Recently, Mike Petrilli wrote about the Alliance for Excellent Education’s analysis of state ESSA plans in which we found that twelve states do not ensure subgroups are universally included in school ratings. While acknowledging that this could be an issue, Mike, with an assist from Aaron Churchill, used Ohio data to make the case that we were (mostly) crying wolf: Including subgroups in school ratings doesn’t matter because subgroup performance is almost always reflected in schoolwide averages, at least when using value-added measures. Specifically, Mike and Aaron showed how school-level growth data for “all students” in Ohio tends to be strongly correlated with school-level growth data for “Black” and “low-income” students. Very few schools would have received both an “A” or “B” grade for “all students” growth and a “D” or ”F” for the specific subgroup’s growth. Mike concluded that we “should stop fretting about this particular aspect of state accountability systems” and move on.
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