Measuring the Achievement Elephant

Barton, Paul E.; Coley, Richard J.
December 2008
Educational Leadership;Dec2008, Vol. 66 Issue 4, p30
The article discusses how school leaders can better use test score data while communicating its meaning more effectively to school personnel and parents. Focusing on the cut point, or how many students have scored at or above the "proficiency" level, doesn't provide information about achievement changes for the students who remain above or below this point. It is suggested that educators examine the whole distribution of scores by percentiles rather than depending on the cut point. Examining quartiles, calculating average scores for each, and tracking changes is another way of determining achievement. A comparison of end-of-year test scores versus yearly gains are discussed.


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