Re: Equity in Educational Assessment

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

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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