On the bottom again. NAEP report says Georgia asks less of its students than other states

Why?

Why does Georgia ask less of its students than other states? And given that fact, why would anyone in Georgia encourage locally owned and locally grown standards, as does our new state school superintendent and some legislators?

From what the data tells us, including a new federal scorecard released today, our locally grown standards provide little academic sustenance. Or we set the bar to demonstrate proficiency on those standards so low that we undermine them.

In view of these new dismal findings from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, we need to know which it is — I suspect it is the assessments. The state says the new state exams, the hastily produced Georgia Milestones, will correct the problem.

A state Department of Education spokesman reiterated today the Georgia Milestones scores, expected in the fall, will incorporate much higher expectations for proficiency and should better align with NAEP. (That means parents ought to be bracing for lower scores than they have seen in the past.)

In the past, Georgia has had a wide gap in what we deemed proficient and what NAEP designated as proficient. Georgia’s gap is drawing attention today. In it story on the new NAEP report, the Washington Post reported:

The new report from the National Center for Educational Statistics compares students’ performance on their own state tests in 2013 to their performance on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Performance, or NAEP, the only national exam that allows an apples-to-apples comparison of student achievement across state lines.

A fourth-grade student must score at least 238 on NAEP’s 500-point scale in order to be considered proficient in reading on that test; students who score below 208 are considered to have “below basic” knowledge.

But Georgia, for example, has a much lower bar: proficiency on its state test is equivalent to a score of just 167 on NAEP, according to the analysis. New York has a higher bar than NAEP: Its proficiency bar is equivalent to a score of 243 on NAEP.

And here is what Huffington Post had to say about Georgia this morning:

Most states set their standards within NAEP’s “basic” range, and very few state standards measured up to NAEP’s aspirational proficiency standard, which measures “mastery over challenging subject matter.” In fourth-grade reading, though, most states set their cutoff for proficiency below NAEP’s “basic” level. In that subject and grade level, states’ cutoff points spanned a range of 76 points on NAEP, a 500-point test. Overall, New York, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Texas had the highest standards. Ohio, Georgia and Alabama fell toward the bottom. In eighth-grade reading, Georgia lagged particularly behind: Its standard for proficiency was 199, a full 18 points below the second-to-lowest state, Idaho.

For some reason, Georgia has always underestimated its schools, teachers and students, now asking less than even neighboring Southern states we once outpaced.  How is Tennessee now lapping us?

In response to this new NAEP report, DOE sent me this statement:

“This NAEP report points only to the bar that has been set for state proficiency levels on our former CRCT, which we know was too low,” said Melissa Fincher, deputy superintendent, assessment and accountability for the state Department of Education. “It does not have anything to do with actual performance. Our students made gains on the 2013 NAEP results (i.e. 4th grade reading was one point above the nation, so we are not last in the nation in 4th grade reading as some might interpret the report to indicate). The public will likely see the results of the bar being increased on our new Georgia Milestones when scores come out in the fall. Bottom line is that our students’ performance is not last in the nation, it’s a complex mapping study that shows our bar for proficiency on the CRCT was too low.”

Here is what the AJC’s Marlon A. Walker reports on the NAEP study:

failingGeorgia ranks at or near the bottom in four testing proficiency standards compared to other states and the District of Columbia, a study released today by the National Center for Education Statistics shows.

The study, “Mapping State Proficiency Standards Onto NAEP Scales: Results From the 2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Assessments,” uses a formula to compare what states define as proficient in math and reading, then maps those scores on its own scale in measuring progress.

Georgia came in dead last in the rigor of its reading proficiency standards in both fourth and eighth grades, and near last in math.

Known as “the nation’s report card,” the National Assessment of Educational Progress has for years sought to create an apples-to-apples comparison by state of learning standards for math and writing skills.

States individually developed their own standards to assess and measure how much students have learned to become proficient in math and reading. The National Assessment of Educational Progress was created to directly compare student proficiency standards from state to state. Since 1969, NAEP, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, has been administered periodically to students at grades 4, 8, and 12.

