26 September 2006

The 2006 NAT results and the realm of the possible

I WAS ready to congratulate the schools division of Southern Leyte on its feat in the 2006 National Achievement Test (NAT) upon reading this headline from the Inquirer website. Until I reached this paragraph:

According to DepEd Southern Leyte division superintendent Violeta Alocilja, the top 10 schools and their mean percentage scores (MPS) were: Sindangan Elementary Schools in Macrohon with 93.82 MPS, Tinago Elementary School in Tomas Oppus (93.16), Cambite Elementary School in Tomas Oppus (91.93), Mahalo Elementary School in Hinunangan (91.63), Carnaga Elementary School in Tomas Oppus (91.61), Tomas Oppus Central School in Tomas Oppus (91.16), Otama Elementary School in Hinunangan (91.03), Maslog Elementary School in Tomas Oppus (90.84), Laray Elementary School in Macrohon (90.13) and Cawayanan Elementary School in Bontoc (90.03).
Are scores like these in the realm of the possible? From what remains of my knowledge in statistics, test results of individual students in an average class would follow a bell-shaped curve called the normal distribution, or Gaussian distribution if you like. You can correct me on this, but applied to these schools, an average MPS of 90 will require something like half of the class getting an individual rating of 90%, the bottom quarter getting no less than 80% and the upper quarter no less than 100%.

My gut, and the five years I've spent working with public schools, tells me something is wrong here, and it is worth looking into with the same zeal shown by Secretary Jesli Lapus in going after the Palaro cheats.


Leni R. said...

My sentiments, exactly . .been a regular reader of your blog for some time now

Willy B. Prilles, Jr. said...

Thanks for dropping by, Ms. Leni.:)

Actually, I voiced out the same concern in our TEDP egroup, whose members include high ranking DepED officials and College of Education teachers in UP Diliman.

Only one responded, and having worked with the municipal LSB of Tiwi, Albay, she is also skeptical about the results of the 2006 NAT.

If my fears are true, this is worse than the Palaro cheating because it is a strike at the very heart of education, and of values we are trying to impart to our children.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is true that there is cheating in the National Achievement Test. I ma a teacher and as a proctor in one of the school in our division, teachers really gave "kodigos" to their pupils and we were told that this a directive from the district supervisor and the div. superintendent. is this what we teach our pupils? Nakakatakot na? Can we not do something about this? SOBRA NA, pati bata tinuturuan na ng corruption.