To meet No Child Left Behind’s call for universal proficiency by 2014, some states have lowered standards, concludes a new report by the National Council for Education Statistics. In fourth-grade reading, 31 states consider students proficient who’d score below basic on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). Fifteen states set the proficiency cut-off below NAEP’s basic level in eighth-grade reading. In eighth-grade math, eight states set proficiency below NAEP’s basic level.
Education Week has more.
A 4th grade student judged to be proficient in math in Colorado or Tennessee, for example, could conceivably test at the “basic” level in Massachusetts or Missouri, where the standards were judged to be most rigorous, according to the study.
States’ very low expectations for fourth-grade reading are especially troubling, says Rob Manwaring at The Quick and the Ed. It’s a gateway skill.