About a week or so ago the first test scores from the new Smarter Balanced test became available and the results were as expected if you expect anything out of test scores.
Cohorts of students that were not economically disadvantaged or had parents that finished a four year college/university or better performed better than peers that were on the opposite end of the spectrum. Which pretty much makes the point that, it’s not really that the test is measuring how well the kids are being taught or how good the teachers are test taking has a lot to do with the students’ background.
So let me talk about this a bit closer to home. My kids attend Ruby Bridges Elementary School which is our neighborhood school that we are completely in love with. The teachers are awesome and the community is amazing, but — for some reason — Ruby Bridges Elementary has a terrible reputation with some families in our neighborhood. I don’t know why it has such a terrible reputation other than “test scores.” I mean, I know why, but no one ever comes outright and says they don’t want to send their kids to Ruby Bridges because there’s too much diversity.
The population, from my own neighborhood, that deserts Ruby Bridges at the highest numbers are probably the Asian kids. Now, I’m going to make the assumption that for folks that live in Bayport the majority would be considered “Not Economically Disadvantaged.” So I took the numbers from all the elementary schools in Alameda for that very specific cohort: Asian, Not Economically Disadvantaged and I compared them all, and guess what? Ruby Bridges did not fare any worse for that particular group of kids than any other Alameda school. In fact, compared to other schools, the Asian, Not Economically Disadvantaged kids did better at Ruby Bridges than some other schools.
If you visit this link you can click around for greater functionality, but I’ve posted the graphs here. Maya Lin is not represented because there were not enough “Asian, Not Economically Disadvantaged” students to post scores for.
Essentially you are looking at how high that marigold color goes because it stacks both the “Standard Exceeded” with the “Standard Met” both technically “passing.” For English Language Arts (ELA), Ruby Bridges students “passed” at a higher level than any other elementary school.
For math, Ruby Bridges had no students that did not meet the standard at all. And did better with the “Standard Exceeded” and “Standard Met” stack than every other school with the exception of Earhart.
Which just goes to show that if anyone tries to use the “test scores” excuse to justify opting out of Ruby Bridges, well, the scores for not economically disadvantaged Asian kids show that, essentially, these kids will perform pretty much the same wherever they end up.