Georgia’s standards – its expectations of what students ought to learn in math and reading by 4th and 8th grades — were at or near the bottom in the 2013 measurements, and fell into NAEP’s “below basic” achievement level when compared to other states.

4th grade reading standards*

47. Arkansas

48. Alabama

49. Idaho

50. Ohio

51. Georgia

4th grade mathematics standards

47. South Carolina

48. Idaho

49. Georgia

50. Maryland

51. Alabama

8th grade reading

47. Arkansas

48. Utah

49. Ohio

50. Idaho

51. Georgia

8th grade mathematics standards

47. District of Columbia

48. Ohio

49. Georgia

50. Alabama

51. Connecticut

*including District of Columbia

 

Reader Comments 0

207 comments
AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

The plan for corporations and the "right people" to take the state and local education funds from all taxpayers.


Do:

1. Create a crisis - "failing schools" based on whatever test, CCRPI, CRT, NAEP.

2. Stress accountability

3. Stay on message - Charter, Voucher, Choice, Money follows student, over and over

4. Provide methods to reroute state ed. funds to friends, families, and donors.


Don't:

1. Ever take responsibility for setting up an efficient, accountable educational plan and structure for all students

2. Ever talk about curriculum, goals, and processes because these can be fixed under the current system

3. Ever require the same accountability for private schools, vouchers, charters that you do for traditional public schools

4. Ever provide a way for citizens to follow the money for the reforms.

bu2
bu2

@AvgGeorgian 

Kind of contradicted by this article.  If Georgia was trying to create a crisis, they wouldn't have the lowest standards of failing in the country.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Good point. I will have to cogitate on that. But, they are not the sharpest knives....maybe they create crises the same way they govern and lead, with little planning, research or skill. The current electorate has been easy to bamboozle so far, so little effort may be needed to get the chosen few's hands in the jar that holds billion$ of cookies. An example is the private school tax credit sold as helping poor kids that are stuck in terrible schools. Turns out that it goes to the top 25% of income earners and you don't have to ever attend even 1 day of public school to get the scholarship.

newsphile
newsphile

A good education requires teachers who are knowledgeable and who actually teach, parents who support those teachers, and students who are engaged, attentive, and eager to learn or mature enough to know there are some things that simply must be learned whether fun or not.

Parents who condone school absences, poor behavior, and failing grades are responsible for many of today's problems.  Then there's that teacher who requires three hours of homework each night, mistakenly believing that it means he/she is the best teacher and that a student's success is determined by the volume of busywork one can complete. 

I hope both parents and teachers will step up to the challenge.

gactzn2
gactzn2

Studying is a discipline- key word- discipline.- Kids need to get off the computers

thenoticer
thenoticer

Georgia has rigorous expectations for students, on paper. In most schools, students are not taught what they need to rise to these standards (not true everywhere.) In many cases, it can't happen because students do not come ready to learn at that level, and/or behavior of students interfere with the process. The question I have is why does Georgia have rigorous standards, but requires nothing close to meeting those standards in order to "pass the test." I'm tired of tax payer money being spent on this show of giving a test that almost everyone passes. I am so glad NAEP put this info in an easy to understand chart for our legislature.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian @class80olddog @thenoticer "If the standard is the goal, then write a simple specific curriculum and process for each specific goal in the standard, create statewide excellent instructional video of each step and train all teachers to implement. "

And after you do that, what if the student has not learned the material covered by the standards because he/she was absent 30% of the time?  What do you do then?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog @thenoticer


Here is a 4th grade CCGPS for math. Are there only 27 standards?


MCC4.OA.2 Multiply or divide to solve word problems involving multiplicative comparison, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem, distinguishing multiplicative comparison from additive comparison.


https://www.georgiastandards.org/Georgia-Standards/Documents/Large-Print-MATH-CCGPS-Grade-4.pdf


If the standard is the goal, then write a simple specific curriculum and process for each specific goal in the standard, create statewide excellent instructional video of each step and train all teachers to implement. 


Why can't we get state leadership on anything but privatization, charters and vouchers?



AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@thenoticer   We have a governor, legislature, state school board, and state DOE that cannot seem to produce a coherent plan for testing, curriculum, and instructional processes that could hold all parties accountable.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@AvgGeorgian @class80olddog @thenoticer What in the heck are the "state guidelines" for attendance?  Apparently they are not working!

And for your information, poor attendance is one of the criteria I assign to "failing schools".  A school cannot be successful if it has an attendance problem.  A teacher cannot teach an empty desk.

CSpinks
CSpinks

@thenoticer "Lip service" to educational excellence has been paid for years by highly placed and paid "educrats" in the GDOE. Since "talking the talk" of educational excellence("EE") has proven to be successful in keeping the money flooding in to them and their "friends" outside The Twin Towers, our "educrats" have seen no necessity to "walk the walk" toward "EE." And so long as we reward our "educrats" and GaPubEd when many of our kids continue to graduate HS with elementary-level skills, we'll continue to graduate folks unprepared for responsible adult living.


Concerned parents and teachers, particularly retired ones like me, must bring to the attention of The Public the pathetic educational situations faced by many of our kids, particularly those who are poor, minority, or schooled outside affluent suburbs.


If, in a democracy, The Public gets the quality of government it deserves, is it too much to argue that our failing schools are manifestations of The Public's failure- our failure- to examine them critically and to hold GDOE "educrats" and the schools' staffs to strict account?


And, lest we forget: "Actions speak louder than words."

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@class80olddog @AvgGeorgian @thenoticer I'd like to see the courts hold parents accountable for student attendance, instead of giving chance after chance,time after time,month after month.  If the family goes to another school, the "clock"starts again.  If the year ends, the "clock" starts again.  How about our courts man up and back up the schools?  And how about stopping putting it on teachers to call parents to ask why the student is out?  Teachers need to be TEACHING--either doing it, planning it, or evaluating it.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@CSpinks @thenoticer AND hold the OTHER players to strict account!  The legislature (funding and rules), the system leaders, the teachers,  the parents,and....THE STUDENTS.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@class80olddog 


Neither can a teacher or school make a student attend. Let the state handle it. The state can set an attendance standard and mete out whatever help, plan or punishment they desire. The state refuses to take responsibility for student attendance and declares the school and teachers as failing for not handling it.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Think about this. A runner is tested on how fast she runs. You can test the runner against her prior times or against others, or against a goal set by whoever. There is no secret about how to learn to run faster. Everyone can find researched, accepted training methods that will make anyone run faster. Some have more potential for speed than others but research can show an expected top speed, low speed, and average speed in a group. But for the most part, all will use proven training methods to train.


In education, we have made a muddled mess of it. Different tests and standards for different states, different texts and curriculum for different schools, different methods from teacher to teacher. In the meantime, schools and mainly teachers are blamed for poor student performance. You can say teachers are professionals and should be able to do their jobs, but the level of chaos that exists has every teacher trying to recreate the wheel.


The state "leaders" never say, we have provided nationally recognized, researched and proven testing, curriculum, goals, and training,  and despite this, the schools/teachers are failing to implement properly and this is what they did wrong. Is the specific method of how to test, set appropriate goals, teach and measure performance some sort of secret? 


Put a clear proven structure in place that will hold the state, administrators, teachers, students, and parents accountable. A structure like this would clearly record the process and show who did or did not do their part.

Carlos_Castillo
Carlos_Castillo

I'd like to hear what the bigwigs responsible for this testing standards travesty would say if cornered for a live TV interview.


Our state is an education laughing stock.  This may take us below the low bar of "anyone with a pulse passes."

Happy Hippie
Happy Hippie

On a recent rainy weekend, I was flipping through Netflix to find a family movie we could all watch together. At almost every single movie, my 1st grade son said, "Oh, I've seen that. That too. That too." I asked where on earth he had seen all of these movies, because I know he didn't see them at home. His answer? "At school." 


At school. 


