One of the most interesting thing about receiving tons of data, is that it opens ones eyes to inconsistencies and errors in ones old interpretations and previous accounting methods.

For example.  I too was guilty years ago of looking at scores listed in the News Journal each time educational decisions came up and saying “wow, that’s a really good school” or “wow, that’s really terrible… ”

That primarily is because I was full of trust regarding whatever I was told.  I assumed it was done on good authority and that the results were scientifically accurate to within a certain margin of error…  After all… why would anyone, want to skew data to make a bad school look good?  Or a good school look bad?  .. Back then it was inconceivable to think anyone would ever want to do so…

But we had very limited data.  In honesty, we pulled the News Journal page, a magnifying glass, a legal pad, and a writing utensil…  That was the only knowledge we had with which to make a decision….

Things are different now.  Much different now.  We now have the world of knowledge at our fingertips.  Make that everyones fingertips…  And we now have tons of money, unlimited money that can control the data we now get fed both from Google, or from the News Journal so it presents a certain slant, a slant we’d probably otherwise believe, if we didn’t have opposite information so readily available as well…

Every cloud has a silver lining and every silver lining masks a cloud…  We can blindly choose as human beings to see one or the other, but the wisest of us are those who constantly see both.. In this regard, our rush to hold those teachers accountable in our poorest districts, by making them raise scores to a certain level or get fired, has brought to the forefront like nothing had before, the gigantic impact poverty directly has on education…

98% of a child’s test score…. hinges on the amount of household income his parents have..  There are a few exceptions.. (At 2% they amount to 1,000,000 students across all America… who do not fit into the income/score related profile.)

With massive amounts of data, the idea of returning to the black hole of having no accountability, something that unfortunately once happened to those who were not white before the civil rights movement gave them protections, has problems.  How do we know when a child is just being babysat, and not taught?  How can we tell before it is too late whether a child of a minority is truly being taught, or just passing time to keep their race in check?

As for now, we acknowledge we need some type of benchmark to keep track of students. but we also recognize we cannot use scores solely as their one rating tool..  Teaching itself cannot be tied to test scores since those being tested are not equal coming into the system…. The average low income child entering the school system has a vocabulary of 1500 words and no number or shape recognizing skills.  The average high income child reaches that level before they are 2….

Obviously using the same scale for both, hides a lot of hard work those teachers of low income students must undergo just to raise scores a little, as well as it hides a lot of laziness those upper class teacher can coast on  because their kid’s scores are always high.

One of the most noticeable things jumping out from the charts across the state and nation as a whole was the remarkable similarity of how adding just the percents of low income to the percents of  ELA proficiency, gave you a number close to 100….

This is just an observable trend that seems to hold consistent, and must be considered more of natural phenomenon than any other mechanism..  Just my stating it here, means it should be scientifically investigated at some point, and not that all should jump on board when it could turn out to be as false an assumption as ones one stating Charter Schools would improve children’s education. (They did not; they do just the opposite).

But that said…. here is how it works..

East Side Charter School…   Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

Third Grade;  77.3%  +  25.9%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   103.2 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fourth Grade;  77.3%  +  27.0%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   104.3 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fifth Grade;  77.3%  +  10.8%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   88.1 meaning something not positive is going on there. They are far below the expectations of 100%…  this grade’s score is the cause of Pandora’s surprise at East Side Charters low average. Which again, proves how micro inspection of data can reveal solid reasons behind grand statements like that of saying:  East Side Charter results are really surprisingly low…..  (and i’ll divert here a moment because this is some of the good part of having data).

Why did this grade come in lower?  Teacher? Students rushed through the test? Course material? Bad questions? Grading anomaly? Opting out at higher percentages?  Students learned the basics before the switch to Common Core? This is an example showing that without any testing, this grade would simply get passed up the ladder and we would never know that something important was missed.. But on the flip side, since only one of those possible excuses was a teachers fault, blanket firing of teachers for low 5th Grade results in an educational system, is counterproductive and immoral…  Here’s why.

East Side Charter 2013-2014

As we can see here… those in forth grade last year had similar lower scores than either of the the two grades sandwiching them in… Of course the next year they’d be in 5th grade, and one would expect their scores to also be lower… “Ta da!!”  Guess what?  They were.  So throwing shade at East Side Charter and its headmaster due how their lower scores compared to others, is really bogus.. Even more so: .. Firing that 5th grade teacher or making threats to fire her, is equally bogus…  “You had better have your scores bounce up this year, or you’re fired..”  Well looking at the class she has coming in this next year… guess what?  Her scores are going to be up, unless she works backwards to undo what they already know….

