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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Report: State standards vary widely

States Found to Vary Widely on Education

Academic standards vary so drastically from state to state that a fourth grader judged proficient in reading in Mississippi or Tennessee would fall far short of that mark in Massachusetts and South Carolina, the United States Department of Education said yesterday in a report that, for the first time, measured the extent of the differences. (See the exclusive
report below).

Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said in a statement, “This report offers sobering news that serious work remains to ensure that our schools are teaching students to the highest possible standards.” Still, in a conference call with reporters, she said it was up to the states, not the federal government, to raise standards.

Source: The New York Times

Report: Mapping 2005 State Proficiency Standards Onto the NAEP Scales

Under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), states are required to report the percentages of students achieving proficiency in reading and mathematics for grades 3 through 8. For each subject and grade combination, the percentages vary widely across states. For grades 4 and 8, these percentages can be compared to the estimated percentages of students achieving proficiency with respect to the standard established by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Again, large discrepancies are observed.

National Assessment of Educational Progress
Commissioner Mark Schneider's Powerpoint Presentation:
Comparing State Proficiency Standards
Comparing NAEP and state proficiency standards

Source: National Center for Education Statistics