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Judging school performance

Sanjay Bhatt of The Seattle Times used achievement and growth data from Seattle Public Schools to examine "high-performing" schools. Bhatt explains: "I used Excel's pivot table feature to do a neat 3 x 3 table that gave readers new insight on looking at test scores. I triangulated two different types of data — achievement and growth. The achievement data shows the percentage of students who passed the state's high-stakes test. The growth data shows the average student made high, normal or low growth in a year. What you see when you triangulate is that there are lots of low-achieving schools (with disproportionately high numbers of poor children) whose staff accelerate students' learning by more than a year's worth of progress. There are also high-achieving schools whose students make less than a year's worth of progress."

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