Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Spinning the tests: Are NH scores really that good?

Whenever student scores improve it is amazing how it is because of the great teachers and schools but when the scores decline educrats blame the results on lack of funds, parents, class size and the students.

The following editorial appeared in the Union Leader.

Spinning the tests: Are NH scores really that good?

Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2007

HALF OF fifth-graders and only 42 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or above on state writing tests last year. Given that the state Department of Education press release announcing the results had a grammar error in the first paragraph, that might not be surprising.

Education Commissioner Lyonel Tracy called the test results "good news." In most grades, reading and math scores were up over last year and huge percentages of students scored proficient or better. Little mention was made of the dismal writing scores. The official spin: We're doing just fine.

But the picture is not so rosy. Progress on the state tests is minimal if it's even real. And the state tests are generally considered less rigorous than the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests. On those, in no grade did more than half of the students score proficient in reading or math.

So while the department spins the state test scores as all sunshine and butterflies, remember that education bureaucrats often downplay the bad news, and the bad news is that we still have a long, long way to go before our students are performing acceptably.

Quote of the Day

"Only government can take perfectly good paper, cover it with perfectly good ink and make the combination worthless."
Milton Friedman

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