Ugh. Gut feeling right. I've never seen so many 2's in my life. Of course I scoured through my own students first, only to find that none of my remedial students scored a 3. Very few special education students scored higher than a 2. To make it worse, even my best and brightest readers and writers (you know the kids -- the ones who seem to be born with a book and pencil in hand) only scored 3's. To make it even worse, grades 5-8 looked about the same. What happened? Where did I, we, go wrong? I now have some data, but how can I use it to drive my instruction?
I know I need to evaluate the data I have, but this is where the brick wall pops up. New York State does not give us access to the test. I can't look at the questions my students were asked, let alone which questions they missed the most. I don't have access to where they went wrong in their reading or writing other than general performance indicators for the multiple choice questions:
-- Interpret characters, plot, setting, theme, and dialogue, using evidence from the text
-- Recognize how the author’s use of language creates images or feelings
-- Identify the author’s point of view, such as first person narrator and omniscient narrator
-- Determine how the use and meaning of literary devices, such as symbolism, metaphor and simile, illustration, personification, flashback, and foreshadowing, convey the author’s message or intent