Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Should Demographics Make a Difference in Expected Educational Outcomes?

In previous posts, it was noted that when compared to similar districts, Lynn is ranked first in terms of its educational outcomes (likely standardized tests scores). There has been a lot of talk about comparing "apples to apples" when measuring how Lynn fares in comparison with other districts. More specifically, Lynn should most realistically be compared to districts like Lowell or New Bedford as opposed to Marblehead or Swampscott due to the similarities in demographics. What about comparing schools serving common grades within the same district? Even though all of the students reside in Lynn, should we expect the same level of performance from each school despite sometimes significant differences in demographics? Here contextual factors were discussed in terms of considering how they could be as much or potentially more of a contributing factor to Lynn's academic achievement than the school system's leadership (i.e. the superintendent and principals).

Lynn schools do differ in terms of demographics such that some schools are faced with educating a much higher proportion of English Language Learners or special education students than others.

*ELL = English Language Learner
*LEP = Limited English Proficiency

*      =   No NCLB Status - English Language Arts/Reading
**     =   No NCLB Status - Math
***   =   No NCLB Status - All Subjects

ELLLEPLow IncomeSpecial EducationNCLB Status
Aborn***25.1%7.0%56.0%8.2%Level 1
Brickett**43.1%21.6%85.0%5.6%Level 2
Callahan43.1%15.9%76.7%20.9%Level 2
Cobbet73.3%41.6%90.8%10.4%Level 3
Connery77.1%43.6%93.7%5.4%Level 4
Drewicz65.7%29.6%89.4%16.2%Level 3
Ford65.1%37.1%90.0%7.0%Level 3
Harrington66.5%32.9%88.3%14.2%Level 4
Hood 46.6%19.5%85.3%15.7%Level 3
Ingalls66.0%34.6%93.1%12.4%Level 2
Lincoln-Thomson**32.3%15.7%69.0%7.3%Level 2
Lynn Woods7.0%2.5%38.2%18.5%Level 2
Sewell Anderson33.7%11.0%69.0%28.2%Level 2
Shoemaker*20.2%2.1%51.0%30.2%Level 1
Sisson*23.3%8.3%58.1%11.9%Level 1
Tracy**64.3%32.4%93.1%6.6%Level 1
Washington21.4%5.4%92.9%100.0%Level 1

ELLLEPLow IncomeSpecial EducationNCLB Status
Breed59.2%14.4%88.1%22.1%Level 3
KIPP: Lynn38.6%7.7%83.5%13.1%N/A
Marshall62.1%19.1%94.4%18.3%Level 3
Pickering34.5%4.2%64.6%20.3%Level 2

ELLLEPLow IncomeSpecial EducationNCLB Status
Lynn Classical53.1%12.2%80.9%11.6%Level 2
Lynn English51.1%11.0%78.7%12.0%Level 1
Lynn Tech61.4%17.7%89.7%24.9%Level 3
Fecteau-Leary 39.3%1.2%91.1%43.5%Level 1

Does this information make a difference in how these schools should be expected to perform both in isolation and in comparison with other schools in the district?

For MCAS results see:

For more on the NCLB Accountability Ratings, see here

*Data (2011-12) taken from: http://www.doe.mass.edu/

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