The Wake County school system's Effectiveness Index will go back under the school board's microscope at today's committee of the whole meeting.
Board members had previously agreed over the summer to continue using the Effectiveness Index after David Holdzkom, assistant superintendent for evaluation and research, contended that they didn't have enough years of data to use EVAAS to review teachers. Some board members, notably John Tedesco, disagree.
Janet Johnson, the CEO of EDSTAR, also disagrees with Holdzkom. She is no fan of the Effectivness Index that she helped develop 17 years ago when she worked in Evaluation and Research.
Wake uses the Effectivess Index to measure student, teacher and school performance. At issue is how the program makes adjustments for low-income students. Johnson said that when she was part of the team developing the program that principals told her they were worried they'd be judged unfairly on their overall scores if they had a high percentage of F&R students.
Imagine two students in the same grade having math scale scores of 246. Scale scores are the raw scores on the state tests. The scores are split into the four levels that parents are more familiar with III and IV the top ranks.
Student A could score a 241 on the following year's state math exam. But because that student is low income, the child was projected to get 239. Using something called a student residual score, the child would have a plus 2 for being two points above projection.
Student B could score a 250. But the student is not low income and was projected to have a score of 261, meaning the student's residual score is -11.
Johnson said the problem is that schools often focused so much on the residuals they ignored other data. For instance, she said she found that schools would consider Student A to be doing well even though ground was lost academically.
Even though Student B's score went up, Johnson said schools would focus on the -11 residual score. She said they'd often put the student in a remedial class even if the child is performing above grade level.
In addition to residual scores for individual students, they're calculated for teachers and schools to measure their effectiveness.
Johnson worked with schools on their results. She said teachers and counselors were often surprised to find so many Level III and IV students were getting remediation based just looking at the residuals while Level I and II students might not be getting any extra assistance.
Johnson says Wake could drop the Effectiveness Index and use EVAAS to evaluate student and teacher performance.
Click here for the report Wake did last year comparing the Effectiveness Index and EVAAS. Click here to look at attachments from an older Wake report showing how the Effectiveness Index should be used.