Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inside Four Walls: CST scores are in...

Ok I know I don't like evaluating my performance as a teacher based off of one test, but I am curious on how they do. And yet this year I looked at something that makes me think these tests aren't as good as some might think.

Anyway, back in April I posted my predictions for the CST scores (whole thing is HERE). But to refresh your memory here is what I predicted for the tests;

As for my prediction, with a little rationing behind it. I took the percentages of students that have a C or higher to come up with my numbers. These are the top percentages I can see of my students being proficient or advanced, because we all know basic or lower doesn't count.
  • Algebra B - 53%
  • Algebra 2 - 60%
  • Geometry - 53%
I would be happy with those, but my gut tells me they will be lower, not higher. Oh well, let's have them take the test and then wait til summer for the results to come in.
I love that last line about being lower not higher. And it looks as though my gut was right.

Algebra B - 53% just like I predicted.

Geometry - 39% off by 14%. (40% Basic)

Algebra 2 - 36% off by 24%. (41% Basic)

So this year I looked at the scaled scores. It worked out to were if it was 350 or higher that was proficient or advanced. I noticed a bunch of 340, which are basic. So that was my moment of zen so to speak. All it takes is one mistake to miss it and that's it. An adding mistake, multiplying or whatever. These tests really can't say if they understand the concept because they are rooted in elementary math skills which I am not supposed to cover. Oh well.

So I put in those border kids and my new percentages were

Algebra B - 60%
Geometry 50%
Algebra 2 - 43%

still off, and it doesn't matter because nothing is taken into account just the scores themselves. Now comes my favorite part when we get our score back with our names next to them with everyone else's scores. I just don't want to be at the bottom. But with those Geometry scores I might be.

I don't know what these say about me as a professional. Does it mean I only know how to teach Algebra B? I don't know. I don't know what to read into it. I knew my Algebra 2 scores would be low because I had quite a few Juniors and they really don't try anymore. As for my Geometry classes, one period was really smart and the other...not so much. So I am not surprised.

I think for next year when I do my predictions, I will count 75% and up, not any C. That might make it a bit more accurate. Until next time.

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