May 14, 2015 — Achieve, Inc. released a report, which found too many states are labeling students proficient when they are not actually well prepared. This discrepancy, referred to as the ‘honesty gap’, illustrates the proficiency gap between rates reported by state tests and those indicated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – with over half of all states revealing a 30 percentage point discrepancy. States implementing higher standards and aligned assessments including the Common Core State Standards are seeing great results. For example, in New York, education officials acknowledged the gap between its self-reported proficiency rates and NAEP proficiency was getting worse, adopting revised proficiency requirements more rigorous than NAEP. Kentucky, once ranked, among the worst in the country in terms of proficiency gaps, has cut discrepancies by 17 points to become a “Top Truth Teller” identified by Achieve.

In an article in The Tennessean, John Morgan, chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents, spoke about the importance of accurate assessments so students and colleges “really [know] how we’re doing.” Citing the importance of student preparation and self-awareness about their weaknesses, John Morgan believes “honest assessment of these real standards will inform us as to what that student needs” and improve their chances of success.


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