Sunday, November 23, 2014

Student Data @ Saipan International School

SAT10 Overview and Comparison
One thing I like to do when possible is make data meaningful for students, parents, and teachers. Usually during meetings with the Board of Directors (BOD), it is the financial report that requires some explanation. All too often it is easy to simply see a bunch of numbers and still leave with the feeling,
SAT10 Grade Equivalent
"but what does it mean?" I have encouraged the BOD to ask questions about the financial report whenever they want and I try my best to point out the more important information and make it simple to understand. I think some administrators either don't bother doing this action for parents, or prefer the idea that parents not understand and therefore don't bother admin with questions or concerns. But this is a huge part of our job as admin, helping people make sense of numbers. During the last meeting, the BOD requested an academic report, so I have used our SAT10, AR, and Achieve 3000 data to put together an explanation of what type of learning is occurring at SIS.

Our first photo is the overview of the data from our SAT10 scores with comparisons to our previous year (2013) and the results from the Public School System (PSS). Our Complete Battery and Total Math are slightly down in 2014, but Total Reading is slightly up. The more interesting number isn't as obvious, but is quite important, across the board our number of students above the 50%tile are up. But what does that mean? Although there weren't as many individual students making high scores, more students scored above the 50%tile which translates to less students (including ELL students) falling below average. More student above the 50%tile is a huge improvement, because it means that all of our students are achieving more, not just the ones at the top. To give some perspective, I have included the SAT10 Grade Equivalent scores, which helps demonstrate just how far ahead our students are from their current grade level. Looked at with this lens, we see that only G6 and G8 reading are really places where we need to do some work. These are also grade levels where we have gained more ELL students this year, so that could be a factor.

Our AR Star Reading scores show some growth in most grade levels, but negative growth in G5 and G6. The grade equivalents are mostly below the current grade. One thing that needs to be considered when looking at this data is that again, it includes every student. The ones at the top and the ones at the bottom. Those who are native speakers of English and those that are just starting to learn. Later in the year, we will revisit this data and compare it with spring results. Historically, our students have shown more improvement in the second semester in reading.
Achieve 3000 is new to our school this year, but the potential for solid improvement in reading of non-fiction material is well documented. In the three grade levels where is has been truly implemented, we can already see gains, but in two of the grade levels we are below the desired score range. I don't see that as actually too concerning as of yet, the students and teachers are new to the program, so there is a learning curve in play, but the fact that scores have gone up is a positive note. We will revisit this data in the spring as well; especially because we will begin to have data from the other grade levels as they begin to use the program more.