Re: Equity in Educational Assessment

Date: Wed Mar 01 2000 - 15:37:08 EST

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    This couldn't come out at a more interesting time for those of us in Ohio,
    where "report cards" were just mailed to every parent of a school aged
    child about how that child's school district is doing. These report cards
    are available at Here's a quick glimpse that suggests
    obvious equity issues

         rank & #of indicators # of districts # of students
         Effective 26-27 31 86,521
         Continuous Improvement 14-25 376 921,533
         Academic Watch 9-13 131 292,453
         Academic Emergency 8 or fewer 69 525,908

    While agreeing that there are a range of equity issues, here are my two

    1) I'm pretty convinced that standards aren't going to go away. This has
    as much to do with mistrust between schools and parents/communities as
    anything. Given that, is there any hope that any equitable "standard" can
    be developed?

    2) More importantly, hidden in all these standards is the reality that
    many children are being left behind in American schools and those children
    are NOT white, upper/middle class on average. Is the real issue that the
    standard is the problem or is it that we have to stop being willing to
    leave kids behind, to stop accepting that some kids "just can't read"
    "aren't as good in math" etc. I suppose in this light, if the standards
    reflect on the school and not the individual child, might they be somewhat
    useful to those of us interested in equity?

    Hope this is somewhat clear.
    Barbara K. O'Donnel

    301 Johnston Hall
    Dept. of FCS
    Bowling Green OH 43403-0254

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