Regarding the Sept. 5 news article “ New scale boosts test scores”: The State Board of Education was disappointed with the low passing rates on end-of-grade tests so it approved a new five-level scale. Now more students “pass.”
At the same time, the Department of Public Instruction’s director of accountability says the new Level 3 category means that a student has passed the test and is ready for the next grade level but is not on track for careers or college. Say what? Something is very wrong here. The public deserves better from top education officials.
One of two things appears to be true. Interpretation of these “new” tests is incorrect. These tests have never been researched or correlated with being ready for “careers or college.” Or education officials are quite willing to promote students who are not ready for careers or college because it makes passing rates look better.
Calling a dinghy a yacht does not make it a yacht.
Imagine this conversation between a parent and his fourth-grader: “Son, I am so proud of you for passing to the fifth grade even though you are not on track for being college- or career-ready.” The continuation of this testing charade by top education officials only reinforces the public education march to mediocrity.
George W. Griffin, Chapel Hill