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“Waiting for Superman” Spurs Local Action November 27, 2010

Posted by ffralmm in Education.
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Public education is the talk of the town. The recent screenings of “Waiting for Superman,” the passage of the Common Core State Standards by the Alabama Board of Education, and The Schools Foundation’s new “Speak Up!” initiative have many officials, parents, teachers, and voters talking about education and a path to excellence.

Economist, James Williams of the Public Affairs Research Council of America, recently spoke at the Economic and Education Forum sponsored by The Schools Foundation. He made the point that Madison County must determine the current status of public education before deciding on an action plan. He presented an analysis of all three public school systems. Two versions of his presentation and analyses of test score data for every Madison County public school is available on the PARCA website.

Test Score Analyses:

http://parca.samford.edu/presentations/presindex.htm– Both the long and short versions of the presentation are accessible from this list. The presentation includes comparisons of Huntsville, Madison County, and Madison City school systems to other school systems in Alabama based on admission size, free lunch rates, property tax rates, and expenditure rates. PARCA’s analyses look at four subgroups: white, black, poverty, non-poverty, and compare test scores to state averages. The test scores are from the ARMT (The Alabama Reading and Mathematics Test) for grades 3-8.

Below are the links for the analyses of the 2009-2010 school year test results:
http://parca.samford.edu/education/SystemsTestScores/Systems2010/Madison%20County.pdf – This PDF document contains PARCA’s analysis of every school for grades 3-8 in Madison County using the subgroups and comparisons to state averages.
http://parca.samford.edu/education/SystemsTestScores/Systems2010/Madison%20City.pdf – This PDF document contains PARCA’s analysis of every school for grades 3-8 in Madison City using the subgroups and comparisons to state averages.
http://parca.samford.edu/education/SystemsTestScores/Systems2010/Huntsville%20City.pdf – – This PDF document contains PARCA’s analysis of every school for grades 3-8 in Huntsville using the subgroups and comparisons to state averages.
http://parca.samford.edu/education/SystemsTestScores/Systems2010.html – PARCA maintains analyses for every school system in Alabama from 2005 through 2010.

Test Scores:

http://www.alsde.edu/Accountability/preAccountability.asp
A variety of tables, charts, and spreadsheets on ARMT data are available from the Alabama Department of Education under the obscurely titled “Accountability Reporting System.” The data covers nine school years: 2001/2002 through 2009/2010.

http://www.alsde.edu/accountability/accountability.asp
The “Accountability Reporting System” may also be searched by school year, school system, and individual school to retrieve the ARMT data by gender, ethnicity, and other social factors: migrant, free lunch, English proficiency, and poverty. The data is presented in percentages meeting the following levels:
Level I Does not meet standards
Level II Partially meets standards
Level III Meets Standards
Level IV Exceeds Standards.

Other test data from this same search system include the Alabama Alternate Assessment Exam, Alabama Direct Assessment of Writing Exam, Alabama High School Graduation Exam, Alabama Science Assessment Exam, and the Stanford Achievement Test, 10th edition.

Accountability Reports by School System:
http://www.alsde.edu/html/reports1.asp?menu=none&footer=general&systemcode=045&schoolcode=0000 – Reports related to the Madison County School system.
http://www.alsde.edu/html/reports1.asp?systemcode=169&schoolcode=0000 – Reports related to the Madison City School system.
http://www.alsde.edu/html/reports1.asp?systemcode=159&schoolcode=0000 –Reports related to the Huntsville City School system.
http://www.alsde.edu/html/reports_menu.asp – This search engine will allow you to tailor your list of reports to a specific school.

School System Specific Data:

http://www.hsv.k12.al.us/HCSAnnualReport08-09.pdf
Huntsville City Schools provides more data about its school system in its annual report posted on the school system’s website. The most recent report is on the 2008/2009 school year. Data includes categories such as enrollment, class sizes, average test scores, graduation rates, size of workforce, expenditure percentages, number of AP classes, free lunch percentages, and much more.

http://www.madisoncity.k12.al.us/Information/Information.asp
Madison City Schools post up-to-date financial information about the system on their website.

State & National Education Statistics:

http://nces.ed.gov/
The National Center for Education Statistics is an authoritative source of education statistics. The data on its website is at the national and state level and includes topics such as dropout rates, homeschooling, school crime, uniforms, public/private school comparisons and much more. All of the state-level data is discussed at this FAQ: http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=52

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