Saturday, September 10, 2011
Value Added Dating Goes With Standardized Testing
One of these rules that I always adhered to was concerning the first date. The first date, if dinner was involved, never at any time was to take place at a pricey, high falutin' restaurant. Nothing more than, well I am going back to the early 90's, $40. And even at that price, it was expensive.
Now mind you, I did not do this because I was cheap, but rather it was all about expectations. If I took my date to some expensive, fancy place, what would happen if on the next date we went to the Ground Round? You see, you would start as near the bottom as possible. For instance, TGIF's, where I am sure that are many a date that would be pleased with that and which just happens to be the perfect place.
When starting from the bottom, and not the top, you deny the date the expectation that big bucks would always be spent on her. When starting at the bottom, or at least near the bottom, you have no expectations to live up to. Which would make me look so much better when the nice dinner, like the Chart House, was our place to dine.
Now why do I bring this up? I'll tell you why.
We just got my son's state scores in. We are quite proud of him, even though I do not need to know these scores to know what a good student he is and how smart he is. But rather, I am bringing this up for I am concerned about his future teachers. Yes, the value added crap.
Last year, when he was in 3rd grade, he scored a perfect 4. His scale score was a 770. He got every single question correct. Now, I am not bragging, but just stating a fact.
This year, or rather in 4th grade, he still got a 4, but the scale score was a 737. He didn't get every question correct. Statistically, he had no place else to go but down. That's just a fact. Not a low expectation.
But what about his 4th grade teacher? If we base her performance on VAA, and just using my son's score and the fact that he actually went down, does this mean that she was ineffective, that she missed something, or did something wrong?
This year he is in 5th grade. If he misses another question, yet stays a 4, that will show he has not made progress 2 years in a row. This unfortunately can reflect poorly on his teacher.
To be honest, and I am going to be quite frank here, who gives a shit? he gets a 4, so what where it falls on the scale? Same with ELA. He got a high 3 this year, which in fact was higher than last year, but really, who cares?
Worse, they keep on changing the tests, the scoring, the strategy, etc... how can you keep up and use VAA? Hell, this years tests will be a month earlier than last years. That means the students have one less months knowledge than they did the previous two years. So how can you compare, contrast, and value add any tests?
What needs to be done? Every student in America should get a zero on their first ever standardized test. That way, the only place to go is up. How is that for value added?