And the Results Are...

Inconclusive. I spent the last few weeks waiting for the ELA scores to come in. I was prepared for a major disappointment, but I was hoping for a major success. What I didn't prepare for was ambiguity. Most of my kids improved, but almost the same number declined. 4 students went up a performance level (from 2's to 3's), but 3 went down a performance level. And while overall my class improved, it doesn't feel like much of a victory.

What's most frustrating is how little the numbers tell me. We're talking about a test that was taken in January. So the data doesn't really even speak to the students I'm currently teaching. The data doesn't really speak to anything at all, because it isn't dissected in any way to show strengths in needs in specific areas such as vocabulary, drawing conclusions or writing. All I have are numbers, numbers that in many ways contradict what I know to be true about the reading and writing abilities of my students.

Of course all this is inconsequential, because even if the test was flawed, or too easy (the whole city went up 20%? Really?), those flaws apply to 4th grade students (and their teachers) universally. So while I might begrudge problems with the test, I cannot use them as excuses for my students' scores. And whatever problems there may be, that won't keep the state from using these numbers to assess my school, my students and myself. Ultimately, I know my students should have done better, because pretty much everyone else did better. So, now it's time to figure out what went wrong, so I can get it right next year.


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