Morning Report: A Different Look at Test Scores

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Morning Report: A Different Look at Test Scores

Students at Edison Elementary / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Relying on test scores alone to judge a school has become increasingly frowned upon in recent years. Research consistently shows that a school’s poverty level is one of the greatest predictors of test scores, meaning test scores go down as poverty levels rise.

But some schools in San Diego County are defying those odds, according to a new analysis by Voice of San Diego and the Center for Research and Evaluation at UC San Diego Extension.

Students at Edison Elementary in City Heights, for example, are achieving surprising results in closing the achievement gap. More than 90 percent of students there live near the federal poverty line, but score much higher in reading and math on California’s standardized tests than its poverty level predicts it should.

“Raw test scores don’t say what we think they do. They are telling us more about what’s happening outside the school than what’s happening inside of it,” Will Huntsberry reports. “Our metric controls for that. It shows whether schools are doing better or worse than they should be based on poverty level. That helps cut out at least part of the noise that’s getting picked up in a test score. It helps bring focus back to the signal of school quality.”

The new metric also identified schools that performed much below expectations. Dehesa Charter, a primarily online school that has since closed, was expected to score 30 points above proficiency based on three years of test scores, but instead landed 85 points below the proficiency cutoff.

San Diego Leaders Continue Grappling With Ghost Guns

Councilwoman Marni von Wilpert has proposed an ordinance that would ban the sale or possession in San Diego of so-called ghost guns, Fox 5 covered Wednesday. Ghost guns are homemade, untraceable firearms that are usually constructed from ready-made kits in which the pieces of the gun do not have serial numbers, The Trace explained late last year.

This isn’t the first time a local elected official has tried to make it easier to regulate ghost guns. Assemblyman Chris Ward earlier this year proposed a state law that would prohibit the sale of ghost gun kits at gun shows. The release of that bill followed an announcement from SDPD Chief David Nisleit that seizures of ghost guns are up 169 percent over last year, including one used in a random shooting in the Gaslamp earlier this year, 10 News reported at the time.

In Other News

  • San Ysidro businesses say they are barely surviving as the federal government continues to keep border restrictions on non-essential travel in place. (Union-Tribune)
  • A district court judge ruled late Tuesday that San Diego’s eviction moratorium, which unlike the state’s edict does not allow homeowners who rent their property to kick out a tenant and move back into their home, could stay in place through October, when it’s currently set to expire. The judge ruled against the Southern California Rental Housing Association’s challenge, deciding that short period the moratorium will remain in place softens any hardship it places on landlords. (Union-Tribune)
  • The San Diego City Council’s audit committee reviewed a scathing report Wednesday on the city’s troubled real estate acquisitions, especially the asbestos-laden 101 Ash St., with Councilwoman Vivian Moreno delivering a pithy summation of its findings, KPBS reported. “My 500 square foot condo had more inspection than these city buildings,” she said. Moreno reiterated her earlier request that prosecutors look into the 101 Ash St. deal for criminal violations, the Union-Tribune reported.
  • Rep. Mike Levin has introduced a bill in Congress that would provide federal funding for desalination projects, including one proposed in Oceanside that would turn brackish groundwater into drinkable water. (Union-Tribune)
  • San Diego County is asking, but not mandating, for vaccinated and unvaccinated residents alike to follow new CDC guidelines that suggest wearing masks in indoor public places. (La Jolla Light)
  • Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Friday that would give farmers in the state’s backcountry areas access to bare-bones insurance policies, if private providers refuse to provide fire insurance because they’re in high-risk areas. (inewsource)

The Morning Report was written by Megan Wood and Andrew Keatts, and edited by Sara Libby.

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