If you follow education news at all, you know that New York’s latest test scores just came out. And they ain’t pretty. It’s a big deal, because New York moved to Common Core testing this year, and the unveiling of these scores tells us a lot about how people in other states (like ours) are going to react as the shift happens.
What I don’t think it tells us, though, is much about how students are really doing. People are making a big deal about the drop in students scoring proficient, but that, as always, is a subjective thing. Politicians got to set the proficiency rating wherever they wanted. The only way we can use these scores meaningful is to compare place to place across New York. With the switch, any kind of historical analysis about student performance is moot.
I’ve been reading a lot about these scores, and here’s one take that’s stuck with me. While I disagree (as I’ve said before) with the claim here that Common Core has little worth, I agree that the numbers out there today simply don’t mean much.