Showing posts with label Students. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Students. Show all posts

SAT Scores Up - For Some, WAY Up

The College Board released the annual test results of its three programs—AP, SAT, and PSAT/NMSQT -- all in one report this year. Stacking them together gave interesting comparisons, but the news is fantastic.

An unprecedented number of students, including a large increase in minority and low-income students, participated and succeeded. Of the 1.67 million students who took the SAT, nearly half were minorities and nearly a fourth were low-income students. And the number of high school students who succeeded on at least one AP exam (earning at least a 3 out of 5) doubled in the past year.

The report did reveal a few areas that need attention very soon. First, too many students are missing out on opportunities. Thirty-nine percent of the 684,577 students who showed AP potential (indicated by high PSAT/NMSQT scores) didn’t enroll for a single AP class. Likewise, for SAT takers, 9 percent were close to achieving the college and career readiness benchmark and might have succeeded with less than a year of additional instruction.

I'll take those kind of problems every year, thank you very much. With the reports of the last twelve years, I'm very sure that no one was expecting to see the report show 39% of qualifying students, for one reason or another, didn't take advantage  of the AP courses. There are other College Readiness courses however. AP doesn't have a monopoly by any means (Despite what you may have heard from various groups like the Tea Party). So it would be interesting to see how many of those students made it into other programs.

For twelve years, nothing exciting has come from these reports. Comparatively, it is like these kids were being educated in another country. Since Common Core State Standards were implemented this last year (and for some the year before as well), I don't think it is much of a reach to suggest CCSS had something to do with this drastic change. And let’s note that this testing class is the first to have experienced the full run of No Child Left Behind, since kindergarten, which was supposed to have engineered gains in college readiness. Not so much. But let's do a little digging, just to see if this theory has any merit at all.

First we'll look at the states that didn't go to the Common Core State Standards. That would be (for last year) Texas, Wyoming and Virginia.

Overall, nationwide, 42.6% of SAT takers in the class of 2014 met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. This number has remained virtually unchanged over time. Among all U.S. public school test-takers, 39.1% met the benchmark. Some SAT takers are not in public schools, but in other programs.

Texas

In Texas, 33.9% of test-takers (60,732 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 31.9% met the benchmark (52,313 students).

The exam, showed that the average score on the math section of the SAT dropped four points from last year to 495. That was the lowest figure since 1992, when Texas students recorded an average score of 493. A perfect score is 800.
In reading, the Class of 2014 in Texas scored an average 476. That was down slightly from last year but still two points better than their worst showing in the past two decades. That occurred in 2012.

In writing, Texas students registered an average 461 for the third year in a row.

State education officials have attributed the declining SAT scores in Texas to an increase in the number of minority students taking the exam. Minorities generally perform worse than white students on standardized achievement tests like the SAT and ACT, the nation’s two leading college entrance exams.

However, California students outperformed Texans by big margins this year — 15 points in math and 22 points in reading. Demographics of the student populations in the two states are similar: California is 52.7 percent Hispanic and 25.5 percent white, while Texas is 51.3 percent Hispanic and 30 percent white.

Wyoming 

In Wyoming, 81.4% of test-takers (140 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 85.4% met the benchmark (111 students). Only 3.3% of the students took the test.

I'm not sure that Wyoming helps us with our theory. While 81.4% is amazing, it also opens up a number of question, like, what happen to all of the other students?

Virginia

In Virginia, 46.6% of test-takers (27,893 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 44.9% met the benchmark (23,603 students).

In 2012, which was a record year for Virginia, 43% made the benchmark.

Thus, Virginia continues to rise -- and with this continued show of growth, I understand why they would be hesitant to take on an "untested in the real world" change like CCSS.

Now let's look at California, Arizona and Washington state.

California

In California, 42.3% of test-takers (100,231 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 40.0% met the benchmark (82,004 students).

41.9% in the class of 2013. We talked a bit about California's success and challenges above so let's move on to Arizona

Arizona

In Arizona, 48.5% of test-takers (10,973 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 47.2% met the benchmark (9,309 students).

2013 results show 37.1%. Note that they were very worried about changing over to CCSS would affect this year's results -- in a negative way. This is an amazing jump.

