Too Many Testing Exemptions & Accommodations?

There's a great followup on Elizabeth Green's New York Sun story on the urban NAEP from a relatively new blogger who calls herself Eduwonkette. It shows among other things that the CPS exemption rate for 4th grade reading was 7 percent of all students for 2007, about average for big cities across the nation. The range was 3-20 percent. But when it comes to LD and ELL kids, the exemption and accommodation rates are much higher, and every city does it differently. Too high? You be the judge.

According to Eduwonkette's analysis, CPS's exemption rates were 23 percent for LD/ELL kids on 4th reading, a substantial number though not necessarily as high as other cities or as high as they had been in previous years. Exemptions for 4th grade reading for this population ranged from 3 percent to 20 percent among the 11 big cities. Exemptions for math in CPS were 16 percent.

As far as accommodations go, the CPS rates for LD/ELL kids were 31 percent for 4th grade math (an increase from previous years) and 23 percent for 4th grade reading. The range for all cities was 13 percent (LA) to 76 percent NYC).

What does this mean? First off, that urban NAEP exemption and accommodation rates and practices aren't uniform. So much for comparability among cities. Comparability between years in

Chicago

is also a problem, since exemption and accommodation practices have changed. Also, some accountability hawks will note that large chunks of the LD and ELL populations are being exempted or accommodated. Last but not least, CPS is not the worst offender. See the full post here.

Filed under: The World Outside CPS

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