Friday, January 13, 2006

Playing With The Numbers

In Missouri, they've found a sure-fire method for increasing the percentage of students scoring "proficient" on that state's standardized tests:
The Missouri Board of Education on Thursday lowered the bar on the state assessment test so that more students would be able to score higher.

The changes are the most far-reaching revisions to the exam since it became mandatory nearly a decade ago. The board’s action came amid a continuing debate about whether Missouri’s standards for doing well on the test were unrealistically hard.

In some areas, such as middle- and high-school mathematics, the requirements to demonstrate mastery on the Missouri Assessment Program test have been adjusted to allow more students to score in the “proficient” and “advanced” levels, the top two tiers.

In some cases, education officials are expecting quite a jump in the number of students who will rate either proficient or advanced. For instance, the state projects that this year 44.4 percent of 10th-graders will score in the top two tiers in math. Last year that figure was 16.6 percent.
Heh. I'm sure that there will be quite a jump in the number of students whose scores will place them in those top two tiers.

I wonder if this "adjustment" of the performance standards will satisfy She Who Must Be Obeyed? Or will The Queen Of All Testing lay the smackdown on the troublesome Show Me State?
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