States v. Federal, student performance evaluations

The Education Trust released a report Thursday evaluating student achievement patterns in a state-by-state comparison with the federal benchmark. Their analysis according to the press release:
raises questions about the rigor of state tests and standards, putting a spotlight on the huge disparities in student performance on state tests and on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
In the comparison, it was found that states' standards were generally lower than the national. Hawaii reported 56% of grade 4 students were proficient and advanced in reading. The NAEP tests determined only 23% were. In reading proficiency scores for grade 8, Hawaii reported 38%, while the national reported it to be 18%. Many states had more extreme gaps between their test scores and the national, especially for middle and high school student scores. The Trust suggested:
While important, overall trends do not tell the whole story. To ensure that all students meet grade-level standards, schools must increase achievement for all students while accelerating gains for poor and minority children who are often the furthest behind. Many states are meeting this goal in the elementary grades, but the results in middle and high school are disturbing.

Primary Progress, Secondary Challenge: A State-by-State Look at Student Achievement Patterns
(available in pdf, 472KB, from The Education Trust)

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