Study shows schools inflated grades

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students in Region 8 attend school all ear long and at the end, they're tested on what they've learned.

According to the Arkansas Department of Education 58 schools reported inflated grades in geometry and algebra.

That means their grades were better than their standardized test scores.  At Nettleton Public Schools eight kids did not test to be proficient in math.

Nettleton Superintendent James Dunivan said the study results just don't add up.

"We immediately got to work to validate the data and it can't be validated based on the information that we've been given," said Dunivan.

The study looked at entry level geometry and algebra.

"If you have a 'B' average in either one of those two courses but you did not score proficient on the benchmark it is considered that to be an inflated grade," said Dunivan.

This study looks at high school students.  Nettleton's high school consists of grades ten through twelve and it's not the same for all of the schools in the study.

"They need to take all ten through twelve or all nine through twelve or all seven through twelve but everything needs to be equal," said Dunivan.

"We want to make sure the grades students get accurately represent their skill in that area we are working with," said math teacher Roland Popejoy.

"The majority of our children who take algebra who are going to go to college are going to take it in the ninth grade," said Dunivan.

Dunivan said if these numbers are going to be used for anything they have to be fixed.

"The study in this case is what's flawed not the teaching," said Dunivan.

One thing this study has done is force Nettleton to take a closer look at their students.  Dunivan said they're looking at all the test scores.

"Before they start saying that a child won't qualify for a lottery scholarship in certain schools they need to plug these holes and evaluate everyone equally," said Dunivan.

Dunivan said they do plan to fight the results to get an accurate assessment of their students.

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