Advanced Pass Rates Drop with Investigations

One common criticism of the Investigations math program is that it’s slow pacing and lack of practice results in fewer students achieving an advanced score on the SOL exams. District wide in PWC, the percentage of students achieving an advanced score on the Grade 3 SOL was unchanged at 49% in both 2007 and 2008.

But just looking at the county wide score and at the change from 2007 to 2008 doesn’t tell the full story.

To get an idea of the effect Investigations has had on the percentage of students achieving an advanced score in PWC you have to look at the changes in each school from 2007 to 2008 and go back to the Spring of 2005, the last pre-Investigations year when we know that only 2 schools, Neabsco and Mountain View, were using Investigations as the primary text.

So what do those numbers indicate? They indicate that the county has experienced a sharp decline in the percentage of students achieving an advanced score since Investigations arrived.

Prior to 2005 the percentage of students achieving an advanced score was increasing in PWC schools. In 2002 only 37% of PWC students achieved an advanced score on the Grade 3 math SOL.  That percentage increased each year and by 2005 61% did.

But with the Spring 2006 test, that upward trend reversed and the percentage of PWC students achieving an advanced score began decreasing.  By 2008 the overall percentage of students achieving an advanced score in PWC had dropped 12%, to 49%. Those downward trends from 2005 weren’t duplicated in the state or in neighboring districts.

For overall Prince William County and state data, see here Grade3-Math-SOL-PWC-and-VA

County wide 57% of schools saw their percentage of students achieving an advanced score drop from 2007 to 2008 while 37% saw their rates increase. But when compared with 2005, 86% of schools saw their percentage of students achieving an advanced score drop while only 14% saw an increase.

For school by school details, see here PWC-Grade3-VA-SOL- Advanced

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2 Responses to “Advanced Pass Rates Drop with Investigations”

  1. Ed Says:

    I presented a graph at a board meeting earlier in the year proving that in advance pass rates only 3rd grade with MI was on a downward trend. 4th and 5th were both up (until this year when 4th will no doubt turn down).
    They don’t care; I think some board members just want to get through their tenure without being convicted of anything.

    Hell, even Stafford with Everyday Math beat PWC.

  2. pwceducationreform Says:

    This year (2009) was only the 4th year the 4th grade SOL was ever given. Because the test is still new the teachers are still adapting to it. Each year since the SOL was required for 4th grade pass and pass advanced scores have increased – a trend which is expected in the first bunch of years after a new test is introduced.

    Had Investigations not been introduced, I’d expect that the pass and pass advanced rates for 4th grade would increase simply because the teachers are becoming more familiar with what’s on the test.

    It’ll be interesting to see how PWCS spins the 4th grade test scores. We’ve already seen the spin with the SDMT when PWCS claimed that increases from year 1 of the test to year 2 weren’t due to the test being administered 4 weeks later, or teachers changing what they teach to match the test, oh no, those increases were due solely to MI.


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