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Leaving Special Ed Kids Behind: What Happens When You Start Mixing Measures

This post from edspresso about a school that fails to make AYP -- but gets rated highly by Newsweek -- gives us a good preview of just how confusing things can get when there's more than one way of measuring school success (edspresso.com: Exposing an Ugly Paradox). The school misses AYP due to special ed kids, but Newsweek is only looking at AP and IP scores. The district of course likes Newsweek's rating better. Who wouldn't? Of course, nothing quite this simplistic is likely to get into NCLB, but it's a good reminder that we already have competing -- and confusing --ratings systems, and most (all?) of them are less rigorous than NCLB's.

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Historically, schools have enjoyed reputations based on number of students winning national merit scholarships, AP scores, etc. I look forward to a future where reputations are based on the growth of lowest performing students as well.

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