Posts belonging to Category education



Caroline County has the lowest SAT scores in the region…

From The Free Lance-Star: Local Sat Scores Drop College Boards Area Schools Behind State, U.S. Average:

Average SAT scores dropped this year for Fredericksburg-area school divisions, all of which received lower marks than the state and country as a whole.

[…]

Culpeper County was the only local school division to see improvement in all three of the Scholastic Aptitude Test’s categories: math, critical reading and writing.

[…]

Meanwhile, the private Fredericksburg Academy in Spotsylvania County increased its scores for the fifth straight year. It’s average of 1760 is 240 points higher than the state’s.

[…]

Administrators from Spotsylvania, Caroline and King George could not be reached for comment on SAT scores.

Not only were they the lowest, but they were 25.06% off of Fredericksburg Academy’s average, 13.22% off the Virginia average, and 12.71% off of the national average. Meanwhile they’re paying $7,952.68 per student (operating budget only) and they have the lowest SAT scores in the area.

Here’s a .XLS (Excel worksheet) with the scores since you can’t see the image at fredericksburg.com.

Caroline County Public School Division overall fails to make adequate yearly progress (AYP)…

and only two schools (Bowling Green Primary and Bowling Green Elementary) made adequate yearly progress period. Meanwhile, 72% of the schools in Virginia did make AYP.

PDFs for the schools:

Apparently, $34,832,460 (operating budget only) isn’t enough money for Caroline County Public Schools. Am I the only one that thinks we need vouchers? They spent $7,952.68 per student last year; with that amount of money you could send your child to Fredericksburg Christian Schools and have between $722.68 and $1814.68 (depending on grade) left over.

What the hell?

From Fredericksburg.com: Grading changes spark complaints in Stafford:

Anne Jacobsen doesn’t mince words when asked about revised report cards for some of Stafford County’s fourth- and fifth-graders.

She hates them.

Meanwhile, administrators say the concept is catching on nationwide.

[…]

The School Board discussed the numerical grading scale during a meeting this week, with some recommending changes.

Five of the county’s 17 elementary schools, including Stafford Elementary, will use it for the second time this year, Director of Curriculum Chris Quinn told the School Board.

It’s already in place for students in grades one through three at every elementary school. Rather than A through F, they’re graded on a scale of 1 through 4, with 4 being the best.

[…]

Using numbers instead of letters gives a more detailed account of student progress, he said. Instead of receiving a single grade for writing, for instance, students get separate marks on composition and written expression.

Let’s see, with A through F, that’s one, two, three, four, five levels, right? With one through four, that’s only one, two, three, four levels, right? (“Look, ma! I can count!”) So how is that more detailed?

Respondents in a recent survey, which questioned parents and teachers involved with the pilot program, gave the initiative mixed reviews.

But some School Board members say they’re hearing a lot of concern from parents of students in all grade levels.

“I’m just dumbfounded that in the face of all this opposition, someone found a reason to continue it,” Jacobsen said.

Sounds like the Virginia General Assembly and the Governor, no?

In an e-mail, one parent said she likes the layout of the new report card but suggested using letters instead of numbers.

The numerical scale enables students to rebound from poor test scores, as long as they understand the material by the end of a grading period, Quinn said. That’s not necessarily the case with the old formula, he said, which averages all scores into one grade.

So, you don’t have to do anything until the end of the grading period? The work you do has no basis on your grade? Where was this system when I was in school?

Still, many parents say they think it will make for a harder transition to middle school, where students receive letter grades.

But Quinn said the new report card will be passed along to middle school teachers, giving them a better idea of their students’ strengths and weaknesses.

All fourth- and fifth-graders in Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburg receive letter grades.

School Board member Dana Reinboldt is skeptical of the new scale, saying she likes the concept but wants to incorporate A’s and B’s.

Others think it is unclear. For some students, a 2 might be equal to a D-plus, unbeknownst to parents, said School Board member John LeDoux.

“If the teachers, the students and the parents don’t understand it, we just can’t point at them and say, ‘Try harder,'” LeDoux said.

In a telephone interview, Quinn floated some adjustments, such as assigning a letter grade based on a student’s overall marks in a subject.

For example, a child with a total of 35 to 40 points in math categories could receive an A.

As for Jacobsen, she has two kids who made the honor roll in fifth grade. But now, she said, students have little motivation to shoot for such accolades because they seem to get 3 grades no matter what.

The kids “are told a 3 is great,” said Bonnie Knight, the mother of a rising third-grader at Stafford Elementary. “They’re told that 4’s are basically impossible to get.”

Gotta teach those kids to love mediocrity.

This fall, school officials plan to host informational meetings for all of the county’s elementary school parents.

But some parents don’t want any more explanations.

“I don’t know why they’ve ever wanted to change something that’s been working for so many years,” Knight said.

Because they’re the government? D’uh.

Apparently I need to change the grade I gave Newsday awhile back.