The new CATS school accountability data is out from the Kentucky Department of Education, and right away the controversy about CATS has been raised to a new level. The brouhaha jumped right out as I read Toni Konz’s first article in the Louisville Courier-Journal.
Toni reports that Jefferson County schools, “experienced a 2-point decrease in reading scores at elementary and middle schools and a 1.5-point decrease at high schools.” That’s right – a decline across the board.
Now this stands in very strong opposition to recent claims from Louisville’s “Every1Reads” program that there has been progress in reading in Kentucky’s largest school system.
What makes the discrepancy in claims more amazing is that CATS scoring became even more inflated last year.
If anything, that inflationary process should boost CATS reading scores because they are not adjusted with the now rather infamous “concordance tables” and are only reported in a format that uses the newly inflated scoring scales.
Anyway, it’s really no surprise, as Konz reports, that Jefferson County superintendent Sheldon Berman is upset, claiming, “These differences represent anomalies in the testing data that as of yet cannot be explained and raise questions about the data and how (changes in the test) may or may not have affected the outcomes.”
Welcome to the club, Dr. Berman. We don’t understand how anyone can figure out anything with such a constantly changing, ever more inflated testing system. We’ve said so for years.
We’ll have more to say on that inflation picture shortly, so keep checking back.