As we recommended here, in Providence Rhode Island, the testing being done in schools was done on adults.  The idea is to test if the problem is our students, or our tests.  The adults were all college graduates or higher, and all had either public or corporate leadership positions…

Out of fifty of our most successful adults: list comprised of elected officials, attorneys, scientists, engineers, reporters, college professors, and directors of leading nonprofits—

4 of these 50 people would have scored ‘proficient with distinction,’ 7 would have scored ‘proficient,’ 9 would have scored ‘partially proficient,’ and 30 individuals—or 60%—would have scored ‘substantially below proficient,’ meaning they did not get a high enough score to receive a diploma.”

The problem with low test scores are not the fault of the students or teachers… The test are design so those taking it fail….

When questioned the test maker responded with this…

“The original goal of NECAP was to evaluate schools, and, to some extent, students within the schools. In order to make a reliable ranking among schools, you need to ensure that the differences between one school and another are statistically significant. To do that, the statistics demand that you design it to ensure that a significant number of students will flunk. If every student passed this test, they would redesign it. That’s what it means to be a diagnostic tool. To attach high-stakes to such an exam is simply an abuse of the tool, and one that will have real consequences for many young people.”

One of the legislators who sits on Rhode Island’s Corporations committee put it thusly….

“My eyes have been opened,” said Teresa Tanzi, a State Representative from Wakefield and a participant in Saturday’s “Take the Test” event. “As one of the many capable and relatively accomplished participants who scored substantially below proficient on this exercise, I do believe this points to a problem with our state’s new diploma system. The fact that a majority of very successful adults—nearly all of whom have completed college and many of whom have advanced degrees—cannot meet this requirement should make us reconsider whether a NECAP score, on its own, is an appropriate arbiter for a high school graduation decision.”

Those following the issue are aware that overwhelmingly across this nation, reports of tests with purposefully impossible questions, are putting otherwise good students, into the also-rans of life…  Honors students are being refused by colleges of their choice because of these scores.

It can easily be fixed.  Just allow the sole guide of whether a student should move up a grade or not, be determined by the teacher….  We all did ok back when that was policy….. And we were competing with the Soviet Union for heaven’s sake…  Not some joke of a North Korean…