Thursday, January 10, 2008

A CURVE ON STEROIDS!

Here is some of what I have been able verify.

The high school regular World History exam percentage-to-letter curve:

A = 80 - 100
B = 69 - 79
C = 59 - 68
D = 49 - 58
F = 0 - 48

You can get less than 50% and you pass the test, grab a "quality point" (you need 3), and you're on your way to getting credit for the class! Talk about "No Child Left Behind".

(If your son/daughter got an "F" - maybe you have a moron in the house.)

Keep in mind that I could not get hold of the "raw score" - the actual number of items that were correct. What if 30 correct answers out of 150 questions fell at the median and set the "C" (average) range?

What if the computer assisted answer sheets were defective and tests were scored incorrectly due to a printing error?

We need to expose this statistically dishonest manipulation by the district. This is NOT being done at the schools. It is coming from the upside-down pyramid on Kennedy.

Do you have information (raw scores, curves, failure rates, etc) to shine a light on? Post a comment and let the public know what you know.

Will the superintendent apply a similar curve to MAP? Only if it will improve her public image.

Disclosure: I am NOT against curving per se. It does have a place and a purpose but I don't know any effective teacher who agrees with a wholesale giveaway.

7 comments:

Suzie Creamcheese said...

I moved this section from another posted comment on TheWall.

"Consider that the use of "scam"-tron machines, hooked up to computers that send the results to the district actually allow the district to "set the curve". This is something that my former principals never encouraged and yet the district is promoting it.

Setting the curve at the district level clouds true student achievement UNLESS the raw score/curve is accurately reported.

Call me paranoid but allowing the district to set the curve allows them to spin the numbers to the district's favor.

Headlines:
"Teachers Extra Teaching Period Improves Student Grades"
"Mary Ellen Elia Formally Declared Genius"
"Falerio Takes 'Curve' To Hart"
"Olson Denies Plant Curves"
"Lamb Blames Secretary For Misspelling 'Curbs'"
"Kerdell Calls For Curve Workshop"
"Olson Again Denies Plant Curves"

It's All About The Mirrors- "

Goader said...

I seen everything now! Curve final exams and take grammar out of English classes.

I seen this coming a long time ago.

By the way, I seen someone write in cursive the other day I couldn't read it though.

I seen where this guy fudged some numbers to look good on paper.

I told you, I seen everything now!

Anonymous said...

Thw English curve looks very similar--but our kids had to make an 84 to get an A--isn't that punishing them if Social Studies kids only have to earn an 80? Wonder what constitutes an A in Sciences and Maths.......I think we better get to the papers and the parents before some of those headlines really hit front page!

Anonymous said...

email:

solochek@sptimes.com
mktabor@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

And so what is now considered "below 50/automatic failure"? A 40? HA!

Anonymous said...

80! 84? When I was a teacher A started at 96. If I did curve a grade it was certainly never more than a few point. Knowledge is knowledge. It can't be set by taking the highest idiot's score and moving down from there. Thank god I'm out.

Anonymous said...

It is all about what looks good on paper. When it looks good on paper, the bureaucrats stand to benefit with raises, bonuses, more funding, accolades, etc.; whereas the students suffer. That is the real reason why this is happening.

“Hey, let’s call a D an A! That will fix everything. This will help to detract from the fact that high school teachers are overloaded with 150 students or more. They only have 33 seconds to spend on each student during planning time, but that’s okay, because look at all these A’s. This way, things look like they have improved which makes us look good and makes the parents ever so happy in their disillusionment.” –insert sarcastic tone here…

It’s academic fraud. It is all about testing this and testing that. It’s a numbers game. I am a high school English teacher in this county, and I am disgusted by its current state, so I have learned to focus my energies within the classroom on reversing the divisive and careless decisions made by the bigwigs.

The solution?
Minimize misbehavior with a three strikes rule or a maximum OSS quota. A student is suspended three times? Throw them out. Or a student reaches 15 days of OSS? Throw them out. Then, teachers can focus their time on teaching, rather then disciplining. I have students with 30+ days of OSS. As soon as they return they are a MAJOR disruption until they are suspended once more.
Then, give the teachers their two planning periods back or something like it. Having more time to grade and critique papers allows vital feedback to the students and more through planning. Effective planning means better presentations of knowledge, which is a better education.
Use a “bottom up” approach, rather than a “top down” approach. When a dollar starts at the top, I bet my life that only a miniscule amount shows up in the classroom on technology, supplies, safety, and paying teachers a wage worthy of their time and education. We must address the needs on the “front lines” and then let the money flow up. That is why we exist, lest we forget. No one should ever go into education to get rich. $300,000 on one person is disgusting. Pay them $100,000. That’s $200,000 that will dramatically affect the lives of many students.

Parents, I implore you to complain about the current state of this county… It needs to be torn down and reconstructed from scratch. Nothing is efficient and everything is about the artifice. The next years will prove to be very troubling as the best teachers are leaving in droves or are being forced into “survival mode,” as no one person can effectively handle and educate 150 youth. This is the very reason why we manipulate grades on their midterms. It’s a defining moment, my friends.