Box Scores (me)
That's my pie chart over there. Green represents students who improved one quintile; yellow for students who remained in the same quintile year-to-year; red for students who dropped to a lower quintile. That green section accounts for over 70 percent of student performance. There is no red. As a class, each of my groups averaged one quintile of growth.
Feeling good about a lot of green, but especially my Special Ed (RSP) kids. These kids accounted for 20 percent of my overall student population. Every one posted a higher scale score than the previous year. Over 80 percent moved up one quintile. Nineteen percent moved two quintiles.
Feeling bummed about all that yellow. It's too much. If I taught kids who began the year Proficient (4) or Advanced (5), that (generally speaking) static growth would be fine. I don't. I teach, in the parlance of the times, critically at-risk kids, those who fall many years of academic performance below what it would take to scrape out a high school diploma, nevermind the A-G requirements, nevermind higher ed matriculation. Massive, dramatic growth is called for, and even when the scaled score goes up within the quintile, that's not enough.
Feeling good about the writing scores. I've never taught so many students who scored proficient.
Feeling bummed that the stupid-ass narrative writing exam saved my butt. I'm thinking that pie-chart looks a lot more yellow without those weak proficient scores on that weak March assessment.
Feeling good about my just-out-of-the-newcomer-program kids. There were three of em, CELDT 1s and CST 1s all, and each kid scored Basic (3) on the CSTs, and two of them did so on the 8th grade exam. Those kids are awesome, and a walking advertisement for 1) the importance of teaching kids primary language literacy first and 2) the importance of a true newcomer center to teach, as a primary function, the English language.
Feeling bummed in general. It's been suggested to me that the previous post took an unnecessarily harsh and gloomy view of things. Maybe, but I expect better. From myself and those around me. We struggled a little, let the embers smolder rather than build that towering bonfire. I have more static students. I have far fewer proficient students. I have fewer students who achieved the goal of three years growth in one year. There's an obvious danger in looking yourself into a must-get-better-constantly model, especially when we're dealing with variance in the extent of success, the kind of success that if cruncher data is to be believed, no one's been having with these kids; still, it doesn't feel as good getting my pie charts back, and there's a clear imperative to come back with more focus, more energy, and more grit this year.