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Re: WASL Fact/Thought of the Day

In a message dated 9/22/2001 8:07:48 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
gbracey@EROLS.COM writes:

> What two variables do you want to correlate?

I have no idea. I am just looking at ways to use the state's numbers (any
numbers) to point out that the state's numbers (the ones they analyze and
send to the media) aren't all that the state would have you believe. In
general, people are all too willing to believe something if you can say a
number with it. The state recognizes this and uses it (84% of kids passed
the language arts end-of-course SOL test). People's quick response is 84% is
a high number. The program is working.

They don't think things like: 16% failed. Who in particular failed? Were
some communities more affected than others? 84% passed but by how much? Is
the passing score improving year to year? Are the questions getting easier?
The same phenomena happened when the state said that black students improved
more on 24 out of 27 tests than white students. They improved by 15%. People
don't automatically say 15% of what? Or look to see that the "improvement"
meant that 8% passed one year and 12% passed the second year; a gain of 4%.
White students only gained 3 points: their pass rate went from 61% to 64%.
(I am making these numbers up!).

So anytime there is a number that we can use to show that the state's numbers
are not telling the whole story, we try to jump on it. So, I guess, mostly I
am just asking to see if it is something that is fairly easy to do and which
might yield numbers that help our cause.