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REL Midwest Archived Events

Connecting Research to Practice Connecting Research to Practice:
Archived Events




May 8, 2009
Interpreting Test Score Trends and Gaps

Chicago, Illinois

Student proficiency percentages headline newspaper articles; anchor school, district, and state report cards; drive policy research; and justify high-stakes interpretations of school and state educational progress. There is just one problem: They are incomplete and may be deeply misleading about gaps and trends. At this event, Andrew Ho, Ph.D., discussed some common misinterpretations of proficiency rates and then introduced a toolbox of alternative reporting strategies for trends, gaps, and trends in gaps.

  • Dr. Andrew Ho's slide presentation

  • Toolbox. Participants at the May 8 session received a computer file that expedites the use of the four tools Dr. Ho discussed to create alternative perspectives on test score results reported as proficiency percentages. The files for this Toolbox, one for each of the seven states in the REL Midwest region, are available here. Please note the following: (a) macros must be enabled for the Toolbox to work; (b) not all tools work in all states (only Wisconsin provides all the necessary data on it public website); (c) be sure to copy the files to a computer and to work with the copies, not the original; (d) to use the Toolbox on your district's or school's data, it is necessary to replace the data and data labels on the "Data" page. This is not difficult to do, but do it with care.
  • Read the Learning Point Associates policy brief, Connecting Research to Practice: Knowing Who Is Proficient Isn't Always Sufficient

  • View videos of Andrew Ho's presentation.

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