Analysis Finds States Strengthening Rigor of Student Exams
Eight raised proficiency bar, while two lowered it
A handful of states have increased the rigor of their state assessments since 2007, an analysis released this month by the statistical wing of the U.S. Department of Education concludes.
The finding stands in contrast to earlier studies by the federal agency, which have painted a picture of states often lowering their reading and mathematics test-proficiency standards, often referred to as “cutoff scores.”
According to the new data, “we’re actually seeing [states] increase the rigor of their cut scores, at least between 2007 and 2009,” Jack Buckley, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, said during a conference call with reporters. “That doesn’t fit into the narrative of states’ lowering their bars” in response to the pressures of the No Child Left Behind Act, which requires schools to...
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