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Superintendent Vitti could spin %$^& into gold!

Have you ever seen JFK, the Oliver Stone movie. At one point one of the investigators turned to Jim Garrison the DA and said, how do you know who your daddy is? because your mamma told you is how.  

Well friends we have been hearing that this new round of tests are much harder than the last. Well how do we know it is so, I guess because our superintendent told us. 

Speaking of our superintendent he could spin stepping in crap as a positive thing.

From the Times Union about our bottom the barrel Algebra I and ELA scores: Duval Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said, that considering it’s a harder test, with more writing and informational texts, he’s satisfied that this year’s performance is similar to last year’s.
“To break even is really a step in the right direction,” he said.
These are this years ELA results
Palm Beach, 57
Orange, 52
Hillsborough, 55
Dade, 52
Broward, 55
Duval, 48
State Average 54
This is last years FCAT 2.0 reading results
Palm Beach, 56
Orange, 54
Hillsborough, 55
Dade, 52
Broward, 53
Duval, 48
State Average 55
For a harder test the percentages of kids passing it seems remarkably similar in the big six districts as is Duval's last place finish.
Here is this year's algebra EOC results
Palm Beach, 70
Orange, 64
Hillsborough, 69
Dade, 63
Broward, 69
Duval, 57
State Average 67
Here is last years Algebra I EOC Assessment
Palm Beach, 71
Orange, 62
Hillsborough, 64
Dade, 69
Broward, 68 
Duval, 58
State Average 66
Was this test harder this year too? 
I would like to remind everyone that the ELA test has yet to be validated and I think the tests are crap but the powers-that-be who Vitti often represents at least say they believe in them. My point is two fold, first the super thinks breaking even is a step in the right direction and second how do we know we broke even? because he says we did is how.
Also from the Times Union: Meanwhile, education experts warn against overreacting to these test results.
The percentage passing rates are linked to last year’s average passing scores, said Trey Csar, president of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, which is why they’re similar to last year’s passing rates even though the tests are tougher. They’re like grading on a curve that is based on last year’s scores.
Um,  Wasn't Vitti's wife or best friend available to ask? 
If I get a ten million dollar think tank do you think I can be an expert too?

Kidding a bit but Csar and Vitti's fates are kind of linked I don't know if going to him let alone calling him an expert is going to give us nuanced and accurate information. How do we know he is an expert? the Times Union says he is, is how.

2 comments:

  1. Csar is correct. (I'll pass on the question of his expertise.) The results are the same because the state linked this year's scores to last year's for reporting results. The coming crash in scores will happen next year after cut scores are determined over the fall. Objectively, we know the tests are harder because the early adopters (New York and Kentucky) had a huge drop in passing rates when they changed their tests. Subjectively, we know the tests are harder because we have reviewed the release materials and see how much more difficult they are. In fact, the tests are so ridiculous the only legitimate thing they measure is how well students can navigate the testing interface.

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  2. When compared to how well students in other counties performed, I would have to rate the improvement in Duval under Vitti and this Board unsatisfactory. Both Vitti and the Board which just extended his contract for three more years should be placed in a "Needs Improvement" program and terminated if there is no improvement next year.

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