Maybe this is one place to start the long, cold, look we need to take at our educational process. It's not going to change everything, but it's a start. Because it turns out my son has been shown cartoons and movies nearly every day in school for the past two years by teachers (at two different North Fulton schools) who are logging into their personal Netflix accounts with their smartboards. Snack time? Turn on a cartoon. Rainy recess? Turn on cartoons. Testing day so no specials? Cartoons again. Not only is it illegal, it is cheating our children. At the VERY LEAST, they could put on something educational that is tied to current curriculum (which is legal). But they chose talking animals and fairies and fighting turtles. 

This would be a very simple IT fix.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@Happy Hippie Oh they show those movies in class for the last two weeks of the school year, when testing was scheduled early and there is no reason to teach anything else.  You know, teachers cry about furloughs that cost them money - they say it impacts teaching time, but you don't hear them cry about the testing schedule.

Of course, the people at the State have to be some special kind of stupid to require testing be done before the end of the school year. But I guess that is the caliber of the employees in our State government.

Quidocetdiscit
Quidocetdiscit

@class80olddog @Happy Hippie



"....but you don't hear them cry about the testing schedule."


WHAT?????  Come on now!  You KNOW those of us who post on here have complained repeatedly about the testing schedule and how it disrupts teaching!



class80olddog
class80olddog

What we need is a four diploma system with rigidly-enforced standards for each.  That way you don't increase the dropout rate trying to turn everyone into college material (not going to happen).  I have always hated the CC standard "College AND Career Ready" - it should read "College OR Career Ready".

Four diplomas:

1) High-Achiever College Prep Diploma

2) Regular High School Diploma - rigorous math and English requirements

3) Vocational Diploma - Minimum Math and English requirements with additional vocational classes

4) SPED diploma

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

@class80olddog  I voiced a similar opinion in a meeting once, and my administrator looked at me like I had blasphemed the Holy Spirit.


Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

A worthless study.  Who cares about a "complex mapping" of state standards to the NAEP.  Sounds like someone had too much time on their hands.


Take the ACTUAL RESULTS of the NAEP, stratify by demographics, and then compare.  Identify the outliers and begin asking why.

class80olddog
class80olddog

We live in the age of NO RESPONSIBILITY.  Anything that happens - it wasn't my (or my kids') fault.  All the bad stuff, from discipline to attendance - it is because of a disorder caused by mysterious pollution years ago.  Don't blame the kid when he doesn't do his homework.  And definitely don't blame the parent, each of whom is working 9 jobs just to make ends meet.  But they are not responsible for their condition.  It is the 150 years of slavery that made them like that.  That is why they could not delay getting pregnant.  Don't blame them.


I am beginning to agree with some other posters - the world is going to heck in a handbasket.

gactzn2
gactzn2

@class80olddog I thought you were more broadminded than your current post suggests- I see I was wrong. Surprise-surprise

gactzn2
gactzn2

@class80olddog By the way- there are PLENTY of white parents who do the same- They are just not located in the metropolitan area.  Children from low SES homes (rural or metro) have stories about brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers in prison, selling drugs, just got out of prison, or are currently on drugs.  Both stories sound the same until you find out where they live or see the child. Black or White.


class80olddog
class80olddog

@gactzn2 @class80olddog I know full well that this happens to both black and white parents.  The only reference in my entire post was the part about 150 years of slavery (because MES constantly refers to it).  The first part was in reference to excuses concerning ADHD.  I have a (white) niece who got pregnant as a teenager, so obviously teenage pregnancy is not only a black thing.  My point was that no one wants to take responsibility, and I see that in even the highest SES households.

CSpinks
CSpinks

SouthGATeacher,

Georgia is at the bottom not because of the failure of the standards movement but because of the failure of folks like you to appreciate the necessity for high standards and to  WORK  LIKE  HELL  to meet and exceed them.


Dr. Craig Spinks

Georgians for Educational Excellence, LLC

Augusta

class80olddog
class80olddog

@CSpinks  Fine speech - now where are the specifics to back it up?  Work like hell on WHAT? 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@CSpinks


High standards should be encouraged but, at the same time, each student should be taught on the instructional level in which he is functioning as well as at the rate to which he can absorb concepts to mastery.


