The term 'weighted composite average' seems like convoluted double speak. In an effort to unravel or make sense of their smoke screen, we began looking for a definition. We found the following definition for 'weighted average' at http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_a_weighted_average
A weighted average multiplies each data point by an arbitrary 'weight' and divides by the sum of the weights. Your everyday garden variety average, or arithmetic mean, is actually a special case of a weighted average, except all the weights are equal to 1.And we found the definition for composite at http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/composite
Selection of weights are largely arbitrary but generally based on sound reasoning (e.g. relative population sizes). As another example, let's say you have 5 reviewers of a product giving their overall satisfaction rating. The scores are 9, 7, 6, 7, 3. However you have a very high regard for Reviewer 1 so you assign her a weight of 15 (and the others remain at weight=1).
The average score is (9+7+6+7+3)/5=6.4
The weighted average score is (15*9+7+6+7+3)/(15+4)=8.3
The weighted average is much closer to Review 1's opinion due to your weighting decision.
and thought the the 'combining the typical or essential characteristics of individuals making up a group' definition was the most fitting.
Ok, so now that we have a better understanding of a 'weighted composite average', the question must be asked why it should matter which sending district a student is from when considering test scores. Even more interesting is that while poking through the 2003-2004 Annual Report we came across their Mission Statement. It was then that we realized how conflicting their Mission Statement from 2003-2004 and their current method for analyzing and presenting MCAS scores within their Annual Report. If, as their Mission Statement claims they provide a "world-class education" where "a first-rate education is the birthright of every child, that all children can learn, and that every child should be challenged to reach his or her full potential then why does it matter which sending district a child is from? AND, we must ask, was this before Kathy Kinnon took over as the Special Education Director (or Coordinator) and the schools diverse learners started failing miserably? Further, given the numbers that we presented in earlier posts, we found most interesting the comment "demonstrate the heights of academic achievement that public schools can routinely attain when the advantages of charter school governance are coupled with new academic standard." Hmmm, given their current standing on unweighted, uncomposited, and unaveraged scores it is no wonder that this is no longer part of their Mission Statement. Too bad they couldn't find a way to revert back to their founding principles.
From the MVRCS 2003-2004 Annual Report
To establish a school which provides the opportunity of a world-class education. The prime characteristics being a well mannered disciplined and structured academic environment. One which promotes and incorporates certain core virtues, as well as, our common American culture, both which are embodied in our Declaration of Independence and our United States Constitution.
The Mystic Valley Regional Charter School was founded on the following principal:
- That a first-rate education is the birthright of every child,
- That all children can learn,
The overachieving goals of the school are to:
- That every child should be challenged to reach his or her full potential.
Demonstrate the heights of academic achievement that public schools can routinely attain when the advantages of charter school governance are coupled with new academic standard,
Offer area families new choices in public education,
Create new professional opportunities for teachers that permit them to succeed,
Graduate well educated, civic minded, principal adults capable of thoughtful, logical reasoning.
The Mission Statement from the 2008-2009 Annual Report found at www.doe.mass.edu/charter/reports/2009/annual/0470.doc. What happened to the Mission Statement from 2003-2004?
The mission of the Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is to provide the opportunity of a world class education characterized by a well mannered, disciplined and structured academic climate. Central to Mystic Valley’s academic environment is the incorporation of selected core virtues and the fundamental ideals of our American Culture, which are embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution