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About the OPI Ranges

December 12, 2013

As long-time readers know, I go through spells in which I don’t write much. They are usually followed by stretches in which I write too much. That doesn’t stop me from reading and tweeting profusely, however.

During the last eight days or so since I last posted, one of the things I’ve most enjoyed reading has been the Oklahoma Policy Institute article on our A-F Report Cards. Gene Perry provides a measured discussion of the ways in which the formula stacks the deck against high-poverty schools.

Perry mentions some of the flaws with the way growth points are calculated for the report card. I want to add a little bit of context to the discussion. Below, I have included two tables – one for reading and one for math. Each includes the Oklahoma Performance Index (scale score) range for all tested grades or subjects.*

2013 Reading OPI Ranges

Test

U

LK

P

A

3rd

400-643

650-696

703-870

903-990

4th

400-651

658-697

703-832

856-990

5th

400-639

645-697

705-828

860-990

6th

400-646

652-699

706-822

833-990

7th

400-666

668-694

700-797

818-990

8th

400-651

658-699

701-821

842-990

English II

440-608

616-699

702-814

817-999

English III

440-668

670-699

701-801

802-999

 

2013 Math OPI Ranges

Test

U

LK

P

A

3rd

400-627

635-697

704-792

808-990

4th

400-637

644-693

700-798

815-990

5th

400-636

644-697

704-788

800-990

6th

400-662

666-699

700-794

796-990

7th

400-673

680-695

702-798

807-990

8th

400-641

649-698

700-769

774-990

Algebra I

490-658

665-696

700-760

764-999

Algebra II

440-647

657-696

702-781

787-999

Geometry

440-629

637-698

703-775

781-999

The first thing I notice is that the OPI ranges vary considerably. The more important thing I notice is that from grade-to-grade, OPI growth can actually lead to a loss in score range. For example, a student with a 650 OPI in reading in grade three would be in the Limited Knowledge range, but a student with a 651 (gain of 1 point) in grade four would be Unsatisfactory. A similar pattern follows other years of growth:

2013 OPI Growth Quirks

Subject

Span

Lowest LK

Highest U

Growth

Reading

3rd to 4th

650

651

1

Reading

5th to 6th

645

646

1

Reading

6th to 7th

652

666

14

English

II to III

616

668

52

Math

3rd to 4th

635

637

2

Math

5th to 6th

644

662

18

Math

6th to 7th

666

673

7

Math

8th to Alg. I

649

658

9

This matters because parents, teachers, and even legislators to whom I have spoken all find the calculation of growth points to be the hardest part of the report card to understand. This is supposed to be transparent. This is supposed to be easy and sensible. It is not.

In both years that we have had A-F Report Cards, it has bothered me (along with many other people) that growth is only calculated using students whose OPI scores increased. Among the many problems I have with that is that we don’t even have consistent lines of demarcation between each of the score ranges. If your OPI increased, but your performance level decreased, does that show growth at all?

*This analysis does not include OMAAP tests. Doing so would open another can of worms altogether. Since the OMAAPs are sadly gone after 2013, I’m going to leave that particular can closed for now.

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  1. December 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    Have you ever served on a cut score committee? It was the most eye opening experience for me in regards to standardized testing. I could never look at OPI scores or test results in the same way.

    Like

    • December 13, 2013 at 6:08 am

      I understand this to be eye-opening and frustrating work – even on the occasion that the SDE uses the recommendations of the group they have convened.

      Like

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