Both (1) expecting high standards and (2) addressing individual instructional placement and rate of learning can be accomplished and accommodated within a Continuous Progress Instructional Model.  I know of no other instructional model which can bring these diverse instructional concepts together in a school in which all students' can function well, at the same time.

popacorn
popacorn

@MaryElizabethSings

And no other model will stratify by race more than 'your' model. It absolutely will not work in this century. De Facto racism. Shame on you. Where is your nuance when you so desperately need it most?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@popacorn 


This is not a true statement.  Moreover, Continuous Progress Instructional Model is not "my" model.  It is a model which addresses both high standards and individual students' learning within that context.  Continuous Progress is a sound instructional model for all time because it follows natural student academic development which remains constant.


Read this link to my blog (and the links contained within it) and enrich your mind regarding instructional delivery:


.https://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/about-education-essay-1-mastery-learning/



SouthGATeacher
SouthGATeacher

What this really says is that the standards movement has failed public education. One size does not fit all. Some states play the game better than others. Our diversity in students should correlate to the failure of the standards movement. Hence, why GA is at the bottom. 


Standardization does not work...no matter how many times we change the rules. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@SouthGATeacher


I hope you meant "diversity" in students' learning patterns (which is true for all races and ethnic groups) and not racial diversity, which would fall very close to code for racist thinking.  If you meant the latter, I need to remove my "like" of your remarks.  There are gifted, average, and slow students within every racial and ethnic group. 

class80olddog
class80olddog

@MaryElizabethSings @SouthGATeacher "There are gifted, average, and slow students within every racial and ethnic group. "

And their education should be in those groups - not trying to shoehorn everyone into the same classrooms to fit some PC goal.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog


You do not perceive in instructional complexity, only in instructional simplicity, which is not realistic because research shows that students will never stay "locked" into one tracking demarcation.  You must start perceiving in more instructional complexity to understand beyond stereotypes and cliches of how children learn.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@MaryElizabethSings @class80olddog I am not trying to "lock" anyone into anything - if a student is 4 years behind in English and gets put into a remedial classroom, then progresses with outstanding speed and catches up - by all means move him/her into a regular classroom. 

But if elimination of "tracking" means that everyone now must pass calculus - you are going to see a lot of dropouts who could function on a lower level - and they will be stigmatized for life.  Right now we have de facto tracks - the AP track for high-level learners, the general diploma track that has been made worthless, and the GED track for the minimum level after dropout.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog 


Course requirements/offerings, or course selectivity, can be adjusted so that every child does not have to take Calculus (or equivalent higher concept courses in other curriculum areas) without resorting to tracking of students, in which in reality few are ever removed from the lowest rank once the child is tagged into that instructional ranking.


This is only one example of what I am referring to when I mention the necessity to think in instructional complexity, instead of in instructional simplicity.

bu2
bu2

@MaryElizabethSings @class80olddog 

In DeKalb County in our elementary math they switched "ranks" every section with a pre-test to determine where they fit.  So they weren't "tagged" for more than about 6-9 weeks.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@bu2 


Thanks for sharing.  So glad to read this.  What the DCSS is practicing in your school with math, as you have described above, is an element within a Continuous Progress School Model.  Excellent!

sf33
sf33

This is scary! When will we, the people who pay taxes in Georgia and elect state officials, decide we want top value for the money spent and first rate public education?

living-in-outdated-ed
living-in-outdated-ed

@MaureenDowney this is one of your best posts of the year.  Every assertion backed by evidence.   While one quantitative measure only, it's a smoking gun any way you look at it.    This is a troubling development for Georgia and will add much fuel to the fire of ed reform.    What I would really like to see is for someone to actually analyze how teaching in Georgia differs from other states who score higher on NAEP.  Are they teaching kids any differently?   Why do we have confidence that these newly designed assessments will rectify the situation?   We chose to go our own way and not work with PARCC.   We continue to revolt against common core standards and want everything locally grown.   Test scores are not the only measure to use here, but what I would really like someone to research is to compare a learning environment in Georgia with a learning environment of a similar demographic area in a high performance state.   You'd think in the year 2015 we would be able to figure out what best practices look like.


Is our state DoE too afraid to look at success stories or are they so obsessed with Tea Party, state controlled Jeffersonian principles?