Page 4 of 7 FirstFirst 1234567 LastLast
Results 46 to 60 of 93

Thread: Elementary School MCAS scores

  1. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, the difference is at best semantic but not meaningful, in my opinion..
    I disagree. The data presented here comes nowhere close to providing the information required to draw conclusions. The question is, "how would this group of students have performed had they not endured reconfiguration?". Drawing conclusions based on performance data from a different group of students that did not endure reconfiguration assumes that the two groups are in all other relevant ways and experiences identical. You've presented no data supporting this assumption.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion. Rather, I said generically that it's wise to use data to drive instruction.

    Were I in nit-picky mode when I wrote that, I might have said something along the lines of using "sufficient and accurate data to drive quality instruction yielding desired educational outcomes."

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion.
    The point of my original post was that the data presented here is not sufficient to draw conclusions. Evidently, you don't disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Rather, I said generically that it's wise to use data to drive instruction.
    Only if the data is sufficiently relevant, accurate, and complete to constitute information.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    The point of my original post was that the data presented here is not sufficient to draw conclusions. Evidently, you don't disagree.
    When I wrote that "I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion," I misunderstood the context. To recap:

    1. The original commenter on the Town Crier discussion board said that MCAS scores showed a slippage due to the reconfiguration.

    2. I responded by saying that following the MCAS scores of cohorts who did and did not experience the reconfiguration provided no evidence of a reconfiguration-caused slippage, refuting the original comment.

    3. I stand by that data (information) driven conclusion, which was not that complete and accurate data proved anything, but rather, that the data cited did NOT prove the original assertion.


    Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    Rather, I said generically that it's wise to use data to drive instruction.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    Only if the data is sufficiently relevant, accurate, and complete to constitute information.
    On the definition of "information," Merriam-Webster backs up my usage, saying nothing about information being necessarily relevant, accurate, or complete.

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    A friend pointed me to a better data source, and I've made very slight revisions to the non-Special Education comparison. There are no changes to the overall results.

    The data comes from here: http://profiles.doe.mass.edu/state_report/mcas.aspx

    The updated (and simpler) spreadsheet is attached.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion.

    When I wrote that "I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion," I misunderstood the context.
    In what context would your statement above be valid?


    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post

    To recap:

    1. The original commenter on the Town Crier discussion board said that MCAS scores showed a slippage due to the reconfiguration.

    2. I responded by saying that following the MCAS scores of cohorts who did and did not experience the reconfiguration provided no evidence of a reconfiguration-caused slippage, refuting the original comment.

    3. I stand by that data (information) driven conclusion, which was not that complete and accurate data proved anything, but rather, that the data cited did NOT prove the original assertion.
    The data you presented neither disproves nor proves the original assertion; it is meaningless in this context. As I've already pointed out, the results from one group of students that did not endure reconfiguration is not a valid predictor of the results a completely different group might have achieved had they not endured reconfiguration.

    Posting the American League's 1963 batting averages would have been equally effective at not proving or disproving the original assertion.

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Dave, the original poster asserted that MCAS data showed that the reconfiguration harmed MCAS scores. I counter that the data suggests (not proves) the opposite to be true.

    Put another way, I don't see a way to interpret the data as supporting the original contention. If I'm missing something in that regard, I'd like to know it. Too bad the original poster chose to make his/her allegation anonymously--perhaps he/she could explain.

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Dave, the original poster asserted that MCAS data showed that the reconfiguration harmed MCAS scores. I counter that the data suggests (not proves) the opposite to be true.

    Put another way, I don't see a way to interpret the data as supporting the original contention. If I'm missing something in that regard, I'd like to know it.
    The problem with incomplete, inaccurate, and/or irrelevant data is that it can be made to suggest nearly anything, to the joy of politicians and demagogues everywhere. Your suggestion can only be true if the performance of one group of students always exactly mirrors the performance of a different group of students. There are far too many other variables in play for this to ever be verifiably true outside of a controlled environment.

    As a counter-example, suppose that analysis of blood samples revealed that the students who did not endure reconfiguration had on average experienced a 10X greater exposure to lead and/or methyl mercury than those who endured reconfiguration. Would your data still suggest that reconfiguration did not harm MCAS scores, or would it suggest that reconfiguration harmed MCAS scores less than mercury or lead poisoning? Unless you are certain that the two groups were in all respects identical, you can't draw reliable conclusions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I never said that the data presented here was sufficient to draw any particular conclusion
    But you posted the data anyway because it suggested that reconfiguration was not academically harmful. "Lies, damn lies, and statistics".

