Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Oklahoma testing system ‘designed to hide failure’

Citing a recent report by the journal Education Next, The Oklahoman points out today that Oklahoma's testing system "is designed to hide failure."
Under the federal No Child Left Behind law, states are required to test students in grades three through eight in math and reading. But states set the score required to be deemed “proficient” on those tests. 
For the most part, far lower scores are accepted for proficiency on state tests than on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) test. Education Next compared the share of students deemed proficient on state tests with the share ranked that way on NAEP to determine if high standards were employed on state tests. Oklahoma ranked 45th. 
More worrisome, between 2011 and 2013, Education Next found 20 states raised the standard for proficiency on state tests while just eight states lowered standards. Oklahoma was in the latter group. 
Oklahoma families deserve a public school system that combines quality academic standards with valid testing measurement of results—not a system in which failure to meet inferior standards is still deemed a success.

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