Maryland and Virginia students who pass their classes with B’s and C’s are failing state tests, reports the Washington Post. At one high school, “a quarter of students in beginning algebra passed the course but failed the state test.”
Students and teachers offer an array of explanations for why test scores sometimes fail to match up with grades. Some students don’t take the exams seriously. Some freeze up. Still others trip over unfamiliar language. And teachers sometimes are not prepped in what the exams cover, especially when the tests are new. Occasionally, some school officials suspect, classes aren’t rigorous enough to prepare students adequately.
Update: Eduwonk cites a 1991 study that looked at grades vs. test scores at high-poverty and low-poverty schools: “A” students in seventh-grade math and reading tested at the 35th and 36th percentile in high-poverty schools; in low-poverty schools, “A” students tested up in the 80s.