Sunday, December 9, 2012

From the Desk of...Really - you Kidding me?!?

You know, I don't have a problem when politicians take the facts and put them in a light most favorable to themselves (seems to be one of those contagious things here in Downtown Edison) but Maeroff's latest offering has so much spin on it that he makes himself dizzy. It's a tad bit disappointing to see Board of Mythomania President Gene Maeroff take the plunge with his take on the NJ ASK scores, which you can read here.

Now, never was much of a fan of his From the Desk of Gene Maeroff - look at what I did love letters, which usually are a one-sided version of what's going on over there on Mythomania Lane - his version. More often than not, there's always another side of things that never seems to make it in. 

Such is the case with his latest offering on November 26, 2012 regarding the NJ ASK Scores for the elementary schools (grades 3 through 5). This thing is so convoluted and misdirected that it's hard to see how anyone could get to the truth of the matter with these explanations of the test score results and corrective action plans. 

Seriously, does he really want to suggest that something may be wrong with the test since everyone state-wide did not score well - and the reasons have not yet been explained to his satisfaction? If so, then maybe he shouldn't of been so quick to pay out a bonus to Dr. Richard "Build the Trust" O'Malley for these test results. Continuing on, he jumps all around to find positive things to say and glosses over any detail of the not so good things. In fact, some of his numbers don't even agree with the test score sheets they gave me.

So, let's cut to the chase here. These 2012 test results show an unacceptable level of students scoring at less than proficient. Across the district for grades 3 - 5, 16.3% of the students scored less than proficient with 12.5%, 20.6% and 16.1% for grades 3, 4 & 5, respectively. And when you look at the individual breakdown between language and math, partially proficient ranges from 7.3% to 27%. Further, when you look at the individual schools, some have score results of partially proficient in the high 40 percentile. So, Maeroff's claim that district-wide proficient and advanced proficient scores are 91.6%, 85.7% and 92.7% for grades 3, 4 & 5, respectively - is simply not true. According to his own numbers, it's really 87.5%, 79.4% and 83.9% for grades 3, 4 & 5, respectively. 

In addition to the high partially proficient scores, there's the change over last year's scores that make it worse. For grades 3 through 5 - some 54% of the scores were Worse than last year's scores. Not an admirable trend.

Finally, I'm sure it's worth noticing how comparable districts and the rest of the state did on these tests, but really - don't see how that relates to what they're responsible for right here in Downtown Edison.

Moral of this story, these test results need some serious improvement - not blah..blah explanations from the Board President that don't really tell you the seriousness or magnitude of the problem or the real size of the numbers. Further, you should take the time to check the data for each school for yourself and check out the Board Goal for this school year that Maeroff touts to cap the third grade language arts partially proficient at 15%. In a prior post, I showed you the Board Goals they came up with for this year - and there's nothing in there about any 15%.

These scores need a real plan of action to correct and all of us need to make sure they do it.

All the numbers referred to above are in past posts on NJ ASK but here's a couple of things to keep in mind:

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