Which states define proficiency as “has a pulse?” Paul Peterson and Rick Hess answer the question in Education Next by comparing state reports on percentages of students who’ve met state proficiency standards with results on the federal NAEP exam.
While No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires all students to be “proficient” in math and reading by 2014, the precedent-setting 2002 federal law also allows each state to determine its own level of proficiency. It’s an odd discordance at best. It has led to the bizarre situation in which some states achieve handsome proficiency results by grading their students against low standards, while other states suffer poor proficiency ratings only because they have high standards.
Massachusetts, South Carolina, Wyoming, Maine, Missouri and Washington, D.C. earn A’s for keeping it real: Students who are proficient there are proficient on NAEP as well.