UPDATED: Good News?

I got good news today. Although not all the scores are in yet, I heard through one of the literacy coaches that one of my students scored a 3 on the ELA. This is especially exciting news because she is one of my lower performing students. Which is what prompts a bit of a dilemma: What do I take away from this news?

I wanted to I could just bask in the success. I could take it as a sign of my hard work and the hard work of the many other coaches in the school who worked my kids non-stop preparing for the test. I could pat myself on the back and hope the 26 other students I'm accountable for scored as well. But that would be naive.

This student isn't just low performing, she's the lowest reader in my class of 27. In January she read at a kindergarten/1st grade level (H if you're familiar with Fountas and Pinell). She's now reading at close to a J/K. She attends 3-4 days of school a week. Her writing shows very little letter to sound recognition. I've actually been working on a referral for an evaluation for special needs. With all this in mind, I was less than optimistic about her chances on the ELA test.

Now I find out she got a 3? If It just doesn't make sense. At best it implies an extreme problem with the standardized assessment she took. Any test that says this girl is reading and writing at grade level is severely messed up. And if it's not the test? Then that indicates some serious misconduct on the part of whoever proctored the ELL exam.

Maybe the test is fine. Maybe there were no shenanigans in the class where my English Language Learners took the test. Maybe my student just nailed the multiple-choice or maybe she just got lucky. I guess there's no way to know for sure. I do know that if this girl gets passed to the 5th grade I won't see it as a victory, I'll see it as a failure.

UPDATE: Turns out the proctor of the test for my ELL's was a trusted friend so that rules out any shenanigans on that end. In fact, he told me he had to wake her up at least three times during the test! I guess she must have just gotten really, really lucky on the multiple-choice section. Oy.


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