Saturday, May 19, 2012

A sophisticated decision: MCPS creates record SAT scores

The message in 2009 was much more sophisticated than in 2003.  This time, principals would not be asked how they could decrease participation on the SAT in order to raise the averages.  This time, MCPS would just ask a simple question:  "which test is best for you?"      It was so benign, yet so brilliant.   Have a meeting with the administration of every high school, and ask them to communicate to parents and students that they had a choice:  take the ACT or the SAT.   Just use criteria like the one below to help students make their decision:SAT ACT Comparison Checklist

Nothing to it.  This SAT/ACT action plan would then be "customized to meet the needs of individual schools."

Clarksburg High School created a page.

Walter Johnson had a page.

Northwood did this.

Damascus High School made a Power Point.

The plan was perfect.  In 2010, twenty-four of twenty five high schools in Montgomery County saw their percentage of SAT test takers drop.  Participation dropped, average scores rose, and Dr. Weast could continue to promote the MCPS brand name while building his consulting career in- get this- helping other districts use data to increase student achievement.

Want to know what is wrong with our educational system?   Folks- MCPS is a national model for its use of data.   But no one cares about what the data is designed to measure.   We just care about moving the data- which is no way to run an educational system.

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