Monday, June 24, 2013

The True Data behind the MAP Score Representations made in the District's "Summary" of the 6/10/13 Board Meeting

During the 6/10/13 Board Meeting, and in the District's Summary of that meeting sent to all parents, the Administration represented that the MATH MAP data showed that student results were "consistently in the 97th-99th percentiles."  We explained that Board Member Heneghan pointed out during the meeting that this statement misled parents into thinking that individual students' performance were all at those high percentages, when in fact, they were on average, lower.  Mr. Heneghan was correct.

The Board Docs for tonight's meeting (6/24/13) was updated late this afternoon to include Board Member's Q&A's.  The Q&A's are posted under Agenda Tab A called "Dr. Schuster's Report."

Mr. Heneghan asked the following question:  "Please provide for grades 3-7 the number of students in each grade whose MAP scores for reading and math were in the 97th to 99th percentile."

In her answer to this straightforward question, Dr. Schuster says no disaggregated data is available at this time by grade level, and will not be provided in response to Mr. Heneghan's question unless the board directs her - at tonight's meeting - to provide this information.  However, she does provide aggregated data for the 2013 Spring MAP test for grades 3-5 and 6+.

That data shows the following:

Reading: Percentage scoring in the 97th - 99th Percentile
Grades 2-5:  9.18%
Grades 6+:  6.88%

Math:  Percentage scoring in the 97th - 99th Percentile
Grades 2-5:  10.93%
Grades 6+:  15.17%

Here are our observations:

1.  Such low percentages do not show that our students "consistently" score in the 97th - 99th percentiles.  Mr. Heneghan was correct in questioning the "conclusion" stated by Kevin Russell, the Director of Assessment, at the 6/10 meeting.

2.  D181 parents have a right to expect that more of our students score in the 97th - 99th percentiles in Math and Reading.

3.  The Administration needs to be more open and transparent about the data and not spin it to show something that is not accurate.

4.  Dr. Schuster should want to share the "data" that Mr. Heneghan, as an individual board member,   asked for and not refuse to unless the "Board" directs her to do so.  Board Policy 2:020(8) states that  the Board Members' duties include evaluating educational programs.  Requesting that the administration provide accurate performance data that will enable Board members to evaluate existing programs, should not be met with delay or a requirement that others on the Board concur with the request.  We expect more transparency from Dr. Schuster.  It is time for her to stop stone-walling, delaying and refusing to answer legitimate board member questions.

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