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Home : 2009 : Mar : 25

    NWEA Data
    By datatata

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    OK, here goes. We use NWEA mostly to group students for intervention. But a closer look at our data from the last year and half seems to show that lumping all of the stupidest, lowest-performing, poor-behavior kids into these groups is actually doing more harm than good. Not only are the students lagging farther and farther behind and exhibiting increasingly poor behavior, but the teachers who are *chosen* to take on the intervention group have basically said "Enough is enough!" Both intervention teachers at our site will be leaving at the end of this year.

    You can't treat kids like numbers, and that's what NWEA is all about. Our district tells us it only costs $12 per student. Hah! What they conveniently fail to include in that lie to the school board is the additional (and tremendous) cost of installing and maintaining dedicated NWEA computer testing labs at each site that are used only for testing the masses! Keeping NWEA up and running now takes up a huge chunk of our district IT's time, which takes away from their ability to keep real classroom technology working in classrooms like mine.

    And project-based, real-world learning? That concept is long gone! It is SO sad that in a recent survey most students marked that the number one way they use computers at school is: "to take tests"! What in the world are we doing here?

    The data we get from NWEA is valuable to a point, but honestly, you can only do so much with that data. And mostly, we have come to the conclusion that the data from NWEA only confirms what we already know! Heck, we work with these kids on a daily basis. We have never lacked authentic data, just the formal, organized, chartable data that NWEA gives. But it not about the data. It has never been about the data. It's about how to reach those kids you already know are at the bottom of the barrel. And you can't do that by switching groups every 30 minutes. The same kids who are in the low group for reading are also in the low group for writing and the low group for math operations and the low group for... you name it.

    Bottom line: NWEA is not worth the money we spend on it.

    View the original thread this idea was posted on

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