A, A+, etc. on a 10-point distribution

MDE, please remember, you are not grading the cleanliness of restaurants; you are creating tools to measure the effectiveness of MDE’s policies on the education of our children.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education --- “As always, every decision we make is based on what is in the best interest of students, teachers and administrators."

Substitute "Butler Snow" for "students, teachers and administrators" and you have a true statement ...

F mickns said...

7:17
What's the connection between Butler Snow law firm and MDE? Does said connection predate Ms. Wright?

Mickens Illogical Conclusions said...

"Yes, we know these tests were touted to predict the chances of a student being successful in college, but the net effect was to ration the awarding of limited college admissions."

Frank; If college admission slots were limited, what's wrong with rationing those out to those who are predetermined to likely be successful? Or do you believe, as usual, that there must be set asides for those who will probably NOT be successful?

And if you were coaching a football team, should you be told to play everybody the same number of plays and games regardless of their ability (as determined by you and other coaches who have evaluated them over time)? Wait! What if NBA coaches were told this had to apply?

F mickns said...

11:51 - Nothing wrong with limiting admissions and participation to those most likely to succeed, unless societal goals demand otherwise.

African Americans are not generally looking for handouts. We only want to stop being systematically, institutionally, legislatively and economically denied equal or equitable access to what the White community is given.

As rational human beings, and like the wealthy, corporations, etc Blacks will certainly not refuse handouts offered (in the case of Blacks) economic opiates. Hey, survival is job one.

Examples of the notion of the U. S. and Mississippi allocating and reserving benefits for those "less likely to succeed" to meet societal goals are most easily presented with the GI Bill.

Also keep in mind the always present Federal, State and Local policies establishing parallel policies to specifically keep African Americans (negative quotas).


A. THE TIME PERIOD I CITED IN MY POST 50's and 60's
1. G I Bill for Higher Education (sic) - 50's and 60's

College education tuition grants issued after WWII with the GI bill Since the government was paying the bill colleges let in a flood of "marginal" white veterans, but not Black veterans, as students. Again with Federal grants (not loans) colleges built more classrooms and laboratories to accommodate the flood of Veterans. Campus expansion costs were footed by the government the sizes of college campus exploded.

The number of African Americans allowed to participate in the GI Education Bills were both limited by: a) numerical quotas written into the Federal Legislation and by b) further limitations executed by local banking and educational institutions (especially in the South, although the entire nation participated in the reverse quota system.

2. GI Bill for Home Ownership (sic) - 50's and 60's

Low mortgage home loans, with minimal or very, very low down payments issued after WWII with the GI bill Since the government was paying the bill banks let in a flood of "marginal- less likely to succeed by standard banking norms", white, but specifically not Black, veterans as homeowners.

Again with Federal grants (not loans) developers built an astounding number of homes after WWII to accommodate the flood of white veteran.; The construction of subdivisions in the "suburbs" were footed (heavily subsidized) by the government the number of suburbs such as the homes around Westland Plaza in Jackson for example, exploded.

The number of African Americans allowed to participate in the GI Education Bills were both limited by: a) numerical quotas written into the Federal Legislation and b) further limitations executed by local banking and educational institutions (especially in the South, although the entire nation participated in the reverse quota system.

Of course you will probably say, then is then and now is now so I offer the following.

F mickns said...

B) CURRENT PERIOD - I cite Mississippi examples as you will be most familiar with what I will say, although the issues are basically the same nation wide.

1. MS ADEQUATE EDUCATION FUNDING LEGISLATION - 1997 to Today

In a wicked twist, MS is manufacturing with reliable and predictable precision and efficiency, manufacturing on an industrial scale students, both Black and White, "less likely to succeed" in or even qualify to apply for college in both the Black and White working class majority population, by not abiding by the Legislatures commitment to fund education in the state by even the modest level in the legislation.

To the contrary, MS has cut education funding for every year since 1997, with the exception of one year when emergency Federal Katrina funds were available. Millions in tax cuts for out of state corporations and millions of dollars refused due to the Republican ideological refusal to expand Medicaid. State turned down 100 percent Federal funding because Legislature wasn't 100 percent sure they could afford Medicare after 10 year Federal funding expired, while in the same evil breath the state approved corporate tax cuts, again without 100 percent assurance or even recent history, to prove that the state could afford the cuts through voodoo economic growth.

I say voodoo cuts because the Legislature didn't go to the seemingly prudent effort to at least provide a guesstimate of the impact of the corporate tax cuts

Certainly we can point to successes in "cloistered" publisc school districts and communities where the median incomes are appreciably higher than in the majority of the state. We all know the names of these areas, Southhaven (the middle class suburb of Memphis), Oxford (the middle class enclave of Olden MS, Clinton, Madison, Ridgeland, etc.

What "locally exemplary", as opposed to "nationally exemplary", what these successful public school districts have in common are relatively new facilities, low systematically disadvantaged minority students, almost non existent students living in poverty, etc. These are no excuses, just the facts.

PS: White folks - If you think the exemplary public school in MS are nationally relevant, visit the suburban public school districts that surround East, West and Northern major universities (as opposed to Olden MS, MSU and USM - (JSU/JPS not even in the game; by wicked design). Way, way better in facilities, curriculum, than Oxford, Southhaven, Clinton, etc.

Oh that's right, this is not a fair comparison as Mississippi[pi is a poor state. Au contraire, Mississippi is a very, very wealthy state, however with most of the wealth in the hands of ver few - the entire country is on the path for every state to wind up like Mississippi. We, Mississippi, are just manufacturing more than our fair share of poor White and Black people, students, workers and families; by design, policy and execution


If the societal goal in Mississippi is to let this inequitable, reverse quota system to continue then prepare yourself to spend more on personal guns, home alarm systems, fences, gated communities, prisons, police, services to shop for and deliver your necessities so you won't have to risk your life in public spaces, home grown domestic terrorist attacks (home invasions, car jackings, car jacking occupant kidnapping and robberies).

Also, your college educated children continue to away to "civilization, etc.

2. CONTINUED DENIAL OF EQUITABLE BANKING SERVICES TO AFRICAN AMERICANS :

Simply stated

a) Wells Fargo admits to "redlining" minority communities (2012)

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/business/wells-fargo-to-settle-mortgage-discrimination-charges.html?hp&_r=0

b) BancorpSouth admits to discriminatory lending practices (2016)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/06/29/bank-pay-106m-over-loan-discrimination-charges/86526572/


WOW - sorry for long post. Didn't want to encourage a lot of back and forth to make these points.

Anonymous said...

F minkins - to avoid having to have a long post to go along with your tome, let me just say

bulls**t. You lost me early on with your dribble, but to say that education funding has been cut every year (but one) since 1997 just shows how out of the loop you are in dealing with facts.

But thanks. Making your post so long made it where I didn't waste a lot of time reading it. After a while, it just tried to make the same argument over, and over, and over, and.....

F mickns said...

10:12 It;'s my y pleasure to save you time.


The thing about the truth, and arguments based upon the truth, is that they have a tendency to never change.

Remember the following ditty about the unshakable truths of human nature and the human condition

If it's new , it ain't true.

If it's true, it ain't new

Anonymous said...

10:12, the only person who reads those long post is the person posting them. No one else would wade through that much BS.

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Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.


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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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