State, Feds Disagree on Student Performance

    Different assessment tests given to Colorado students by the state and federal governments disagree on how much students are learning. Many state tests are easier, or the scoring less rigorous, than the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test given to samples of students in each state, according to a report froom Stateline.org. And Colorado is named as having one of the biggest gaps.

    According to the Colorado Department of Education, 64 percent of Colorado 8th-graders scored proficient or better on the 2005 CSAP test. On the NAEP test, though, only 32 percent were deemed at least proficient. The result is that parents are being told by the state that their children are ready to move on, when in fact they might not be.

    A few more startling comparisons from 2005:

    4th-graders, math:
    CSAP: 66% proficient or better
    NAEP: 39%

    4th-graders, reading:
    CSAP: 64%
    NAEP: 37%

    From the Stateline article:

    Welcome to the era of high-stakes testing, where persistently low scores mean principals can get fired and states can take over failing schools. No Child Left Behind requires U.S. schools to make steady progress, so that by 2014 every student is proficient in math and reading. But to ensure cooperation, Congress left it up to each state to measure how well its pupils were doing.

    Although the goal was transparency, results have been less than clear. While states report growing percentages of students are proficient, the verdict is considerably worse on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), an exam dubbed “the nation’s report card” that is given to a sampling of students in all 50 states.

    The discrepancies in some states are alarming. In Alabama, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee and West Virginia, far more students rated proficient on the homegrown tests in 2005 than on the NAEP exam

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