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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Score One for Washington State

This article was in today's PI. The composite scores of Washington state students who took the ACT were the 3rd highest in the country after Conn. and Mass. And, get this:

"Washington students who took the ACT also were notably above the national average in the math section of the test, with an average math score of 23, compared with the national average of 21, the Connecticut average of 23.2 and the Massachusetts mark of 23.6."

Good for all of us.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

so how many kids took the test?

what % of eligible in our state vs. other states?

as a math teacher, I'd say this article suffers from writers and editors with limited math skills, otherwise those questions would be addressed.

About 32000 out of about 72?000 10th graders did not pass the 2006 WASL.

Did 200? 2000? 20,000? take ACT?

BMurphy

Anonymous said...

Let's be positive!!!

We all know that statistics can be manipulated and interpreted a hundred different ways, but let's give some credit where it is due. This is pretty darn impressive!!!!

Anonymous said...

The ACT is not taken by many in Washington; the SAT is the default test here. I doubt many students take it who are very likely to score in the bottom quarter. That said, Washington also ranks fairly well on SAT scores, I believe.

Helen Schinske

Anonymous said...

Why are questions and analysis labelled as 'positive' or 'negative'?

How can we problem solve and make progress without asking questions?

It think what would be more 'positive' is if people who weren't interested in the questions and analysis would skip each, instead of labelling them.

Dan Dempsey said...

NO DON'T SCORE ONE FOR WASHINGTON unless you like being fooled.

BMurphy is right on the mark.

WARNING: Hey I've been short on sleep because of the campaign. This letter reads pretty cranky. Not meant to be that way just a bit tired. Not meaning to bite anyone's head off.

Who in Washington takes the ACT and why?

My guess is only those going out of state to fairly prestigious Universities. Let us look at the underlying statistical truth and forget this manipulating nonsense. Anonymous here is how this works:
If only the top 8% of students in the State take the ACT and some of those wish to get a scholarship at BYU so each one retakes the test 5 times. You wind up with incredibly useless results for comparison sake. This would be fairly typical for data presented by Dr. Bergeson of OSPI or the Seattle School district at board meetings where slick-sales presentations have replaced any search for truth, which might have existed at one time.

On the east coast and in the mid-west where a lot more students take the ACT you have a broader range of students taking the test and as a result the scores will be lower because you are not repeatedly testing only the top students.

Think about the two students from West Seattle attending Johns Hopkins this year. They probably took the ACT. So what can that say about comparison with a state where 35% of seniors take the ACT? Absolutely nothing. Dr. Bergeson however would say something. Those who search for statistical truth are hardly negative; most just hate being repeatedly fooled.

This meaningless data comparison is typical of those who wish to prove something that is not there. Dr. Bergeson is becoming quite expert at this type of manipulation.
Note there is your word manipulation probably used in the correct setting.

In addition these same folks like to use the NAEP test and compare states like Washington vs. California. This can not be done as WA has a much higher level of Parental education, lower poverty, less bilingual, etc. When this is left uncontrolled the comparison is useless. If you go back and read- you will find this is exactly the type of comparison that Rosalind Wise made in a PI article talking about testing.

Note the NAEP is only valid for within state comparisons from year to year. Cross state comparisons are useless because of too many uncontrolled factors. As many of the uncontrolled factors are positive in Washington, this may explain why people like Ms. Wise are so likely to use the NAEP in an attempt to fool us. Again perhaps they just don’t know any better.

It would be wonderful if someone downtown knew how to use statistics without trying to fool us.

Dan

Anonymous said...

Sixteen percent of Washington State's class of 2007, or 10,435 students, took the ACT. See http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/pressreleases2007/ACT2007datasheet.doc .

Helen Schinske