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Can Test Scores be the Only Way to Judge Schools…

June 6, 2011

It seems obvious to most that Test Scores and API shouldn’t be the only way to measure how “good” school are.  Emily Alpert over at the Voice of San Diego makes the case for this as well.

Kevin Beiser (pictured here) states that there are some good schools in San Diego that unfortunately fall short of testing goals but school success can’t, or shouldn’t be aggregated down testing scores alone.  I agree with this statement.

From the article:

California schools get a score from 200 to 1,000 based on how their students perform on multiple tests. The state goal is for schools to reach 800 on the Academic Performance Index. Under state education law, schools are supposed to make measurable progress towards an 800 score, with growth targets set on how far away they are. Once they hit that mark, they just have to stay above it.

During a discussion about how to measure school success, Beiser pointed out that three schools with good reputations, Henry, Serra and High Tech High, were short of that 800-point mark.

“This is very interesting to me,” Beiser said. “Maybe they’re very high-performing in other areas.”

And he’s correct about where the scores fall, though some of these schools come darn close. The most recent scores show that last year Henry High in San Carlos scored 782. Serra, located in Tierrasanta, scored 762. And the charter High Tech High in Point Loma scored 795.

If you disagree with our determination or analysis, please express your thoughts in the comments section of this blog post. Explain your reasoning.

It is hard to see how we are going to move away from high-stakes testing unless enough new research comes out against it, or if enough parents get involved.  There are those like Jonathan Alter who advocate for it, but he is sorely misinformed.


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