See the statewide standardized testing statistics Santa Fe Public School administrators use to show academic progress--even as the New Mexico Public
Education Department reports declining aptitudes.
This week's news offers an exploration of two vastly different interpretations of standardized testing data--one promulgated by SFPS officials in a report published Feb. 17, the same day the school board voted to renew Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez' contract, and the other published as raw data by NMPED.
Who's got it right? Read the story...and see for yourself in the interactive graphics below.
The New Mexico Standards-Based Assessment, the statewide test both SFPS and PED use to calculate their data, is administered
to all New Mexico students in grades 3-8 and 11. Calculating the change in high school students' performance, therefore, should be an easy prospect: Simply take 11th-graders' scores from 2008-09 and 2009-10 and measure the difference.
That's what SFR did with PED's raw data (red bars), which showed across-the-board decreases i
n performance. Despite purporting to use the same data, SFPS didn't get the same results:
#2: Middle School Reading
More significant discrepancies lie in SFPS'
calculation of reading proficiency among middle-schoolers. SFPS officials tell
SFR the differences in the
district's and the state's numbers exist because SFPS groups its categories by
particular school, not by grade level--but that doesn't explain how
declines in every grade a middle school might include can translate into
overall proficiency gains.
#3: Reading Skills of Elementary-Age English Language
According to PED, English Language Learners in Santa
Fe public schools showed declines in reading proficiency between 2008-09 and
2009-10 testing periods.
SFPS officials told SFR the
differences come from Santa Fe's unique school groupings, which may include
K-5, K-6 and K-8 schools in its definition of "elementary." But even
adding 6th grade scores to the mix wouldn't seem to change things, since
decreases in proficiency among 6th grade English language learners were among