La. Superintendent John White Requires Districts to Embargo LEAP Summary Public Reports
When it comes to the 2014 Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP) scores he was supposed to release on Friday, May 16, 2014, Louisiana State Superintendent John White has apparently found himself in an unfamiliar fix regarding his characteristic “water muddying.”
It seems that in this instance, his Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) underlings have refused to airbrush LEAP scores in order to create a false luster of behalf of the predominately-charter-showcased Recovery School District (RSD).
What to do?
Well, for starters, refuse to honor the deadline. Never mind how much of a selfish, self-serving ripple such an action forces upon all state districts that are trying to wrap up one school year while planning for another– which includes planning for requisite LEAP summer remediation.
Also, be sure to provide districts with a directive on how to report scores, including new, fuzzy score report “groupings” that conceal the precision of the standard five levels of LEAP achievement (unsatisfactory, approaching basic, basic, mastery, and advanced).
Add to that the directive that public releases of score reports are to be embargoed until LDOE says it’s okay to release them. Districts are only allowed to issue individual score reports.
John White does not want the public to see the 2014 LEAP-score big picture.
Here are White’s/LDOE’s words, an amazingly obvious attempt to conceal less-than-favorable LEAP results:
All public releases, other than individual student reports to parents and students, are EMBARGOED until further notification from the Department of Education. However, individual student results may be released as soon as possible to students and parents only.
Student Reports: Grades 4 and 8 Student Reports are grouped into one of the following three categories:
- The Passed category includes only the students who met the state promotional standard.
- The Passed with Remediation category includes students who met the state promotional standard and are also eligible to attend summer remediation for the subject in which they scored Approaching Basic.
- The Did Not Pass category includes any student who did not meet the state promotional standard.
In statistics, the collapsing of categories conceals variation. That is, the fewer the categories, the “muddier” the reported result.
Yep. We’re back to mud.
The question is the degree to which White will try to shift public attention away from expected LEAP reporting based upon the five levels of LEAP scoring and toward his new, less-precise “three groupings” of LEAP scores.
Not sure if White was able to convince any of his LDOE “talent” to concoct this “new” three-group LEAP score classification system. However, I’m thinking this is Signature John White. The magic in the middle category, passed with remediation, is that this category, which begins with the word, “passed,” allows one to draw unwanted, higher-order critical thinking attention away from the “approaching basic” concealed within the category.
In other words, put a positive spin on “remediation” by pairing it with the term “passing.”
This “passing with remediation” can also conceal actual counts of the number of students who have one “approaching basic” (in either math or English) as opposed to two.
But there’s more.
Collapsing “basic,” mastery,” and “advanced” into a single, generic “passed” serves to conceal achievement nuances that might make the Louisiana Miracle RSD appear to be “less than” locally-run districts– the ones operated by those pesky, traditional local school boards.
This could make an RSD suffering from a dearth of mastery and advanced scores appear less deficient.
After all, a test-score-deficient “miracle” is harder to sell.
If the data reflects poorly on privatization, then the troubled corporate reformer could alter the data, or alter the reporting, or alter access to the reporting, or employ some combination of the three.
Gotta love corporate reform “transparency.”
Forbid (really??) immediate release of already (mysteriously) delayed, summary LEAP information. Buy more time in order to finesse the spin.
Pile on the John White, “I’m going to manipulate this test score outcome,” mud.