March 3, 2000
Kinawa 6th Grade Parents (and future Kinawa Parents):
I am attempting to inform friends and acquaintances about an apparent problem that I discovered in the Kinawa 6th grade results for the Iowa Test of Basic Skills that was administered in October 1999. In a nutshell, here is the issue:
Kinawa and Chippewa sixth graders showed very similar results for all subjects tested EXCEPT Math Computation. Kinawa sixth graders' aggregate results placed them at the 50th percentile nationally-well below their results for all other subjects, while Chippewa sixth graders' aggregate results placed them at the 68th percentile (a result just below most of their other subjects).
I have sent the attached letter and documentation to Okemos Public Schools' administrators and school board members. I cannot understand why the Kinawa results are so low, especially as compared to Chippewa. When there is a result for one subject that is markedly worse than results for other subjects, I fear that this indicates the existence of a weakness in the curriculum. Because the test was administered during the students' second month at middle school, I fear that these test results indicate that the curriculum deficiency actually begins in elementary school.
If you are the parent of a Kinawa 6th grader, I encourage you to check your child's Iowa test results-compare the Math Computation results with the results for the other subjects. If you see the gap that I discovered in my child's results, you may wish to express your concerns to school board members, administrators, and teachers. If you are a parent of a 5th grader who is headed for Kinawa, you may want to be aware of this issue and monitor your child's progress.
I will be awaiting responses to the attached letter.
Christopher E. Smith
2069 Tamarack Drive
Okemos, MI 48864