Giving Compass’ Take:
• Dan Hamlin explains how his research indicates that higher proficiency standards imposed by states have not improved students’ NEAP test scores.
• What needs to change to improve test scores? What districts have successfully improved scores?
• Learn about the problem with reacting to NEAP scores.
Your study compares state proficiency levels to those of the National Assessment of Educational Progress?
Yes. The first part of the report looks at the bar for proficiency across states. It’s not examining how well students are performing in a given state, but how high states set their bar for proficiency. Why? Because when No Child Left Behind was initiated and states were required to start testing students, states could set their own proficiency bars.
Part of your report is about how states turned against Common Core, yet in reality, many states kept it intact but gave it a different name.
At least, the preliminary results from some of these analyses suggest that many of the changes have just been cosmetic. States don’t appear to have made really sweeping changes. I would underscore the word “preliminary” there. At least in the short-term, most of these changes appear to be just cosmetic.
Although states have raised their standards, you say that hasn’t translated into higher levels of student test performance.
The first part of our analysis finds that states have dramatically increased their proficiency bars. That’s a really interesting thing. They have raised the bar to very close to what NAEP is—and they had been quite far apart if you go back to 2009.
But, if you look at test score growth on the NAEP, there’s no relationship between test score growth and a state’s improvements in how close it comes to NAEP or how well it has strengthened its proficiency bar.
Now, we didn’t control for a host of other factors that might also be affecting that relationship, but at least, based on this simple relationship, there’s zero evidence for it.
Read the full interview with Dan Hamlin about higher K-12 standards by Tim Goral at District Administration.
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