Washington

In Washington, 46.2% of test-takers (19,060 students) met the SAT College and Career Readiness Benchmark. Among public school students, 44.4% met the benchmark (16,148 students).

2013 shows only 39% made it.


NOTE in the report: However, about one in four Washington students in the SAT class of 2014 did not take a core curriculum. The same is true of test-takers overall.

We are missing a great deal. The scores I'm using are as general as you can get. The jumps from last year are affected by many variables, one of which is that the year before for many states was in the record low area, and teachers went to work with greater effort. Parent participation, funding, more parents home from war -- all of these things affect a child, and affect test scores.

No matter what the reasons however, last year, the kids did it right. Hoping for a good year for 2015.


Bill Nye the Science Guy on Common Core

Bill Nye the Science Guy, one of my favorite Teaching Personalities and very popular with kids, looks into Common Core and gives his opinion


If I were king of the forest we would have math in the core curriculum. Science would be in the core curriculum. English in the core curriculum. Elementary science is where you get scientists. Everybody in the space program, everybody who's a doctor got interested in science when he or she was seven or eight years old, before they were ten, not when they were 16 or 18. That's where you spend your money is science education in elementary levels. Now, people are opposed to core curriculum I believe for two reasons. One of them good and the other just not. The first reason, my perception is they are afraid having these core curriculum, these standards, prohibits teachers from having time to do other stuff that they're good at. It takes away from other things that a teacher brings to the party. And by that I mean what is your favorite thing about your favorite teacher? And it's his or her passion. It's his or her like I'm so excited about this I want you to get excited about this when you're a little kid or when you're any student at any level, even if you're a 58-year-old guy going to the Smithsonian to take a course in oceanography for fun. It's the passion of the person presenting it that gets you going. So, by having too many standards that have to be met too rigorously, the concern is, and I understand this, that you'll keep students from having any fun and getting excited about anything.
But the other reason people seem to be, my perception of what people don't like about core curricula is that it forces them to learn standard stuff when they could be teaching their kids things that are inconsistent with what we know about science. I'm talking about people that want to teach creationism instead of biology. And that's just bad. And the excuse or the justification is you don't want the government telling you what to do. We all have to learn the alphabet everybody. I'm sorry, if we're we're going to have a successful society, it's not an arbitrary arrangement of letters, you got to learn it. Sorry. And the same way if you're asking me everybody's got to learn a little bit of physics, chemistry, mathematics and you got to learn some evolution. You got to learn some biology.
I mean the idea is obvious right? You have a certain minimum that everybody's got to meet. What? Everybody's got to learn the alphabet. Everybody's got to learn to read. The U.S. Constitution is written in english so everybody's got to learn to read english. It would be great if you learned some tonal languages, some romance language that would be good, but our laws are written in english. Everybody's got to learn to read english. Everybody's got to learn math. Everybody's got to learn some algebra. Everybody's got to learn some biology including evolution. So what's not to love? But I know there are people opposed to that.
There may be small errors in this transcript.
Perfect, right?
 

Teachers’ Views on the Common Core State Standards One Year Later

  • In 2014, teachers are more likely to report feeling prepared to teach to the Common Core (79% in 2014 vs. 71% in 2013); they are also now more likely to say implementation is going well in their schools (68% in 2014 vs. 62% in 2013).
  • Fifty-three percent (53%) of teachers overall have seen a positive impact on their students’ ability to think critically and use reasoning skills due to Common Core implementation. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of teachers who report they are in schools where implementation was fully complete in the 2012–13 school year (or earlier) say the same.
  • Eighty-four percent (84%) of teachers who have experienced more than one year of full implementation say they are enthusiastic about the implementation of the new standards.
  • Fewer teachers overall this year than last say that they are enthusiastic about Common Core implementation (68% in 2014 vs. 73% in 2013); teachers are now also more likely to say implementation is challenging (81% in 2014 vs. 73% in 2013).
  • Teachers identify Common Core–aligned instructional materials (86%), quality professional development (84%), additional planning time (78%) and opportunities to collaborate (78%) as critical to ensure successful implementation.

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