CPS Fun with Accountability

12 Nov

ImageSometimes, CPS misses the reality boat by so much, you can only shake your head and laugh before weeping and sobbing uncontrollably in distress.  It seems the Office of Accountability, which is brimming with 6 figure salaries, doesn’t have anybody who understands statistics. 

Last week, our school was given targets for improvement based on last year’s ISAT, NWEA, and attendance figures.  These targets were calculated by looking at the scores a grade achieved the previous year and figuring in a solid percentage growth to that score.   For instance, in 2013 the third grade had 42.6 percent meet or exceed on the NWEA so in 2014 the third grade has a target of 47.1.   The problem is that the 2013 third graders are now fourth graders.

This is roughly the equivalent of giving a doctor high marks because the patients that he saw on Friday were healthier than the ones he saw on Thursday or calling the Bulls a much improved basketball team because they did better playing against the Utah Jazz Friday than they did against the Miami Heat in the opener.  Students change for year to year and they are not only different people, but their classroom behavior and attitudes are affected by the other students around them.

As a result of the mathematical genius that is the CPS Office of Accountability, my grade must improve our students’ ISAT reading scores by 21.3 percent over the scores they achieved last year.  However, in math we only have to avoid a loss of less than 11.7 percent.  Did anybody even think about this or read these targets?   As a result, I will be going to my principal tomorrow during report card pick up and asking that we discontinue mathematics education at our grade level in favor of double reading.  Are they that starved for data at central office, that the quality of the data has become irrelevant?

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4 Responses to “CPS Fun with Accountability”

  1. cpsemployee November 12, 2013 at 1:08 pm #

    My principal and I were talking about this exact absurdity the other week. Not only is CPS asking the oranges to grow based on what the apples did last year, but the targets aren’t even logical. No one group grows 22% in a year, and if they did there would be some investigating going on!

    BTW, happy to see you back!

  2. Mary Gail Stack November 13, 2013 at 12:39 am #

    Yes the “Castle on Clark Street” has always been comparing apples and oranges.
    Well don’t they grow on trees, they do have a skin/peel, meat, and seeds?
    They don’t look the same, taste the same, they grow in different locations, and are effected by different elements. But data input is data input and you can keep pressing the keys till you get the numbers you want. Want to keep your job right! You can’t tell me you have never played around with a grading software program? You can make those scores do just about anything you want them to do just by changing one variable.
    Hey this is a group of “experts” who have never kept a “new program’ for more than five years, never collected honest data and compared the growth of the same apples and/or oranges, and who changed the game plan right in the middle of a game evn after a dam touch down. And yes they will swoop down on you like vultures if your students dare to score above the norm or percent “they” have set up for them to fail at. They will spend money to retest them, with their own people and bless their little hearts when they get higher scores the second time! Maybe there is a magical ingredient in homemade chocolate chip cookies when they are eaten right before testing or was it the Dunkin Donuts?

  3. retiredbutmissthekids November 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

    Welcome back, CC! Your witty–and true–voice has been missed. I especially like how you cover some issues others have missed (so many issues, too little time for most bloggers). Your absence simply underscores the precious little personal time available to teachers–double that of “a woman’s work is never done” adage! Thanks for your informative posts!

  4. Teacher in Peril November 19, 2013 at 6:14 am #

    I always ask the simple question…Who is testing the testors? hahah

    Good article….we do the same at my school……add 8 points to goal score and wave the magic wand!! reminds me of the who…meet the new test…same as the old test!!!

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