Stop the celebration! The 0.1% increase on NY ELA tests may not be the result of our hard work & grit, but simply the result of lowered cut scores.
New York State constantly changes the score needed to pass (cut scores) on ELA and Math tests. Only AFTER the tests are graded, a score needed to pass is established. All questions go through extensive field-testing before the tests go live. Why is this practice is needed? Perhaps it might have something to do with fulfilling the NYSED Commissioner’s prediction for ‘incremental’ increases in years to come. When Commissioner King declares ‘incremental’ increases August 2013, he delivers ‘incremental’ increases August 2014.
NY promised to leave the cut scores unchanged and decided this year that they did not need teachers to be part of the process (as explained here).
Results of the Math tests are up 4.6%, but the cut score was lowered by 3% (3rd grade). In 2013, students needed to receive 44 out of a possible 60 points in order to achieve a passing score of 3. In 2014, students needed to only receive 42 out of a possible 60 points in order to receive a passing grade of 3.
Results of the ELA tests are up 0.1%, but the cut score was lowered by 2% (3rd grade). In 2013, students needed to receive 35 out of 55 possible points to achieve a passing score of 3. In 2014, students needed to only receive 30 out of a possible 49 points to receive a passing grade of 3.
Info provided by NY raw score to scale score and performance indicator chart here.
So much for a celebration…
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Put on green laces & let students know they are more than a score.