Jefferson County Board of Education member Linda Duncan is one confused lady.
She writes in the Courier-Journal that she is upset because the state’s educators want kids to at least score “Proficient” in math and reading on the state’s assessments.
Ms. Duncan mistakenly thinks the level of performance considered “Proficient” as determined by Frankfort is somehow equivalent to the much higher, but necessary, level of performance defined by the National Center of Education Statistics and the National Assessment Governing Board for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Where did Ms. Duncan get such a completely wrong idea? Soon to be departing Jefferson County superintendent Sheldon Berman, perhaps?
In fact, the low level of student performance required to reach “Proficient” in Kentucky’s testing program is NOTHING like the requirements to be scored “Proficient” in the NAEP.
We discuss this extensively in our new reports on KERA @ 20, available here.
Here is Figure 8 from the full report. This shows how seriously inflated Kentucky’s fourth grade reading proficiency rate has become in comparison to reported rates based on higher standards for the NAEP. NAEP proficiency rates are shown by the dark blue bars, while the reading proficiencies reported by Kentucky’s KIRIS (to 1998) and CATS testing (actually from the CATS Kentucky Core Content Tests, or KCCT, from 1999 on) are shown by the pink bars.
Notice how the proficiency rates from Kentucky’s tests exploded over the years. Kentucky’s fourth grade reading proficiency rates now run over twice as high as those reported for the same students by the NAEP.
Clearly, the CATS KCCT for reading has become grossly inflated. And, the CATS KCCT proficiency standard is NOTHING like the NAEP’s.
Still, even though Kentucky set low standards for itself – nothing like NAEP’s – Ms. Duncan is whining.
Ms. Duncan, please read our reports and get better informed. The kids in Louisville are depending upon you to do a better job, but your letter shows you are not doing your homework.