As always, John Butcher (aka Cranky) is keeping a sharp eye out for the multifarious ways in which schools and school districts game the Standards of Learning tests.
One way to chisel the scores a few years ago was to exempt Limited English Proficient (LEP) students from taking the SOLs, requiring them to take the Virginia Grade Level Alternative (VGLA) test instead. Schools used the locally graded VGLA to boost SOL scores until the rampant abuse was corrected by General Assembly action. The Virginia Department of Education restricted use of the test in 2013, but scores remained high, ranging between the 90% and 95% pass rate — considerably higher than the pass rate for the SOLs.
After reviewing the data Cranky has suggested three possible explanations “for these “phenomenal” post-2013 pass rates:
- Most of the LEP students are from Lake Woebegon;
- The LEP tests are very easy; or
- Schools have been misclassifying kids as LEP (or cheating in some other manner) in order to boost their pass rates.
Read John’s blog post. You’ll be asking the same question.There are currently no comments highlighted.