State Test vs. National Assessment


A new study says some states may not make the grade when it comes to their state assessments.

The study by the Education Trust has a state-by-state look at student achievement patterns.

Katie Haycock, the Education Trust Director, says: "If you want to know how well your youngster is being prepared for the 21st century, the results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress are a much more reliable indication of that then are the results of most state tests."

The study looks at the percentage of children in each state that are proficient on the state's test and compares that to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP.

Haycock says: "State's worry about how much truth frankly the public can handle without losing confidence in public education."

The study shows that in Kentucky 68 percent of elementary students are proficient or above for the state's reading test, while only 31 percent are on the NAEP.

The state's math assessment for elementary school shows 45 percent were proficient or above, while only 26 percent were on the national exam.

For the middle school reading exam 62 percent were ranked at least proficient, while nationally only 31 percent were.

On the middle school math exam 36 percent were proficient or above while on the NAEP 23 percent were.

The group says the high percentage of proficiency on state tests and a lower percentage on the national exam may be an indication that state's set their standards too low.

Administrators say it's difficult to compare the scores because the tests are very different.

Lisa Gross with the Kentucky Department of Education says: "It's very rare that you can take two tests, look at two different subjects, or look at two different methods in a subject and compare them directly."

Administrators also say not every child takes the NAEP test each year, only around 3,000 students in the state do.

Stan Peterie, the Warren County School District's Assessment Coordinator, says: "Each state picks certain school districts and then certain schools with-in school districts to take the NAEP assessment."

Administrators say what it comes down to is if you as a parent are happy with your child's school.

For more information on the study you can log onto www2.edtrust.org/edtrust


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