Schools watch for standardized test results today

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Tubman Middle School could be removed from the dreaded "needs improvement" list for the first time, but no one will be at the school to celebrate.

Principal Wayne Frazier said he hopes his school made adequate yearly progress as defined by No Child Left Behind, which would mean Tubman is no longer a "needs improvement" school. The school, however, has been closed and is being converted into an alternative education center.

"I'm very optimistic that we'll make it," Dr. Frazier said Monday.

He is among many educators, parents and schoolchildren anxiously awaiting the release of state test results -- a major factor in determining adequate yearly progress. That could come today, as the Georgia Department of Education is expected to release school-by-school results of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, state standardized tests administered to children in first through eighth grades.

Department spokesman Dana Tofig said the accountability office has been receiving calls from local school officials who have found discrepancies in the unofficial results they have received.

"That's part of the reason this process takes so long," Mr. Tofig said. "There's certainly no conspiracy to keep results secret."

He said the department "releases information as quickly and as responsibly as possible."

Statewide results were made public June 5.

Once school-level CRCT scores are released, there will be another delay before progress results are known, Mr. Tofig said. He expects that information to be released by mid-July.

"With AYP, there's literally millions of pieces of information that must be put together," he said. "The worst thing would be to say a school didn't make AYP when it did."

Mr. Tofig said many school systems are calculating their own adequate yearly progress results, but he cautioned against doing that because of the sheer number of variables that go into the determination and the chances of making an error. He added that Georgia is one of the first states, if not the first, to release the results each year.

Schools that fail to make adequate yearly progress two years in a row are put on the "needs improvement" list, and they must make adequate yearly progress two consecutive years to be removed.

Last year, Tubman made it for the first time since No Child Left Behind became law in 2002. The school hung a banner outside and celebrated its success.

"I'm not trying to make AYP based on whether the building will be open or not," Dr. Frazier said.

He said the important thing is that students and workers know of the progress.

Dr. Frazier, who is moving to Glenn Hills High School as principal, is unsure how Tubman officially fared but said he is sure that teachers and staff members provided a loving environment and saw their students grow academically, behaviorally and socially.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

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Craig Spinks
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Craig Spinks 07/07/09 - 04:11 am
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Mr. Tofig, please explain

Mr. Tofig, please explain what and how discrepancies in preliminary CRCT results were ascertained by local school officials as well as the manner in which the GDOE validated these putative discrepancies.

jackfruitpaper833
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jackfruitpaper833 07/07/09 - 06:38 am
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Well I know one school will

Well I know one school will not meet it and that's Laney, maybe next year since Dr. Welcher is gone. *SIGHS*

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 07/07/09 - 08:12 am
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Empirical research has show
Unpublished

Empirical research has show time and time again that standardized test scores are related largely (emphasis very largely) on one denominating factor: Socioeconomic status (SES). These tests only serve one purpose and that is to punish low socioeconomic status students. These students do not have the resources or the support at home to compete with upper class students on the tests. Teachers at low SES schools could do an outstanding job and teach the children many things they never knew before (I taught one teenage low SES girl how to "google" this year, something taken for granted in high SES homes) and still never come close to having the scores of a high SES school. Standardized testing is a crude game invented by politicians so they can tell you they're "getting tough on education" and "holding schools accountable". They're doing (at best) nothing.

crackertroy
540
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crackertroy 07/07/09 - 08:14 am
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Why not hold schools
Unpublished

Why not hold schools accountable based on IMPROVEMENTS on pre-test and post-test scores? That would be a logical way to measure learning.

workingmom
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workingmom 07/07/09 - 12:19 pm
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Cracker, in order to do that,

Cracker, in order to do that, there would have to be standardized pre and post-test scores. As good as that sounds, it would be very costly. The students are tested enough as it is and this would add one more test. I don't believe standardized tests punish anyone. With educational funding, the lower SES districts sometimes get more money to implement new programs. I do agree that in the majority of cases, test scores are directly correlated to SES. They always have and most likely always will be.

teacher02
3
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teacher02 07/07/09 - 01:12 pm
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As a public school teacher, I

As a public school teacher, I have no problem with standardized tests as a way to identify weaknesses and work on improvements. But when schools are judged primarily on the results with no consideration given to the SES of the area (not to mention the other important factors that influence learning like absences, behavior issues, and social promotion among others), it unfairly stigmatizes the school, educators, and students in a negative light. While many schools can undoubtedly perform better, others are doing the best with what they have and have approached a ceiling where further improvement will be near impossible. As standards continue to be raised yearly (ending at the ridiculous 100% requirement by 2014) nearly every school will be classified as failing. It’s time for some realistic revisions to NCLB.

Enyaw
13
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Enyaw 07/07/09 - 08:02 pm
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Wow Dr Welcher still has an

Wow Dr Welcher still has an impact on the community... He might be gone but the problems still exsist. These problems are brought in every day to that school and many inner city schools. You're right the scores may go up this year considering the admin history of hiding and/or distorting the truth.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 07/08/09 - 03:22 pm
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Glad to see Mr. Frazier is

Glad to see Mr. Frazier is going to be principal of Glenn Hills. I hope he does a great job there and stays on if he wishes to. I think he can do a lot of good for that school. There are some very good students there already and potentially, there may be a lot more yet to bloom. They could use a mentor like him.

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