Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, May 15, 2015

New York State Tests More Difficult Than The National Assessment Of Educational Progress Exams

How's this for rigged?

New York is one of only two states where more students are earning proficient scores on the “nation’s report card” than are passing the state’s own standardized tests.

That’s according to a new analysis from the nonprofit Achieve, which advocates for tougher standards and tests. The organization compared passing rates on each state’s exams in 2013-14 with its students’ scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, given to a representative sample of students in fourth, eighth, and twelfth grade nationwide.

Typically, the score gaps are reversed: States say most of their students are proficient, while NAEP scores paint a grimmer picture. But two years after introducing new, tougher state tests, New York appears to have moved the furthest in the other direction.

In eighth-grade math, 22 percent of students earned what New York state called a passing score last school year, while 32 percent were deemed proficient on the NAEP exams. In fourth-grade reading, 33 percent passed the state test, while 37 percent of students earned a proficient score on the NAEP test. (Massachusetts was the other outlier, with more students earning a proficient score on the eighth-grade math NAEP test than on the state’s own tests.)

New York is “at a level of rigor that NAEP is, in terms of what it means to be proficient,” Achieve President Michael Cohen said. “And that’s a pretty significant shift for any state, and a shift for New York, and it says they set the bar pretty high.”

The secod part of the reform equation after rigging the tests?

Declare the results proof positive the system sucks:

NEW YORK –A new education report today found that New York State gets a poor return on its education investment – ranking first in the nation for per-student spending, but 31st in reading and 33rd in math. The analysis, released by High Achievement New York, detailed New York’s history of high education spending and its disconnect from student achievement. HANY is calling for spending to match high education standards in order to be a sound investment.

Fred Smith puts the whole sham into perspective for us:

In the magical Alice in Wonderland world of Common Core-aligned testing, built on indefensible stand-alone field tests, the law of gravity is suspended and Down is the new Up! We are finally underperforming the NAEP. Clearly a triumph of rigor and a return to the days of higher standards. The evidence is underwhelming.

Also, this comment:

This is no surprise. It is obvious that the newest state tests by Pearson were designed to fail a high number of students. It's very important to convince middle class parents to stop supporting public education and simply telling them that their kids' teachers were greedy, awful, incompetent people wasn't working. Their next step was to prove to parents that their kids weren't learning -- see, look how many kids "failed". And yet as this article shows, a good many of those failing students weren't failing at all.

Does it really matter what any teacher does or whether students cram for 60 hour weeks/ 52 weeks a year? In the end, whatever results are desired will be determined with the setting of a cut score. If the people in power want 75% of the students to fail, they will fail. No wonder so many parents are opting out. They have the critical reasoning skills that so many politicians lack. But no problem -- I'm sure if politicians were ever given a competency exam, the cut score would be set so that 99% of them pass.

The problem for the education reformers is that enough parents see through the reform scam and are calling them on it.

The state will try and hide the official opt-out numbers as best it can, will tout the number of students who took the exam (especially in urban areas where the percentage of opt outs was small), but the reality is, the more they rig the exams for failure, the more the opt out movement will grow.

Honesty is not a trait of the education reform movement - manipulation and expediency is.

Alas, the manipulation and expediency the movement exhibits will ultimately be its undoing.


  1. The key question is, will the so-called reformers be brought down by their grotesque dishonesty, greed and will-to-power before they have successfully undermined public education to the point where it cannot be revived?

  2. SED has reached out to NYSUT seeking input from educators who have administered the NYSESLAT. It is an anonymous survey asking for input on weighing the modalities, including across the grades. The New York State English as a Second Language Achievement Test (NYSESLAT) is administered in order to measure English language proficiency and progress for ELLs. Here is the kink...