Test Scores Sink as New York Adopts Tougher Benchmarks

It’s all about the numbers.

Excerpts from article linked above:

“The number of New York students passing state reading and math exams dropped drastically this year, education officials reported on Wednesday, unsettling parents, principals and teachers and posing new challenges to a national effort to toughen academic standards.”

“Now we’re going to come out and tell everybody that they’ve accomplished nothing this year and we’ve been pedaling backward?” Ms. Russell said. “It’s depressing.”

William C. Thompson Jr., a Democratic candidate who has been endorsed by the city’s teachers’ union, said the results showed that for years the city had put too much of an emphasis on tests at the expense of deeper learning.”

“The dreary numbers in New York have prompted some critics to argue that the tests are simply too difficult to pass and that education officials have set unrealistic goals.”

“We’re now demanding that most students are A students, and that’s ridiculous,” said Diane Ravitch, an education historian and a frequent critic of Mr. Bloomberg’s efforts to remake the school system. “It will feed into a sense that the tests are not even legitimate measures.”

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