"OUTSTANDING" KIRIS SCHOOL IS BELOW AVERAGE
CTBS I believe is scored on a percentile basis. Most large urban
school districts like Seattle or San Francisco are at the 50th
percentile, actually a mix of 60th percentile whites and Asians
and 30th percentile minorities. 42-46 percentile is indeed not
bad for poor minorities, but it's hardly competitive with the better
suburbs if you're looking for absolute performance champs.
> There have been two separate posts in this forum of the 14 December
> "Lexington Herald-Leader's" article about successful practice in the
> Highland-Turner elementary school of Breathitt County, Kentucky.
> 4. But, here's some real data which wasn't in the article: Check out the
> scores for this school:
> 94-95 95-96 96-97 97-98
> KIRIS 35.6 45.0 51.6 48.5
> CTBS-5 Not Given 46.2 42.1
Date sent: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 08:36:56 -0500
From: "Richard G. Innes" <email@example.com>
Subject: [education-consumers] WARNING - MISLEADING NEWS ARTICLE
Send reply to: "Richard G. Innes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
There have been two separate posts in this forum of the 14 December
"Lexington Herald-Leader's" article about successful practice in the
Highland-Turner elementary school of Breathitt County, Kentucky.
While some of the comments would warm the heart of education
conservatives, be careful. ECC/Loop and whoever need a bigger picture.
1. The sole basis of praise for this school are results on Kentucky's
KIRIS accountability system.
2. KIRIS was so misleading that the legislature recently voted it out of
existance. The 1998 administration was only conducted because reform
supporters feared the entire reform would falter if testing were
3. A major new report from RAND (on-line at www.RAND.org) shows KIRIS
inflated Kentucky progress by about 3.6 to over 4 times. In fact, RAND
found little real progress in Kentucky and nothing that stood out from
progress in other states. RAND all but says the KIRIS was bogus.
The lead RAND researcher is a nationally known expert who is highly
experienced with Kentucky education. This is not a superficial report by
some doctoral student or a one-year contract study team.
4. But, here's some real data which wasn't in the article: Check out the
scores for this school:
94-95 95-96 96-97 97-98
KIRIS 35.6 45.0 51.6 48.5
CTBS-5 Not Given 46.2 42.1
5. The KIRIS shows instability, rising consistently for three years but
then dropping in the most recent year. The CTBS-5 (known outside Kentucky
as the Terra Nova) made a most dramatic one year drop of 4.1 points.
The drops in 97-98 are NOT due to one weak class. KIRIS is tested in 4th
grade, and CTBS-5 looked at 3rd grade. This is a school, not a class,
But, take a look again at the praises and compliments showered on this
school, and you would never suspect that their most recent experience fell
down so badly on the second administration of a national, standardized
achievement test (which should have experienced Lake Woebeggon effect and
shown rising scores even if there was no progress). You also wouldn't
know their most recent KIRIS score declined, either.
While I would take the KIRIS trend with a grain of salt, the CTBS-5 looks
at basic skills. Clearly, something is amiss in Highland-Turner in that
Also, look at the KIRIS trend line. If you take Highland-Turner's scores
on KIRIS and apply the RAND correction for about a 3.6 inflation factor,
then the school's real KIRIS progress would be only about 3.5 points over
four years. That's on a test that uses a 0 to 133 scoring scale. Anyone
see much to crow about there?
BOTTOM LINE: BE DARN CAREFUL ABOUT *ANYTHING* YOU HEAR ABOUT KENTUCKY
EDUCATION! BE PARTICULARLY CAREFUL IF THE TEST ISN'T IDENTIFIED, OR IS
THE KIRIS ASSESSMENT. (How many times to I have to say it..........)
It will be interesting to see if Highland-Turner becomes the focus of a
new reformist campaign. Was the article a trial balloon or just the
result of incomplete research? Who knows?
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