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National Algebra 2 Test, From The States

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It's a sensible-sounding move that drives yet another nail in the coffin of Congressionally-created national tests -- for now at least: "Nine states have come together for the first time to develop a common high school math test, a move described by some as a step toward national educational standards," according to this AP story (here). "The states are Arkansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island."

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This is a good initial stp toward national standards in reading and mathematics. All states had a chance to honestly get their students to proficiency. Saadly, almost half came up with fraudulent, dumbed-down tests accompanied by inflated scores.

A number of states administer "feel good" tests, relative to the federal tests administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly referred to as the "nation's report card?"

In their attempt to satisfy the federal No Child Left Behind legislation, in 2005 Tennessee tested its eighth-grade students in math and found eighty-seven percent of students performed at or above proficient while the NAEP test indicated only 21 percent of Tennessee's eighth graders proficient in math. In Mississippi in, 89 percent of fourth graders performed at or above proficient on state reading test, while only 18 percent demonstrated proficiency on the federal test. In Alabama 83 percent of fourth-grade students scored at or above proficient on the state's reading test while only 22 percent were proficient on the NAEP test. In Georgia, 83 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficient on state reading test, compared with just 24 percent on the federal test.

Oklahoma, North Carolina, West Virginia, Nebraska, Colorado, Idaho, Virginia, and Texas were also found to be guilty as charged in the area of "truth in advertising" where their determinations for proficient didn't seem to mean what it said.
The duplicitous attempts by these states to meet proficiency by 2014 to comply with the NCLB legislation has created a firestorm of demands for federal standards and tests as the only reliable indicator of performance at Washington's disposal.

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