Monday, January 03, 2005

Swiftee, Help Me with This Math Question

Pair 'o Dice posted a few days ago on education and accountability. I think it was more of an anti Dr. Harvey rant. Maybe Tom had a New Year's resolution to be kindler and gentler, and had to get some stuff off his chest before the New Year kicked in.

Anyway, what caught my eye was some figures he was throwing out at the end of the post:
For the five year period 2000-2004, 8th graders have been averaging a 45% passing rate which isn’t anything to shout about,
I'm not sure where you are going with this. First of all, to have half of the 8th graders pass a 12th grade graduation test seems acceptable to me. And second, if 80+% of 8th graders were passing this exam, you would be all over the credibility of the instrument.

but they completely tank by the 12th grade . . only 22% seniors passed the math portion this year.

For you readers from Crocus Hill, that means that 78% will have to make the test up before they can graduate.
How can 78% have to make up the test, when 45% already passed it in 8th grade?!?

I'm not sure this is what the numbers are saying. Once you pass the test, you are done. I am sure the 22% passing is based on the number taking the test that particular year. The 45%, of the people that passed the test in 8th grade, no longer have to attempt the exam, they have achieved the requirement. The later you get into the process, the more challenging students you have left to complete the test.

I know 10th graders who are LD, and have not passed the exam. I don't suspect they will, but it won't be because of a flawed school, lack of parental support, and lack of trying. Their brains are simply wired different.

Hopefully Swiftee will stop by and clarify his figures for me. It must be that new George Bush Simple Math. It seems to work well on the budget.


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