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Old 10-03-2011, 09:04 PM
 
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I am in Sugar Land, Texas, where the schools use TAKS. My family is in Chicago burbs where they use ISAT. Is there a way to compare? I am interested to know how they stack up not only in test scores though, but also in curriculum, etc.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:33 PM
 
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I don't really think so. If you go to this site - SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools or this one Search For Schools, Colleges and Libraries you'll see stats, but I believe the tests are pretty much done to state standards. There is no national test for instance, that all fifth and eleventh graders take that you could compare. There is talk of a national core curriculum but who knows how long that will take.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:54 PM
 
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Compare the school to the national average. The school districts here also have a rating unacceptable, acceptable, recognized and commended. See what level rating the school in Chicago had. As far as curriculum, in Texas you can just look at the TEKS from the TEA website. Go to the Illinois public school standards and compare.

With state assessments, there is very little differences in what each school teaches. We have to teach things that will be on the test.

If you give me the two schools I may look them up and compare them if I have time. I like doing stuff like this.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:45 PM
 
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But the acceptable, unacceptable, etc. is not done with any sort of national standard and each state makes it's own tests so you really can't compare one school to another in different states. The state standards are not the same as an actual curriculum. Here are the PA standards for 8th grade math. Clear Standards - View Standards by Subject Area and Grade Level or Course Can you figure out the curriculum from that?
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toobusytoday View Post
But the acceptable, unacceptable, etc. is not done with any sort of national standard and each state makes it's own tests so you really can't compare one school to another in different states. The state standards are not the same as an actual curriculum. Here are the PA standards for 8th grade math. Clear Standards - View Standards by Subject Area and Grade Level or Course Can you figure out the curriculum from that?

The curriculum is written using the state standards. There will be minor variations in the order that each school covers certain topics, though the general order will be the same. The PA standards are pretty clear cut and almost identical to the Texas standards with minor variations. Schools must cover the state standards. I've helped write the curriculum the last 3 years for my school district, so it's not hard to figure out what a teacher needs to teach based on the state standards.

I wouldn't say schools are all that hard to compare. States would be hard to compare, but not individual schools. You wouldn't use just one measure, such as accountability rating, but that could be one of a number of factors.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:22 PM
 
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I understand the curriculum is based on the state standards but there's quite a bit of extrapolation from the standards to the curriculum. We moved from one county to another within the same state and while both schools were using the same standards, the curriculum was not the same.

I agreed that comparing schools within the same state is easy SchoolDigger.com - School Rankings, Reviews and More - Public and Private Elementary, Middle, High Schools This site does it for you. It's comparing one school to another in different states that the OP is asking about. Maybe we need an example because I would like to know how to do that. I moderate two state forums and people often want to compare their current school with ones in the new state.
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Old 10-05-2011, 05:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXRunner View Post
The curriculum is written using the state standards. There will be minor variations in the order that each school covers certain topics, though the general order will be the same. The PA standards are pretty clear cut and almost identical to the Texas standards with minor variations. Schools must cover the state standards. I've helped write the curriculum the last 3 years for my school district, so it's not hard to figure out what a teacher needs to teach based on the state standards.

I wouldn't say schools are all that hard to compare. States would be hard to compare, but not individual schools. You wouldn't use just one measure, such as accountability rating, but that could be one of a number of factors.
Covering topics and doing it well are two different things though. Even if your state standards are identical, that doesn't mean you are getting the same quality of education.

About the only "standard" there is right now that tests kids across the nation with the same tests are the college entrance exams, ACT/SAT. While not perfect, it does give you a good idea of which states/schools are doing a good job preparing kids for college. If that is your ultimate goal for your kids, that is a good benchmark to use. Most high school will have their average scores for these tests on their school websites. This site complies scores for both tests from across the nation:

State-by-state SAT and ACT scores | Public Agenda

One thing it doesn't show is the percent of kids that take the test. In MA, for example, a very small percentage of kids, 1-2% or something like that take the ACT where as in MI, 100% of the kids take the ACT because they use that for their state test for juniors.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Arizona
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You can also try Greatschools.org, they have elementary, middle and high schools. They have the test scores and parent reviews.
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