Three years ago, the threshold for passing was 60 percent. In fact, students in every grade this year could slide by with fewer correct answers on the math test than in 2006.
In math this year, 86 percent of students statewide passed the test, scoring at least a Level 3 (of 4), and 82 percent passed in English, the highest percentages in many years. But the lower passing scores, especially for math, have provided fodder for skeptics who believe the state has made it easier for struggling students to pass...
At a time when the tests are assuming an unprecedented role in classrooms across the state — used for everything from analyzing student deficiencies to determining which educators deserve cash bonuses — the debate underscores a central question: How accurate are the exams in measuring student learning and progress, and what skills should a passing grade reflect?
Sometimes, we in education are our own worst enemies.