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#ProficiencyMatters: What They Are Saying

• ExcelinEd

Last week, ExcelinEd introduced, a research-based tool to help parents understand what proficiency means in their state, how it impacts their children and how they can engage states to raise their proficiency expectations.

Today, we’re sharing highlights from the buzz around #ProficiencyMatters. Keep reading, and be sure to visit to see how proficiency in your state stacks up.

What We’re Watching: Why Proficiency Matters
Education Next
“As the Foundation notes, 50 percent of students entering two-year colleges are placed in remediation, and $7 billion is spent annually by first-year college students to learn what they should have mastered in high school.

When states set the bar too low — by setting a low cut-score to demonstrate proficiency on a state test — it conveys a false sense of student achievement to kids, parents and teachers This website will help parents see how their states are doing and what they can do to get involved.”


Florida’s widening student proficiency gap, and what we can do about it
St. Peters Blog / Sunburn
“Children are not all the same, nor are they equally ready upon graduation for the challenges of college or the modern workforce. A new report by the bipartisan Foundation for Excellence in Education found Florida is currently suffering from what education experts call a ‘proficiency gap,’ where Sunshine State students are increasingly falling behind.”


News about Florida and school testing that isn’t more crazy talk
Orlando Sentinel
“The Foundation for Excellence in Education points out that by Florida’s statewide test, 60 percent of fourth graders are considered proficient readers. But, according to NAEP, only 39 percent of Florida fourth graders are reading at a proficient level.

The message is that our statewide standard is on the easy side. By that measure there is a 21 percentage point gap between the two tests. Raising the standards to be more comparable to NAEP would make Florida’s assessments more meaningful.

Florida has raised standards and cut scores before. Every time it does, student performance sinks the following year and then begins to tick back up. This is how we continue to raise the bar in Florida.”


Education Group Calls For Score Parity Between NAEP and FSA
“‘We want to be sure when parents, schools, educators, policy makers and the public get test sores back, that there’s not one test telling us that students across the state are ready to go on to the next grade or college or careers, and another test, with completely different information, telling us they are not,’ says the Foundation’s Senior Policy Fellow Christy Hovanetz.”


Education Advocacy Group: To Narrow Proficiency Gap, Florida Needs to ‘Raise the Bar’ in Education
Sunshine State News
“[ExcelinEd] Policy expert Dr. Christy Hovanetz told Sunshine State News the states which performed the best—New York and Wisconsin—have aligned their tests to the NAEP assessment which is why they ranked so highly. ‘There are a lot of states that have done a lot of good work to align their [assessments] to proficiency scores for [NAEP], but there are other states that are higher performing because they’ve increased their rigor and success,’ she explained.”


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