Not-so-great news in National Center for Education Statistics's report

Amy Fagan

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is out with a new report today that looks at state achievement levels using the common yardstick of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Not great news. According to the AP story:

It found that many states deemed children to be proficient or on grade level when they would rate below basic or lacking even partial mastery of reading and math under the NAEP standards.

From the Ed Week story:

Their results suggest that 26 states, between 2005 and 2007, made their standards less rigorous in one or more grade levels or subjects.

Our Amber Winkler shared her thoughts on the matter with both Education Week and the Christian Science Monitor.

Might I just point out that the Fordham Institute actually did a very similar report back in 2007 - the Proficiency Illusion. That report used a Northwest Evaluation Association test as a common yardstick. It too found that "proficiency" varied wildly from state to state, with "passing scores" ranging from the 6th percentile to the 77th.

Fordham went even further earlier this year, in the Accountability Illusion. That report examined how state accountability (AYP) rules under the No Child Left Behind Act varied from state to state as well.

Check them both out!

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