Toward the end of the District 65 School Board meeting on Jan. 24, Board member Tracy Quattocki asked that the Board place on the agenda of its next meeting an issue relating to how the District measures college and career readiness:

“Because college and career readiness has come up over and over again tonight and because it is something the District is moving toward, and because the measures we use to evaluate college and career readiness have been a topic of discussion in our community, I would like to put on the agenda for the next Board meeting a Board level discussion about the measures we’re using to evaluate both college and career readiness, and because we are also moving toward these state standards, how we are reporting out our national percentiles, how we are ranking up nationally.”

Board member Katie Bailey supported putting the issue on the agenda. Kim Weaver opposed it. Superintendent Hardy Murphy made some comments after which there was a heated exchange between Ms. Quattrocki and Dr. Murphy.

Board president Keith Terry said, “This has broken down. We’re hot. …The most prudent thing is to have a more substantive discussion on this at a future date.”
He said the issue will be placed on a
future agenda.

In its achievement report presented to the Board on Oct. 10, at pages 47 and 48, the District reports the percent of students scoring above the 50th and 60th percentiles on the Stanford Achievement Test, tenth edition (SAT-10) – and it does so under a heading “College Readiness.” In an editorial in the Oct. 27 issue of the

RoundTable, “Mixing Apples and Oranges to Measure College Readiness,” the RoundTable opined that using those percentiles on the SAT-10 to measure college readiness was not supported by any study or independent research and that those percentiles substantially overstate the percent of eighth-graders who were on track to meeting college readiness as measured by ACT’s benchmarks. In a recent guest essay published in the Jan. 5 issue of the RoundTable, “The Concept of College Readiness,” Dr. Murphy said it should be acknowledged that students scoring at grade level (i.e. the 50th percentile) or the top end on the SAT-10 should be viewed as college ready. In an editorial in the Jan. 19 issue, the RoundTable again expressed an opposing view.