Does the new school rating system inflate performance?

Pratt on TexasWhen I bring up much of anything to do with public schools, it is guaranteed that I’ll be attacked in email and in social media posts and among the interesting points is that often what I am reported  to have said by these people isn’t what I said.

Recently one Democrat candidate’s screed, sent to me by a friend, claimed that I said teaching was easy as if anyone could do it. I have never said such a thing, what I have said is that like any job it is easier for some than for others. There are jobs done by Pratt on Texas listeners that the most talented teacher or school administrator in Texas would not and could not do and, there are top titans of industry who might not make it through half a day in an elementary classroom.

The kneejerk reaction out there among the ignorant- and liberal-cultish members of the public education business is amusing and I’m sure this will send them into palpitations. If you have one in earshot prepare to give first aid.

Using an ‘A—F’ frame of reference, a 40 never equates to passing.  But with the new system, that 40 percent is, in some cases, considered passing.

An award-winning educator says the new Texas school rating system, while good from an easy to understand point of view, has a big problem: It inflates the scores of Texas schools.

School founder and director Richard Baumgartner says “the determination of the passing standard for a given STAAR test is flawed and leads parents and the public to view school performance as better than it really is.”

“On some tests, a student can fall into the lower end of the Approaches Standard range with a score of, say, only 40 or 50 percent correct answers and still pass,” explains Baumgartner. “Using an ‘A—F’ frame of reference, a 40 never equates to passing.  But with the new system, that 40 percent is, in some cases, considered passing.”

So right now, I think we’re all kind of fooling ourselves about how well students are really performing.

Baumgartner says that state accountability experts claim the STAAR tests can’t be looked at in a straight-scale manner, but, he adds, “Either the tests are too hard, and that allows for a lower bar, or they are not.  Certainly the tests are challenging, but not to the degree that we should accept a score of 43 or 51 percent correct answers as good enough for passing.  But we are.  So right now, I think we’re all kind of fooling ourselves about how well students are really performing.”

If the educrat nearby feinted upon hearing this, just let him sleep it off.

What do you think?...

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