SAN JUAN CAPITRANO - Student Scores Pulled, Skewed by Computer Error; Parents Didn't Mind Wait for Rankings : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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News from San Juan Capistrano in the Times Community Newspapers

Parents Didn't Mind Wait for School's State Rankings April 27, 2000

Capistrano Unified officials pulled the scores in January because they were skewed by computer error; corrected ratings are being released.


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO--Capistrano Unified's correct Academic Performance Index scores arrived this week after a three-month delay, but parents Wednesday said they were largely unfazed by the wait.

The index, which began this year, rates schools on a scale of 200 to 1,000. The number represents a combination of student scores in each subject area of the 1999 Stanford 9 standardized test, according to California Department of Education reports.

Capistrano Unified officials yanked figures from the statewide rankings released in January after discovering a district computer glitch had incorrectly lowered half of the 43,000 students' scores up to 75 points. District staff had to resubmit student information, the testing company had to reevaluate scores and the state education department again ranked Capo's schools.

Despite some parents' suggestions of district misconduct in January, parents were calm upon hearing that scores were about to be released. Parent Ellen Gaddie said the delay shows the district strives for accuracy.

"I would rather see the information come out correct the first time because first impressions count," Gaddie said.

The delay did hinder parents' abilities to compare academic success among the district's schools or between Capistrano Unified and similar districts, said parent Molly Fields.

"The delay is not OK in the sense that we use the scores to assess schools and maybe make a choice of where our child goes to school," she said.

But Fields said she did not blame the district for the delay.

"I think Capistrano did everything [it] could under the circumstances," she said. Some parents said they were not concerned about the delay because they questioned the significance of the scores.

Without a previous score to use as a comparison, the numbers don't mean much, parent Valerie Skaare said.

In addition, scores aren't very telling to parents who are involved with their children's education, she said.

"I may be more involved than most, but I haven't been that concerned about the scores," she said.

Fields agreed.

"If you're an involved parent, you've been keeping track of your child's assignments and tests, you've got an open dialogue with the teacher and you know how your child is doing," she said.


-- (, May 01, 2000

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