Rethinking School Assessment: 10th Grade Math TCAP Performance in Pueblo
September 23, 2014
This will probably be the last post in my series on TCAP scores and Pueblo Schools. If this is the first you’ve seen of the series you might want to go back and read the first 4 posts:
- Part 1: District 60 Educates More Students Receiving Free Lunch than the Entire Student Population in District 70.
- Part 2: Math TCAP Scores are Highly Correlated with % of Students Receiving Free or Reduced Lunch throughout Colorado.
- Part 3: D60 and D70 both have outstanding schools. It’s not as one-sided as you’ve been led to believe.
- Part 4: Top performing middle school is Goodnight followed by Pleasant View and Connect.
In this post I continue my assessment of TCAP test performance by looking at Pueblo’s High Schools. Let’s get straight to it.
There are only 6 public High Schools with sufficient data so the Gold, Silver, Bronze thing doesn’t make as much sense here but it’s too late to change it up. Instead of 3 honorable mentions I will only recognize 1 runner up because, hey, in the education landscape after passage of No Child Left Behind there have to be losers, right?
- Gold Medal: Centennial HS
- Silver Medal: Pueblo County HS
- Bronze Medal: East HS
- Honorable Mention: Central HS
Congratulations to the hard-working teachers at these High Schools!
As a Centennial graduate I’m proud to see my Bulldogs on top (TCAP Bell rings Red!) but it’s a bit disappointing that none of the area high schools outperformed relative to the trend line. A more nuanced look at TCAP performance and school/district evaluation would look at how performance, again relative to the trend line, improves or declines year over year. Looking only at absolute scores is not fair to the teachers in low-income schools and school districts.
My approach may not be a perfect solution to the thorny problem of public school assessment but, in my view, it beats the hell out of what I see going on now. Rewarding or punishing school districts without any consideration for socioeconomic variability makes no sense.
If you agree, post a link to these articles on the CDE Facebook page or on Twitter. In addition, you might consider (warning: you’ll have to endure a horrible website replete with pop-up ads if you follow this link) sending a letter to the editor of the Pueblo Chieftain letting them know their reporting on local TCAP results was completely misleading.