Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

NYSED Commissioner King: We'll Rig Common Core Tests To Show Continued Gains Over Time

Jessica Bakeman at Capital NY:

ALBANY—State education commissioner John King expects student performance on Common Core-aligned exams to improve over time, as it has in Kentucky, the only state that has moved faster than New York in implementing the more rigorous test standards.

Kentucky reported significant gains during the third year of Common Core-aligned state exams, the results of which were released last Friday. Students across grade levels improved in most subjects. Graduation and college-readiness rates improved as well and typically underperforming groups of students, such as those living in poverty or with disabilities, also showed improvements.

“We are optimistic that we will see continued growth as we head into the third year of Common Core assessments,” King said. “Like Kentucky, we can expect that the progress over time will confirm the strength of the work of teachers and principals on implementing the Common Core.”

As I've pointed out over and over here at Perdido Street School blog, the educrats decide what is "passing" or not when it comes to these tests.

That renders this kind of thing meaningless:

The results of Kentucky’s third year of testing provides more encouraging data for Common Core advocates.

For example, Kentucky's college-readiness rate is now 62 percent, up from 54 percent last year and 47 percent in 2012. The four-year graduation rate is also up slightly, to 87 percent.

Gee, who set's the college-readiness rate?

Educrats in Kentucky.

Who decides that rate has jumped from 47% in 2012 to 65% now?

Educrats in Kentucky.

Want to make a bet those stats wouldn't hold up to scrutiny if an independent audit of the scoring methodology were done?

The same thing happened here in New York last year when educrats lowered the number of correct answers students needed to score "proficient" on the Common Core exams.

The NY Post reported back in August the following:

State officials touted increases in scores on tough Common Core exams this year but failed to reveal that they had lowered the number of right answers needed to pass half the exams.

The state Education Department dropped the number of raw points needed to hit proficiency levels in six of the 12 English and math exams given to students in grades 3 to 8, officials acknowledged.

Student scores plunged on last year’s statewide 3-8 tests — the first based on the new Common Core standards. Before the 2013 exams, a panel of 95 educators decided how many points, or correct answers, students had to get to demonstrate proficiency.

But the point cutoffs were tweaked after this year’s tests. The state and its testing vendor, Pearson, found six tests were harder and four easier this year than in 2013, Wagner said.

They did so by comparing how students performed on “anchor” test questions — identical items used in both 2013 and 2014. A report on the scoring process will be released in December or January, Wagner said.

The changes raise questions about the validity of the results.

“The information given out about the test questions does not provide a complete picture, making it hard to judge how much progress students made last year,” said Fred Smith, a former testing analyst for city schools.

"Progress" as practiced by educrats in power pushing an agenda always needs to be carefully parsed and studied.

So when King says he is sure that NY students will show continued progress on the Common Core tests over time, what he means is he and his fellow merry men and women in reform in Albany will rig the scores to ensure that's exactly what happens.

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