I was pleased to see the Deseret News publish the top 30 (and, more bravely, the bottom 30) Utah elementary schools ranked by the number of students who scored as proficient on the state’s criterion-referenced tests.
The comments readers posted intrigued me as well. Several readers noted that high-performing schools were disproportionately white and affluent. That’s no surprise, although a few schools bucked this trend, and it would be interesting to know why.
What I’d really love to see reported now is how well schools did improving the performance of the students enrolled there – in other words, the “value added”. A teacher who moves a classroom from 40 to 50% proficient may well have accomplished a far more impressive feat than one whose already high-performing kids continue to perform well. Many states are now collecting this kind of data, and making it public. While publication of individual teachers’ value-added scores in Los Angeles and New York City has generated a firestorm of criticism, I wonder if publishing value-added scores by school might be less controversial, and still highly informative.
Just a thought.