This past week I presented research to the Board of Regents that clearly suggests the need to adjust the "cut scores" on the state's grade 3-8 English and math exams to more accurately indicate student proficiency on those exams. The Board endorsed the rationale I presented and I will adjust those scores accordingly.
If our tests are to be a useful tool, they have to give us meaningful information — not only about a student's current level of proficiency, but also about that student's future prospects. So we looked at linkages and connections, to better understand the signals that indicate whether a student is on track to pass Regents exams and to go on to higher education prepared to do college-level work.
The research told us many things. Most significantly, it revealed that some students who have scored "proficient" on state exams were unprepared, without remediation, to do the work required of them when they reached college. That must change.
"Proficiency" on our exams has to mean something real; no good purpose is served when we say that a child is proficient when that child simply is not.
a sequenced curriculum
But more rigorous exams are only one piece of the Regents' broader reform vision — a vision that includes a more challenging, sequenced curriculum, stronger preparation for teachers and principals, and a world-class data system.
We are embarking on a new era of reform, and the goal is clear: to provide all students with a world-class education that prepares them for college, work, citizenship and lifelong learning.
Changes will make New York's standardized tests more meaningful
by David Steiner
July 25, 2010