Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Value-Added: a year for a year

The vaunted year-for-a-year is nothing more than an average increase in test scores. There is no defined "year's worth of growth;" there is no standard for a year's worth of increased knowledge.

Value-added simply looks at similarly situated students and analyzes their test scores. A child whose scores increase with the average of similarly situated students is said to have received a year's worth of growth -- a year for a year. But we are only talking the average across the state, not some educational Camelot.

Given that public education has pitiful low achievement in Ohio (and throughout the US, of course), growing with the average is not a great accomplishment at all. In fact, it's quite poor.

Of course, your local administrators will dog-and-pony these results whenever and where ever they can.

Note: As a test, review the district's remediation rates at Ohio's public colleges and universities. Regardless of the tax-funded PR, the district has a high remediation rate.


Anonymous said...

I looked it up and our remediation rates are not that bad. They are better than any of the other Delaware County schools and right in line with Dublin.

Looking at the percentage of students taking a college prep coursework versus remediation and it also doesn't look bad. 77% of Olentangy college students took a college prep course. 19% needed remediation. Not even all the kids who did not take college prep needed remediation. Those are not surprising and far from bad numbers.

Jim Fedako said...

7:44 -

Life is never so easy, especially when you are dealing with the state. To get the true remediation rates, you have to calculate (imput) the values for state community colleges.

What you will find is that Olentangy's remediation rate is still around 30%. Sorry, but that is the fact.

For whatever reason, Columbus State has not been providing complete data. Run some reports by year and you will see that Columbus State went from reporting 1300 incoming freshmen in 2003 to only 81 in 2005.

They have only one Olentangy student enrolled in 2005. This has been an issue with OBR. Give them a call and they will explain.

Or, simply listen to your local administrators. I'm certain that they will tell the complete story (not).

Anonymous said...

How does one reconcile "Excellent with Distinction" against even a 19% remediation rate? 1 out of 5 graduates require re-teaching of the most basic of topics. We're not talking about physics--we're talking about English and Math which our kids are instructed in for 13 years prior to going to college.

13 years of instruction and 1 out of 5 are STILL not ready for Prime Time.

Another tax on residents: having to pay college tuition to re-teach our kids math and English.

Reconcile that thought.

Anonymous said...

Even at 30% if we are to believe Jim's numbers is not that bad when considering what we are looking at.

Only 77% of Olentangy's students going to college chose to prepare themselves for college. That means 23% of the students chose to not prepare themselves for what they ultimately decided to do.

The largest group of remedial students is for math. We don't know what level of math they needed remediation for but it is not hard to imagine that students who chose not to take higher level math classes in high school would need help in advanced algebra or calculus before taking those classes in college. Only a very small number (around 6%) needed remediation in English. Again, one needs to look at the expectations of the college to know what the lack of knowledge covers.

I still maintain the numbers are not that bad and when compared to other top performing districts in the area, we perform well.

But then again, when you want to predict failure, you can use statistics to support any preconceived notion.

Jim Fedako said...

8:54 -

To get into OSU, you cannot require remediation. The same is true for most universities. The remediation rates are associated with Columbus State -- a college with fairly low standards. Remediation means that the student have low achievement in basic skills.

Regarding your 6% -- you are missing the Columbus State values. The actual figure is much, much higher.

If mediocrity is success, then the district should only look for mediocre funding and salaries.

From what comes out of the district, there should be no remediation required. But that is just a lot of spin.

Taxpayer of 3 said...


Wouldn't it be intriguing to see the high school achievement levels of our parents, who were mostly only educated to the 12th grade? Yet, they were better equipped for life in basic education skills than our current day students.

8:54 Anonymous...what a cop out. those 23% "chose to not prepare themselves for what they ultimately decided to do."

Interesting how math and english prepare you for life, not just you're saying the children chose to not prepare for life.

I think the school system is doing a disservice to all by not forcing more remedial education to prepare them for life. But hey, we have 23% that are artists using their pottery skills to balance a checkbook!

Do you think Johnnie will feel as good at 40 when he can't get a promotion because he can't write very well or do basic math???

Anonymous said...

First, Jim, we have chosen mediocre funding. Just compare our costs with other districts.

The private high schools in the area had almost no remediation rate but I bet you can't even get through a quarter with what we spend on our kids.

Taxpayer, I can only imagine the howls and Jim's posts if we required all students to take college level math and English. We would see letters to the editor on how the District is wasting money and forcing kids to take classes they don't need or are not required.

The other thing to keep in mind on remediation is when the last class was taken. If the student doesn't take college level courses, they may not have had math for 2 years and the same for English. It may not be that they weren't taught the material but that they just don't remember it.

The fact is, this is just another Jim bugaboo about nothing.

Jim Fedako said...

3:03 --

You don't get it: We are talking basic skills needed for incoming freshmen at Columbus State, not college level math required for OSU or similar college/university.

Taxpayer of 3 said...

you mean they don't take 4 years of math and english...they don't remember...obviously the weren't taught it.

Hate to say it but teaching children math isn't a waste of money, no matter the level...tell how much calculus you use in life...I took 4 classes in college and don't remember a thing...but I learned deductive thought and analysis that I use everyday.

Oh and it comes back to me 30 years later when my kids need help and I review the formulas.

Anonymous said...

In the last week I have read "news" articles about Dublin, OH. schools and Bloom-Carroll schools. Dublin school administrators are bragging about doing such a good job and demanding more taxes because of it. Bloom-Carroll school administrators are crying about how they aren't able to do a good job due to lack of tax money and poor facilities and demanding more taxes to fix their mess. That's the way they play the game. Gimme, gimme, gimme.

Anonymous said...

What we hear: "Our kids score higher on standardized tests than the state minimum required--pay us more!"

What I'd like to hear:
"We're chasing Columbus Academy's achievement index, not the state's crappy performance minimums. Wage increases are commensurate with measurable results toward this goal".

The second passage is ambitious, virtuous, and requires more effort--which in turn requires selflessness--all of which are in very short supply in OLSD.

Anonymous said...

Re: Columbus Academy. My husband and his father graduated from there. Our son was enrolled there until the eighth grade. And that was before it went coed. The academic education may be better there than in government schools but the indoctrination is every bit as bad. It is astounding that people pay that tuition to have their children corrupted by liberals.