Year-end student report cards may not accurately reflect how kids are doing
New Report Shows that State Tests Don’t Reflect Proficiency
WASHINGTON – In the next few weeks, most students will be receiving their final report cards of the school year. But those report cards and results on state tests may not be an accurate gauge of how students are doing.
Read the report here: http://www.voices.org/report-card/
Voices for America’s Children, the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, today released a report showing that only 1 in 3 fourth graders read proficiently according to national standards while state reports indicate a different story.
“The fact that the majority of our fourth graders are unable to read is alarming. How can we expect children to solve problems in other subject areas, or later in life, if they cannot read?” asked Bill Bentley, president and CEO of Voices for America’s Children. “And the scores also reveal wide racial and income gaps that are deeply disturbing. As a nation, we have become complacent about standards and expectations for our children, particularly for children of color and in low-income communities.”
In the second edition report, Voices analyzed student scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a test administered every two years by the Department of Education. The latest data show that only 34 percent of American fourth graders could read at the federal standards. Only 40 percent were deemed proficient in math.
The data also reveal troubling disparities by race and income. While 42 percent of White fourth graders read proficiently, only 16 percent of Black students and 18 percent of Hispanic students were at that level. The test scores show only 18 percent of students from low-income families read as well as they should.
State assessments serve only to mask the issue, according to the Voices report. In the national test, most states had less than half of their fourth graders scoring “proficient” for reading; by contrast, state-based tests showed their fourth graders mostly exceeded standards. One fourth of state-based tests showed that 80 percent or more of their fourth graders met state standards for reading.
“According to the New York State Testing Program, 57 percent of New York’s fourth graders meet the reading standard, but the national test reveals that only 35 percent of them are really reading proficiently,” said Cora Greenberg, executive director, Westchester Children’s Association, and co-chair of the Voices’ network School Readiness Advisory Group. “The racial and income gaps for New York students are especially alarming and it’s time to have an honest discussion about how our state can improve, starting with an investment in quality early care and learning to equip young children with the skills they need to be ready for kindergarten.”
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As the nation’s largest network of multi-issue child advocacy organizations, Voices for America’s Children (Voices) has been on the forefront of every major child policy victory for the past quarter-century. With 62 members nationwide, Voices speaks up for kids, and mobilizes and advocates for public policies to improve the lives of all children, especially those most vulnerable, throughout the United States. Visit us at www.voices.org.
Voices is a founding member of the Children’s Leadership Council, a coalition of more than 50 leading national policy and advocacy organizations. www.childrensleadershipcouncil.com