I thought knew all the gimmicks and schemes that schools (and districts and states) try and hide low-performing kids and make themselves look better. But I learned a new one recently from Rod Estvan having to do with reclassifying special education kids so that their scores are excluded. Tricky tricky tricky. What I don't know is how widespread the manipulation is, whether the district and state are monitoring it, and whether schools in other states are using it.
The gist is that schools can
reclassify designate severely disabled SPED kids so that they take a version of the state test (the IAA) that doesn't gets included in the school's special education subgroup score [at a rate that is substantially higher on average than the regular SPED score]. A Calumet City elementary school profiled in this recent WBEZ story (Cal City School Beats the Odds), may be an example of the problem. The school's IAA designation rate went from 8 percent to 34 percent over the past two years.
[See additional information from ISBE in comments below]
Filed under: ISBE / Springfield