Rob Collins, fellow school board member, posted this taunt in the comments section of my blog yesterday (not published):
Alas, I was hoping you would price my instinct wrong. A lot of people believe you only post negative on your blog. I thought you might take this opportunity to tell the good news along with the bad. I guess the detractors are correct…
If this page is truly about commentary regarding Timberlane and Sandown hen shouldn’t it include the positive as well? Or does it only include negative commentary?
Well, here are the facts. Timberlane’s most recent SAT scores are definitely an improvement over the last few years, but while we should rejoice in good academic news, we should not break our arm patting ourselves on the back. In perspective and compared to our leading cohorts, we’ve got a long way to go on both SATs and AP exams.
A Word about the AP Results
Arthur Green was able to obtain the AP results from 2011 to 2014 for Timberlane. The other school districts were asked for this information but did not provide it to us. That is why we are publishing the information from the US News and World Report (cited by Mr. Collins recently) even though the data is from 2012.
Timberlane’s AP results for 2012 were particularly poor. Other years have been better and recently improving but still below what comparable districts are accomplishing with less money and fewer staff.
2011 12% pass*
2012 7% pass
2013 10% pass
2014 15% pass
* By pass we mean those students who scored 3-5 on the exam that has a scoring rubric of 1 to 5. This is because a score of 3 or more may qualify students for college credit. No institution will give college credit for an AP score below 3.
If facts strike Mr. Collins and others as negative, do not criticize the messenger. We cannot improve if we deceive ourselves. Yes, we’ve had some good improvement in SAT scores this year and in the percentage of students “passing” AP exams. This is encouraging but our overall scores and AP pass rate need more consistent improvement.
Update: Thanks to the reader who pointed out that this entry does not make it clear that the Timberlane AP results are for graduating seniors, not the total set of students taking the tests in a particular year. The column heading in the table – “% Grade 12 Passed” applies also to the Timberlane numbers for 2011 through 2014 shown following the table. This confusion was on display at the Public Hearing Jan. 15, where the Superintendent inserted the district’s overall “pass” rate of 51% in rebuttal to comments which clearly addressed the 15% of graduating seniors who have earned AP credits.