Greeks Bearing Gifts, Bridge Sales in Brooklyn, Confederate Currency and Kentucky NAEP Scores

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So does the data in this chart look fishy to anyone but me? What about after you read this?

7 Responses to Greeks Bearing Gifts, Bridge Sales in Brooklyn, Confederate Currency and Kentucky NAEP Scores

  1. Jay,

    I’m unclear on what this indicates. If students with disabilities gained in their scores more than students without disabilities and more students with disabilities were excluded, then it would have negatively affected the total score. But I suspect that is not what you are saying here. Could you clarify?

  2. matthewladner says:


    If the students with disabilities who were excluded were less likely to perform as well as those tested, and the exclusion rates increased over time, the illusion of gains could appear.

  3. Greg Forster says:

    What you really need here, Matt, is a graph that juxtaposes the following:

    1) The increase in students excused from the test due to disabilities

    2) The increase in scores for disabled students

    3) The increase in scores for non-disabled students

  4. Matthew Ladner says:

    I think that Table A14 shows that Kentucky would have made the NAEP inclusion standards for SPED and ELL back in 2003, had they existed. They missed them by a mile in 2011.

    Click to access 2005453_4.pdf

  5. Matthewladner,

    I realize what the graph is supposed to say, but the way the graph is labeled makes it look like the increase in scores for students with disabilities is greater than that for students without disabilities, in which case excluding the students with disabilities (who had higher score increases) would result in artificially lower scores. That’s what is not making sense.

  6. Matthew Ladner says:


    I suspect that there is something artificial about those gains among students with disabilities, but something different than what you suspect. There isn’t anything artificial about showing gains across diability status- the NAEP samples include both children with disabilities and those without. The children without disabilities in Kentucky did a bit better than their peers, while children with disabilties made almost a two grade level surge, if you believe the numbers.

    There is however something very fishy about gains among children with disabilties almost three times as large as those without when you couple them with those sky high exclusion rates.

  7. […] Prichard also didn’t tell you that doubts about Kentucky’s real reading performance are especially strong when our learning disabled …. […]

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