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default Forget the spin, think about the kids.

    Merriam-Webster's dictionary is being consulted, charts are hurriedly being drawn, cohorts are being assembled…. and all the while, our HH students are lagging behind our CH students to an unacceptable degree.
    If half the energy that went into these various distractions were put into searching for a solution, then our own unique “achievement gap” would be closed by now.

    This forum’s resident school committee member says:
    • “I don't have a theory for the CH-HH comparison.”
    • “The WPS administration is aware of these differences and working to address them."
    • “I don't imagine that the Committee will be taking an active role in that effort, nor discussing it in this forum.”
    • “…beyond my skill set and the scope of my position,”
    In essence, “It’s not my department.”

    For anyone who is confused by, or simply bored with, all the charts and rhetoric, spin and irrelevant tangents, the official DOE website presents the data without the spin. It is worth spending some time looking at the raw data in order to come to your own conclusions.

    For something nearly as pure, the charts on this page put the raw data into a visual format, without trying to analyze, speculate or spin it. It is what it is, and a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

    ---------------------

    "The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. 
When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns, as it were, 
instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish squirting out ink.” 
~ George Orwell (1903-1950)

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Dave, you are certainly correct that an event in the non-reconfiguration year with a stronger negative effect than the reconfiguration itself would be consistent with the MCAS data. (That data suggesting better results in the reconfiguration year compared with the non-reconfiguration year.)

    The original poster didn't make that assertion, however. Rather, he/she in effect said that the reconfiguration lowered MCAS scores. Period, end of sentence, and all that. I'm simply using the data that the poser used to refute the assertion. To be sure, even before this post, I'd probably repeated this too many times already, and will end my comments on this particular aspect of the conversation.

    John, I haven't been disputing the CH-HH difference, although as Kim points out, much of that difference can be explained by the difference in student populations with respect to special education.

    The important thing is that the department (namely, our professional educators) that *is* responsible for educational outcomes *is* addressing this issue. And while we'd certainly like higher ES MCAS scores (as long as they aren't coming at the expense of other educational objectives), we have historical results that show that our elementary students go on to score quite well at the MS and HS levels.

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Merriam-Webster's dictionary is being consulted, charts are hurriedly being drawn, cohorts are being assembled…. and all the while, our HH students are lagging behind our CH students to an unacceptable degree.
    If half the energy that went into these various distractions were put into searching for a solution, then our own unique “achievement gap” would be closed by now.
    John, I went and spent some time reviewing that data, and presented what I thought was a pretty interesting and compelling theory for what was going on in the performance results.

    I'd really be interested to your reaction to it.

  12. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    A look at Wayland MCAS scores across all grades is available here, updated to include 2008 and 2009.

  13. #58
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    235

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I'm simply using the data that the poser used to refute the assertion.
    The data you posted neither supports the anonymous poser's assertion nor refutes it. You've previously acknowledged that conclusions cannot be reliably drawn from this data, thus the basis of this thread is entirely vacuous.

  14. #59
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Well, Dave, we disagree. I stand by my conclusion that MCAS data does not support the original ("vacuous," as you say) contention that MCAS scores dropped due to (or even coincident with) the reconfiguration.

  15. #60
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Bernstein View Post
    The data you posted neither supports the anonymous poser's assertion nor refutes it. You've previously acknowledged that conclusions cannot be reliably drawn from this data, thus the basis of this thread is entirely vacuous.
    I confess that I have found the exchange between Dave and Jeff to be, well, pretty useless. And it has kept from people from discussing what I think is much more interesting (e.g., my posts! :-) So I'd like to see if I can establish some common ground so we can move on.

    What started this whole conversation was a comment on the Town Crier comment section by the anonymous "TheRealTruth" who wrote:

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealTruth
    The MCAS scores are in and Wayland's elementary schools are slipping, Happy Hollow even more than Claypit Hill. Again, this is not something the school committee would want you to dwell on. Happy Hollow was considerably more impacted than Claypit was by the reconfiguration and the scores reflect that.
    Dave, based on your comments throughout this thread about this data and its use, it would seem that to apply your comments consistently, you would agree with Jeff that TheRealTruth's comment is not supported by the data. Am I correct in my understanding of your position?

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •