About the Reading Scores for Limited English Proficient Students…

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 fromĀ 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.

One response to “About the Reading Scores for Limited English Proficient Students…

  1. Don’t want to get too “grumpy” here about “Cranky”… BUT

    I’m not surprised at all that some kids with disadvantages don’t do as well as other kids especially when – if you actually looked at individual schools within schools districts (even schools like Henrico) – the problems are much more prevalent in specific schools in low income neighborhoods where poverty is prevalent and the education level of the parents low.

    But what is the real point of ” give me more of your data so I can further impugn you” tactics other than to point out deficiencies without advocating changes?

    Anyone can make a hobby of going through government mandated transparency data to find problems… but to do that alone – just to be doing that -over and over in blog post after blog post, what’s the purpose?

    It surely can’t be to claim that the private sector could do a better job but then refuse to hold them also to the same levels of transparency and accountability that we do public schools could it?

    So..at the end of the day – when I read these tomes, – I end up with “what’s the purpose” of what he is doing?

    I think that’s a fair question that deserves some reasonable answer other than “holding them accountable”… when there is really nothing more other than the relentless dinging of public education for their obvious – and to be honest, no easily-solved problems by ANY “school” public or private.

    It’s a societal problem. It’s common in a LOT of other countries also.

    What to do? I’m all for tax dollars for vouchers and private sector schools – I think the public schools have done a terrible job with the at-risk kids.

    But I also want to see them held to the same standards of transparency and accountability. It’s not good enough to ding the public schools then CLAIM the private sector would do better.. and it’s downright disingenuous to say that because they are not govt they don’t need to have transparency and accountability. That would ONLY be true if there were NO tax dollars involved – otherwise – the same rules apply.

    But again – what is Cranky trying to “prove”?

    it just seems to me to be nonstop negativity… sometimes.. for no real purpose.

Leave a Reply