More Data on the Fraud that Rhee and Henderson and Duncan Insist Never Happened at Noyes and Elsewhere

My colleague Erich Martel has done it again.

He dug around and found out how the numbers of students who were supposedly “proficient” at Noyes Elementary School (or Educational Center) jumped around crazily from year to year. He was nice enough to put these into color-coded tables so you can watch how the cohorts progress. Here are his tables, which I formatted for viewing on this blog:

pctgs of students prof in math + reading by grade and year


Let me try to explain what these charts mean.

The second chart has a diagonal in yellow, representing what I called “cohort L”. In the column labeled “4” for fourth grade, in the line for the year 2006-7, you see the number 29.6. This means that at Noyes, in Reading on the DCCAS, 29.6% of the fourth grade class was deemed “proficient” or “advanced” based on the marks on the test papers they turned in. The next year (SY 2007-8) , most of those same kids were probably back at Noyes with a different teacher, in the 5th grade. An unknown number of students transferred in or out. That year, the percentage of kids in that group who “passed” the DCCAS in reading fell to 5.6%, a very small percentage of the group. However, the next year when most of them are 6th graders, suddenly an astounding 93.3% of the students are proficient or advanced! That number falls to 57% the next year, and a bit under 40% the following year.

Do you believe and trust those numbers? I sure don’t!

Wherever there was a large jump or fall from one year to the next, Erich wrote the number in bold red.

The actual numbers of students in each grade level was fairly consistent from year to year at Noyes during this period of time. They eventually added a 7th and an 8th grade.

To put this into a little clearer perspective, I took Erich’s data and calculated how many students actually “passed” the DCCAS in math and in reading, and put them in a graph. I hope this is a little easier to follow.


num students profic in math by cohort and yhear at noyes


Look at the way those lines jump around!

Real students may be fidgety and jumpy, but their scores on yearly high-stakes tests like this, which many experts say are essentially IQ tests in disguise, do NOT jump around like this. Kids don’t suddenly jump from “Proficient” or “Advanced” to “Basic” or “Below Basic” unless somebody is fiddling with test scores.

It should be obvious to everybody who hasn’t already drunk Michelle Rhee’s Kool-Aid that this is yet more evidence of fraud.

num students profic in reading by cohort and year at Noyes

Published in: on January 10, 2013 at 10:23 pm  Comments (15)  
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15 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I think this is just evidence of how we have stopped educating students and spent time playing the blame game with one another – to the max. How about some grassroots educating for a change?


    • No, it’s evidence of what can happen when districts put the livelihood of teachers on the line, as with high-stakes testing, and teachers have no control over the out-of-school factors impacting low-income children, while “No Excuses” advocates like Rhee, as well as the government, expect teachers alone to be the sole mediating factor in eradicating poverty.

      Yes, we need grassroots advocates, as well as real educators guiding education,policy, not corporate sponsored astro-turf “reformers” and pseudo-educators, like Rhee. We also need the government to do something about poverty, including jobs programs, support of labor unions and intervention on behalf of the non-union working poor parents of these children, who are not paid a livable wage by highly profitable corporations.


      • How do you answer today’s Washington Post editroial that the NEAP scores did not reflect these wide changes in year to year scores? Don’t misunderstand I have no respect for Rhee and am only trying to explain the Post’s argument


      • That editorial is despicable in its pretense of honesty and objectivity. The DC Inspector General and Henderson and Rhee and the WaPo editorial board and WaPo owners (a large educational profiteer, Kaplan) are determined not to see any cheating.

        Therefore they refuse to have any serious statistical analysis of the erased scores. They refuse to do any investigation of SY 2007-8 scores, which were the most suspicious of all. They interview one person every 10 days, putting nobody under oath. They refuse to answer questions. They promote and praise one of the most egregious offenders, Wayne Ryan; but shortly after the USAToday reports are printed, Ryan suddenly disappears from sight.

        I myself have many times demonstrated on this blog the fact that DC scores on the NAEP have shown no real change in patterns since the 1990s (the math scores continue a steady rise, but reading scores have been flat for a long time. Not sure why.) — LONG before Michelle Rhee came to rule DCPS.

        There was no miracle jump in those scores when Michelle Rhee was anointed our chancellor. There was, however, a marked increase in the width of the gap between scores of affluent kids and poor ones; and between white kids and black kids. It is now, by far, the worst of any state or of any city for which we have data.

        Some legacy.


  2. […] here are the actual scores of the Noyes school, compiled by retired DC teacher Erich Martel and posted on G.F. […]


  3. I am not surprise by this. When people make the main focus of learning a child’s test score people have already rob the child of an education. NCLB/RTTT move the center of learning from the child to the test. Thank you for so clearly showing what a scam Rhee is. The whole nation is being scammed by these Ed Deformers who are laughing all the way to the bank.
    Children Are More Than Test Scores,
    Jesse The Walking Man


  4. Thanks for this. I wonder if John Merrow had seen this data?


  5. Great work. The only change I would recommend is making the graphs show percentages rather than raw numbers of students, since I think people would be more amazed at how wildly the % change.


    • I wanted it both ways: percentages and raw numbers.


  6. […] need only look at the astonishing rise and equally astonishing fall of Noyes’ test scores to know that there was chicanery. Where is Wayne Ryan, Rhee’s […]


  7. I’m not saying there was not fraud — I have no idea — but another possible explanation for such data is that the tests are terrible and unreliable and not to be trusted.


    • They are close to being IQ tests (and as such, generally measure socio-economic status), and are indeed worthless for measuring instruction.
      However, kids don’t drastically change their SES and IQ like you see in those graphs from year to year!!!
      This is definitely evidence of fraud — along with all of the other evidence, such as what Ms. Cothorne testified to, what parents testified to, what the testing company itself found in massive erasure rates, and the very suspicious way that Wayne Ryan suddenly dropped off the face of the earth with no explanation after having been held up as a paragon of wonderfulness and effectiveness.


  8. Another way to get a truer picture of how unreasonable the scores seem to be is to compare them over the same me period with other schools in the district. Unfortunately, since DC is it’s own district with it’s own test, they can’t be compared to another state as most of us do with our scores.


  9. […] with the above approaches is the ensuing investigation, particularly once the scores drop when those allegedly encouraging the cheating are […]


  10. […] After USA Today’s exposé, scores at Noyes dropped, according to data posted at Guy Brandenburg’s education blog. […]


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