Hot: Update #1
It appears the Collaborative has heard from us. They already posted a correction for their error about the PARCC test being used in Kentucky. So far, however, they are mum about the other concerns I raise in this blog. This is a very strange situation!
(Begin my original blog)
My recent blog, “Where have all the school tests gone?” apparently hit some nerves at the Collaborative for Student Success, a well-known Common Core State Standards (CCSS) cheerleader. They just had to respond, apparently.
But, the Collaborative gets its comments wrong, starting with the article’s graph, which I annotated in the graphic below to make the deficiencies easier to understand.
The Collaborative’s graph starts right out with “Novice” performance (bottom possible score in Kentucky’s assessment programs), including neither a title nor a vertical axis label. The year labels for the KPREP tests in the legend are also inconsistent.
After doing some research that included digging up the real scores, it turns out the graph shows the percentage of Kentucky students who scored Proficient or above on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 4 Reading and Grade 8 Math Assessments in 2015. The graph also includes proficiency rate results (the combined percentage of students scoring Proficient and Distinguished) from Kentucky’s KPREP tests in 2013-14 and 2014-15 for those same grades and subjects.
But, aside from the labeling deficiencies, there is another interesting problem: the KPREP scores are listed backwards. While a casual examination of the graph would make you think the scores increased between 2013-14 and 2014-15, in fact the opposite is true. Kentucky’s KPREP scores for both Grade 4 reading and Grade 8 math DECLINED between those years. That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of Common Core.
I don’t know and won’t speculate about whether this was a conscious attempt to mislead, but it certainly isn’t good data presentation.
The graph does highlight something else that the Collaborative would probably not want to admit: Kentucky’s KPREP scores do look inflated compared to the NAEP. That doesn’t agree with the Collaborative blog’s closing comment that:
“States like Kentucky are headed in the right direction by setting expectations high and evaluating progress toward those goals.”
Data the Collaborative cares to share shows Kentucky headed in the opposite direction.