So we’ve provided you with a lot of election coverage here at Education Week, but this week perhaps the biggest piece of K-12 news comes from Kentucky, when the first set of results from tests based on the Common Core State Standards have been released.
You can read my story on the results here. The highlight is that proficiency rates on the K-PREP tests for grades 3-8 dropped by roughly a third from their 2011 levels, although in middle school math the plunge reached 45 percent. But when I spoke to him, state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday said that Bluegrass State students actually beat the predictions for how well they would score, and attributed that relative success to the good teaching in classrooms this year, the first the common standards were implemented in Kentucky.
Is Holliday right? Or are the tests (which are not the common core tests being developed by the two state consortia for 2014-15) not really as rigorous as they should be? Both points of view are represented in my story. But there’s no doubt school officials across the country are looking at the results, which could be a sign of things to come for administrators, parents, teachers and students used to seeing relatively high proficiency rates on accountability tests.
A version of this news article first appeared in the State EdWatch blog.