Sometimes, 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?