In my previous article, I took a high-level look at my 11th and 12th graders over three years (2019-2022). In this post, we’ll dig in a bit on the data analysis, or what I did as I looked at the data from AAPPL reporting tool. I started by looking at the top performance by grade for each year, creating my own Excel spreadsheet to dig in on the numbers a bit. I exported the data from the AAPPL report and laid it out as shown below.
Year over Year Comparison (Top Performance by Grade Highlighted)
Figure 1 captures my analysis in Excel of what years my students had the highest performance for each skill. The highest speaking performance for 11th graders happened in 2022, while the highest performance for 12th graders was in 2020. In writing, the highest performance for 11th graders happened in 2019; in 2020 for the 12th graders. In listening, 11th graders peaked in 2020, and 12th graders in 2019. Reading scores were highest for 11th graders in 2022, and in 2021 for 11th graders. Clearly, if I were to depict highest scores on a linear graph, it would not look like linear growth from year to year.
Figure 2 shows the aggregate by grade and skill over three years. Looking at 2019-2022 average scores, 11th graders showed lowest average scores in listening and speaking and highest scores in writing. For seniors, lowest average scores were in reading and interpersonal listening and speaking; highest scores were in interpretive listening.
Now my deeper analysis begins. My next step is to compare my students to the averages within my school (see image below). I can see that in half of the modes and grades my students have performed above our school’s averages historically. There are some specific factors at play in different years, for example I tend to test students who are in our most advanced classes (College Credit Plus), so the expectation should generally be that they outperform our school’s averages. More importantly, I can compare my students’ performance to my prior students, which tells me that while my students from this year matched or outperformed prior years in terms of getting close to or beyond I-5 (our criteria for the Seal of Biliteracy), there has been a trend downward in speaking scores over the last three years.
Below you’ll see that I plugged my data into an Excel spreadsheet. I know not everyone is comfortable using Excel, but I didn’t use any advanced functions. I simply copied the data from the AAPPL Report and pasted it into Excel.
Figure 3 shows my analysis comparing my students to the school averages. Again, I simply pulled the numbers from my AAPPL reporting and plugged into excel.
This analysis drives me to refine my conversational activities moving forward, increasing the number of scaffolded conversations with specific examples of how to give narration, rather than leaving most of my conversation activities open-ended. I suspect that part of this downturn is my overconfidence in my students based on classroom activities where they shine in a particular topic, as well as my belief that the simple fact that they participate in Spanish-language conversations with native speaker partners on a regular basis leads to increased proficiency. It is clear to me now that even in those settings my students might benefit from clearer instruction on how to participate more actively and completely in an Intermediate High/Advanced Low setting. Stay tuned for my next post on differentiating your focus.