If this keeps up, they will have to re-norm the test to make sure half the kids stay below average.
CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett is already calling the overall results “incredibly encouraging.” Rahm chimes in: “Improvements in every grade demonstrate that we are building a strong foundation upon which Chicago students can grow and succeed.”
I'm not yet getting into the questions of why 2nd-graders are even tested (or why not 1st and Ks?), or how this will break out demographically? Is the gap between white, black and Latino students continuing to widen? What are scores like at the most touted charter schools, like Urban Prep?
The key is getting more detailed information, said Paul Zavitkovsky, leadership coach and assessment specialist at UIC’s Urban Education Leadership Program. “Anytime test scores go up it is promising, but until they break it out on family income and race and ethnicity, then we do not know what is going on,” he said. “Those demographics make a big difference.”Does this mean that CPS teachers are due for high evaluations and raises in pay? Does it mean that authentic learning is on the upswing in Chicago? Or more likely, that there's now a total focus on testing and test-prep, even down to the lowest grades?
I think the question answers itself.
The Sun-Times points out:
The district did not release school-by-school results for the Northwest Evaluation Association tests, as it has in past years. John Barker, CPS’ chief of accountability, said those scores will be released next Friday. That makes it impossible to see whether students scored higher across the district or just at certain schools. The analysis comprises all district elementary schools, including charters.As for scores in the so-called "welcoming schools" following last year's massive school closings, Sarah Karp at Catalyst reports:
CPS did provide some averages for the schools designated to take in students from closed schools. In general, there was little movement, and the schools remained substantially below national norms.