Sunday, December 14, 2014

Yet another baffler

In a move likely to cause political and academic stress in many states, a consortium that is designing assessments for the Common Core State Standards released data Monday projecting that more than half of students will fall short of the marks that connote grade-level skills on its tests of English/language arts and mathematics. 
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test has four achievement categories. Students must score at Level 3 or higher to be considered proficient in the skills and knowledge for their grades. According to cut scores approved Friday night by the 22-state consortium, 41 percent of 11th graders will show proficiency in English/language arts, and 33 percent will do so in math. In elementary and middle school, 38 percent to 44 percent will meet the proficiency mark in English/language arts, and 32 percent to 39 percent will do so in math. 
.... 
If the achievement projections hold true for the first operational test next spring, state officials will be faced with a daunting public relations task: convincing policymakers and parents that the results are a painful but temporary result of asking students to dig deeper intellectually so they will be better prepared for college or good jobs.
(From an article in last week's Education Week; emphasis added)

Question: How is it that this result will be temporary?

A. Teachers will rise to the challenge and alter their classroom instruction, causing student performance to improve substantially.

B. Teachers, parents, and the general public will react to the new proficiency standards in the same way that they react to high-level, high-stakes standards in general, and the resulting pressure will push the proficiency standards back down to previous levels.

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