Common Core is so rigorous! It’s going to help prepare students for college and career! We’ll see higher rates of student achievement!
Well, perhaps not so much. Massachusetts used to be the crème de la crème of K-12 education. Now according to the new MCAS-PARCC hybrid assessment, half of their students fall short.
The Boston Herald reported this week:
The results may come as a surprise to many students who passed or scored “proficient” on the previous test, but this year’s test was tougher and raised the bar for expectations.
This year, state education officials said, should be considered a baseline year, and they expect scores to change over time as schools adjust.
In other words, the results do not mean individual students declined, but that the new test measures education in a different, more accurate way, officials said.
“It doesn’t mean that your child has changed from last year to this year,” said Jacqueline Reis, DESE spokeswoman. “It’s that we’re sending a clearer signal.”
“This isn’t because we have failing schools,” said Acting Commissioner Jeff Wulfson. “This is because we want to make sure our kids are ready for college work. When we have 80 percent of kids scoring proficient and then needing college-remedial work, we’re not doing them any favors.”
The story, of course, reports that the assessment is “tougher,” but does not explain how. How was the bar raised? How are the results more accurate? I think the state’s Common Core cheerleaders should answer why only half of the state’s students are proficient after several years with the new standards.