The fact that only about one third of students are proficient on state tests in math and language arts was “simply unacceptable,” the letter said.
In fact, the test scores were rigged by NYSED Commissioner King and Regents Chancellor Tisch so that only one third would be "proficient."
Here is Diane Ravitch from 2013 on that rigging:
New York City’s chief academic officer–a testing zealot–here announces that scores will plummet on the new Common Core tests administered last spring for the first time. They will plummet because the state decided to align its standards to NAEP, which are far more demanding than those of any state.
Over the years, many researchers have maintained that the NAEP achievement levels are “fundamentally flawed” and “unreasonably high.” If you google the terms NAEP and “fundamentally flawed,” you will find many articles criticizing the NAEP benchmarks. Here is a good summary.
What you need to know about NAEP achievement levels is that they are not benchmarked to international standards. They are based on the judgment calls of panels made up of people from different walks of life who decide what students in fourth grade and eighth grade should know and be able to do. It is called “the modified Angoff method” and is very controversial among scholars and psychometricians.
Setting the bar so high is one thing when assessing samples at a state and national level, but quite another when it becomes the basis for judging individual students. It is scientism run amok. It is unethical. It sets the bar where only 30-35% can clear it. Why would we do this to the nation’s children?
Nonetheless, these “unreasonably high” standards are now the guidelines for judging the students of Néw York.
Consequently, teachers and parents can expect to be stunned when the scores are released.
The good news is that teachers and schools will not be punished this year. The punishments start next year.
This is Shock Doctrine in action from Andrew Cuomo and the so-called education leaders in this state.
They artificially lowered the scores by increasing the "rigor" of the tests (done before any of the new curriculum for the new tests was developed, btw), now they claim the lowered scores are reason for why they must blow up the school system and radically "reform" it.
They created the problem, now they use it to push through the policies they want anyway (i.e., school privatization.)