A test score that’s marked “proficient” in Ohio may be “approached expectations” in Illinois, reports Motoko Rich in the New York Times.
Two-thirds of Ohio students at most grade levels were proficient on Core-aligned reading and math tests designed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, said state officials.
But “similar scores on the same tests meant something quite different in Illinois, where education officials said only about a third of students were on track.”
In California and North Carolina, state officials combined students who passed with those who “nearly passed.” Florida’s education commissioner “recommended passing rates less stringent than in other states,” reports Rich.
Before the Common Core, each state set its own standards and devised its own tests. Some states made the standardized tests so easy or set passing scores so low that virtually all students were rated proficient even as they scored much lower on federal exams and showed up for college requiring remedial help.
Setting common standards and using common tests was supposed to end all that. It hasn’t.
“That mentality of saying let’s set proficient at a level where not too many people fail is going to kill us,” said Marc S. Tucker, the president of the National Center on Education and the Economy, a nonprofit think tank. “The global standard of what proficient is keeps moving up.”
Ohio will scrap the Parcc exam and hire a developer to come up with another set of tests, writes Rich. “Three other states similarly scrapped the Parcc test after administering it this year, creating an increasingly atomized landscape across the country.”