Fudging is once again becoming a common part of standardized tests.
A key advantage of Common Core over earlier educational standards has failed to appear, according to a new assessment by The New York Times.
According to backers, Common Core was supposed to make it a lot easier to compare standardized test scores between participating states. Ohio, Illinois, and Massachusetts all administered Common Core tests created by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a testing consortium that produces similar tests all member states.
But despite taking nearly identical tests, each state classified what a “passing” score was differently. So in Ohio, two-thirds of students “passed” despite having real scores that were lower than Massachusetts’, where only half of all students passed. The discrepancy occurred because Ohio bolstered its passing rate by simply declaring that students who scored in the “approached expectations” range were “proficient.”
Fudging is once again becoming a common part of standardized tests, the Times notes. In North Carolina and California (which aren’t PARCC members), officials engaged in some sleight of hand by lumping together students who passed their tests and those who came close to passing, increasing their own passage rates. The intent, it seems, is to avoid creating a public backlash by saying a state’s children aren’t academically up to snuff.