Sunday, June 9, 2013

2012-2013 Year In Review: Middle School Math -- What did the Performance Data Show?

How did the Standard math students who elected a Rapid 8th grade Math Acceleration Model perform?The administration tracked the performance data for these students.  Originally the plan was that the students would need to maintain an 80% in the class or be dropped back to standard math.  This 80% performance cut-off is the same that was used for students to remain in advanced or accelerated math classes in middle school. To date, Superintendent Schuster has presented 3 performance reports to the BOE.   

At the May 20, 2013 board meeting, 3rd quarter performance data was presented to the board in Dr. Schuster's Superintendent's report.  It was not positive and had declined from the first 2 quarters.  (You can access Dr. Schuster's report by going to  Board Docs.)  Third quarter data showed that most test and quiz averages were well below the 80% cut-off.  (The report combined HMS and CHMS students, so it is not clear if one school performed better than the other.)  On 5 out of 8 tests/quizzes, the average scores were 69.06%, 70.93%, 76.34%, 77.03% and 78.36%.  Only three test/quiz score averages were above the 80% cut-off at 83.87%, 84.90% and 91.05%.

A simple averaging of these 8 quiz/test "averages" would result in an 3rd quarter average of only 78.94%.  However, Dr. Schuster reported an average that included homework, and reported that the average was 82.88%.

This average, including the homework, was down from the 1st and 2nd quarter averages that she previously had reported to the board -- 83.1% for both quarters  (See 11/12/12 and 2/11/13 Superintendent's Report on Board Docs).  

The 1st quarter average data showed that 2 out of 3 test averages were below the 80% cut-off:  73.2% and 75.4%.  Only one was above it:  83.3%.  A simple averaging of these 3 "averages" would result in a 1st quarter average of only 77.3%, however, Dr. Schuster reported that the average that included homework was 83.1%.  

For 2nd quarter, the test/quiz average scores were 79.10%, 79.79%, 81.62%, 84.25%, 86.16% and 92.09%.  A simple averaging of these scores would result in a 1st quarter average of 83.83%.

So, the test/quiz averages for the 3 quarters yo-yo'd from 77.3% to 83.83% back down to 79.94%.  For 2 of the 3 quarters, the average was below the "cut-off" that had previously been enforced.  (It should be noted, that on February 11, Dr. Schuster reported that there had been "some movement in an out since start of year" but that this has involved "less than 10 students." (See 2/11/13 Board Docs, Superintendent's report.)  

On May 20, Dr. Schuster stated that the 4th quarter data would be reported to the board after school ended, along with the number of students who had placed into geometry, honors geometry or who would be repeating algebra 1 their Freshman year.  We hope this data is compiled and presented soon. When it is,  the following data should be presented:

1.  the 4th quarter averages for the 8th grade algebra course,
2.  how many of the 8th grade "rapid acceleration" students placed into geometry or honors geometry for their freshmen year,
3.  4 quarters of performance data and the high school course placement information should be given for 8th grade Advanced math students who completed the second half of the algebra course this year, and
4.  4 quarters of performance data should also be presented for the 7th grade Accelerated Math students who took the one year algebra course this year after a full year of pre-algebra in 6th grade.

Only after all this data is compiled and compared, can the administration analyze the success of the rapid acceleration of formerly standard math students into 8th grade algebra.

If and when this data is presented, we will report it on this blog.  The next post addresses implications and concerns we have based upon the data that has been made available.

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