Gains and Not So Much

Jim Weigand of Lynchburg reports that his Super is bragging on the year-to-year SOL performance there.  Jim points out that we don’t know how much of that can be attributed to the new retesting regime that raised the grade 3-8 pass rate by about 4%.

I’ve asked Chuck Pyle whether retest data are available.  While waiting for his answer, I thought I’d take a glace at the raw year-to-year changes.

For a start, here are the five-subject average division pass rate changes from 2014 to ‘15:


Note that Excel can get only so much information on the axis and, thus, gives names only for alternate divisions.  For example, Richmond is the unnamed yellow bar between Rappahannock and Richmond County.

The green bar is Lynchburg; the red are, from the top, Hampton, Newport News, and Norfolk.  The average gain is 3.9%

Here are the same data, sorted by change in pass rate:


From this direction, Lynchburg looks pretty good, albeit we don’t know whether they had an unusual retest rate.

For completeness, here are the Reading and Math score increases (reading average = 5.4%, math, 6.3%):



On that last graph, Highland is off the scale at 27.8%.

I’ll bet you a #2 lead pencil that the State Department of Data Suppression does not have the retest data, which will leave us not knowing how much any of these changes represents actual improvement in the pass rate.