Board reaches compromise with state on coding errors
By Kerri Bartlett, Assistant Editor
After awaiting a resolution for months, the Williamson County Schools district and the state of Tennessee reached a settlement on test coding errors regarding the Hispanic population.
In September, the WCS board voted to allow Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney and his legal team to sue the state over refusing to reopen the TCAP/EOC test correction window to correct data coding errors.
Because three Hispanic high school students were miscoded as “white” in the demographics portion of the End-of-Year (EOC) test, the entire WCS Hispanic population was categorized as “needs improvement.” However, according to Looney,
if just one of the students had been coded correctly, the population would be labeled as “intermediate.”
“The Hispanic population should get the recognition they deserve and not be mislabeled,” Looney said previously.
Looney formally appealed to the state to reopen the test coding correction window so that corrections could be made, or he would pursue legal action.
However, Looney said that he was “pleased” with the compromise at the WCS Board of Education meeting last night.
In a letter issued Oct. 30 addressed to Looney, Commissioner Kevin Huffman writes that the state department regrets confusion about allowable appeals and acknowledges that if WCS had corrected coding errors, the population would have been designated as “Intermediate” in performance for the 2012-13 school year rather than the current status of “In Need of Subgroup Improvement.”
“There is always a sting in compromise,” Looney said. “We would have preferred a designation change, but I’m glad that we got a commitment from the state to form a committee to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.”
The letter reads as follows:
“We commit to engage superintendents and others in forming a committee to examine further issues you have raised and discuss recommendations for improving the process.”
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Posted on: 11/19/2013