And this is the whole point of the controversy really.  Tests are neutral by themselves… Using tests for anything other than each student’s development over time, is evil. unless a very open system is available for all data to be perused by both sides, so a determination can be made if the error was due to personal fault.  Since that is logistically hard to do while keeping private data private, it truly points to the fact that having scores show up on evaluations at all, is bogus. They do not belong as weight on anyones evaluation of employment.

So bottom line is that we have mixed results at East Side charter… If one remembers, the previous years accolades were all the result of one class passing through, which exceeded expectations… not the entire school. as we pointed out back when those accolades were reported erroneously  in the News Journal.

But if any credibility can be given to the kavips Coefficient, it does show that teaching in this school is in positive territory. and that is what is important…  And one more grade from East Side Charter School, 6th, shows this years fifth grade score to be an anomaly …

Sixth Grade;  77.3%  +  24.5%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   101.8 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Anyone who has visited East Side Charter during class time would in all truth say… that school should be in positive territory….

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Next, let us take a priority school… Since a year ago this week, the priority school speech was made on the steps of Warner, let us take Warner….

Again… Warner Public School (Red Clay) …   Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

Third Grade;  82.6%  +  15.6%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   98.4 meaning they are just shy of meeting the theoretical expectation. .  However, they are exceeding the expectations of the 5th grade of East Side Charter….

Fourth Grade;  82.6%  +  18.6%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   101.2 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fifth Grade:   82.6%  +  5.0%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   87.6 meaning something not positive is going on there. They are not exceeding the expectations of 100%… But coincidentally … it is also 5th Grade that scores so low… (East Sides was 88.1)

What this shows is a better rating of schools than just pure test scores.  Imagine a school with 82.6% of your students below the poverty line?  Those are Indian Reservation levels.   Yet if you want to measure effort and determine who is doing a good job, looking at the kavips Coefficient instead of just comparing test scores…. is a far better determination.. Though you’ve heard of the success stories from East Side Charter, and you’ve heard from the DOE of the (alleged) failure of Warner,  by using the kavips coefficient, you see this comparison…

……………………..East Side                    Warner     (kC stands for the kavipsCoefficient)

3rd  ………………….103.2 kC…………………….98.4 kC

4th…………………..,104.3 kC…………………….101.2 kC

5th……………………..88.1kC……………………..87.6 kC

Which pretty well shows the bias behind only using test scores to determine data….   So just for fun, how does this stack up against our top schools?

Newark Charter School …   Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

Third Grade;  7.2%  +  93.1%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   100.3 meaning they are just over meeting the theoretical expectationof 100%

Fourth Grade;  7.2%  +  94.7%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   101.9 meaning something positive is going on there. They are exceeding the expectations of 100%…

Fifth Grade:   7.2%  +  86.2%  gives a kavipsCoefficient  of   93.5 meaning something not positive is going on there. They are not exceeding the expectations of 100%… But coincidentally … it is also their 5th Grade that scores so surprisingly low… (East Side’s was 88.1, Warner’s was 87.6)

So when you compare these coefficients, you see that for one school to trumpet… “Whoo Hoo… We are the number one in the state” … it also stands for…. “Whoo,Hoo….We have the richest parents of students in the state”….  So upon seeing the kavipsCoefficient, the inequality of of holding teachers accountable for the income of the parents, hits you directly in the face with its boguosity. (root word bogus).

……………………..East Side……………………… Warner…………………………….Newark Charter

3rd  ………………….103.2 kC…………………….98.4 kC…………………………………….100.3kC

4th…………………..,104.3 kC…………………….101.2 kC…………………………………..101.9kC

5th……………………..88.1kC………………………..87.6 kC…………………………………….93.5kC

And that is all Charter Schools do… Applying the kavipsCoefficient gives an accurate description of who is doing a good job regardless of parent’s income… and who is just plain lazy.. It also cuts through a lot of hidden data and points to the real problems which we will address later, as in:… What is wrong with the 5th Grade Smarter Balanced test……

When you do your own comparison of district and state schools, I highly recommend you use this formula to determine real success and failure… In the meantime, we got to focus on 6th grade this year and catch them up…  Remember.

Poverty%  +  ELA proficiency %  = the kavips Coefficient…

which is the only fair way to rank schools.

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