2016 Building a Grad Nation Report

PROGRESS AND CHALLENGE IN RAISING HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES

Written annually by Civic Enterprises and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, and released in partnership with America’s Promise Alliance and the Alliance for Excellent Education, this report examines the progress and challenges the nation faces in reaching the GradNation goal of a national on-time graduation rate of 90 percent by the Class of 2020.

Release Date: 

Introduction

Download the Full Report

Download the Executive Summary

Download the 2016 Data Brief

The nation has achieved an 82.3 percent high school graduation rate – a record high.

Graduation rates rose for all student subgroups, and the number of low-graduation-rate high schools and students enrolled in them dropped again, indicating that progress has had far-reaching benefits for all students.

This progress, however, has not come without its challenges.

First, this year the nation is slightly off pace to reach a 90 percent on-time graduation rate by 2020.

Second, at both the national and state levels, troubling graduation gaps remain between White students and their Black and Latino peers, low-income and non-low-income students, and students with and without disabilities.

Third, low-graduation-rate high schools – a key focus of the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act – pose a significant roadblock to the national goal of a 90 percent graduation rate for all students. While the number of low-graduation-rate high schools has declined considerably over the past decade, in some states they still predominate.

The 2016 Building a Grad Nation report is the first to analyze 2014 graduation data using new criteria established by ESSA and the first to show the impact of additional time on graduation rates.

If all states were required to report five-year graduation rates, the national high school grad rate would go up about 3 percentage points. If all states were required to report six-year grad rates, the rate would go up an additional point.

The report provides a new national and state-by-state analysis of low-graduation-rate high schools; the number of additional students it will take for the country and each state to reach 90 per-cent; a look at the validity of graduation rates; and policy recommendations for change.

National & State Picture

After flat-lining for 30 years, high school graduation rates began to rise in 2002. This steady climb became more accelerated in 2006 and, in 2012, the nation reached an historic milestone, an 80 percent on-time graduation rate.

The upward trend continued through 2014, as the national graduation rate hit another record, 82.3 percent, up more than 10 percentage points since the turn of the century.

When the graduation rate hit 80 percent, we calculated that the national graduation rate would need to increase by roughly 1.2 percentage points per year to achieve 90 percent by the Class of 2020. Between 2013 and 2014, the nation missed this mark, and will now have to average closer to 1.3 percentage points per year to reach the goal.

Moving from percentages to raw numbers, meeting the 90 percent goal would mean graduating 284,591 more students.

To graduate students equitably across all subgroups means focusing on students of color, those with disabilities, English-language learners and students from low-income homes. Despite all the progress, these subgroups still graduate at lower rates than other students.

For more information on subgroup graduation rates, go to the 2016 Building a Grad Nation Data Brief.

At the state level:

  • Iowa became the first state to surpass 90 percent, with a 90.5 percent rate in 2014.
  • 20 other states are on pace to reach a 90 percent graduation rate.
  • Five on-pace states – Nebraska, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Texas and Wisconsin – are within 2 percentage points of the goal.
  • 21 states are currently off track to reach 90 percent by the Class of 2020.

Low-Grad-Rate Schools

The number of low-graduation-rate schools – defined by ESSA as those enrolling 100 or more students and graduating 67 percent or less of them – has declined considerably, but in some states they still predominate. (Note: Previous reports have focused on high schools with at least 300 students. This calculation, made to align with ESSA, allows a closer look at more rural, charter, alternative and virtual schools.)

  • There are 1,000 large, low-graduation-rate high schools (more than 300 students) nationwide, enrolling 924,000 students, compared to 2,000 in 2002, enrolling 2.6 million students.
  • Vulnerable students are overrepresented in low-graduation-rate high schools. Of the roughly 924,000 in large low-graduation-rate high schools, 65 percent were from low-income families, and 63 percent were Black or Hispanic/Latino.
  • When including high schools with student populations of at least 100 students, there are 2,397 graduation-rate high schools across the nation, enrolling 1.23 million students.
  • Nationwide, 33 percent of all non-graduates in 2014 were enrolled in low-graduation-rate high schools.
  • Though alternative, charter, and virtual schools collectively account for 14 percent of high schools and 8 percent of high school students, they make up 52 percent of low-graduation-rate high schools nationwide and produce 20 percent of non-graduates. Regular district high schools account for 41 percent of low-graduation-rate high schools and are where the majority of students who do not graduate on time can be found.
  • Low-graduation-rate high schools by school types. Out of all low-grad-rate schools in the nation, 41 percent are regular district schools, 28 percent are alternative schools, 26 percent are charter schools and 7 percent are virtual schools.
    (According to NCES definitions, there is inherent overlap between the alternative, charter, and virtual schools categories, so these numbers do not add up to 100 percent. When looking just at district-operated alternative schools, they make up 23 percent of low-graduation-rate high schools, and when separating virtual schools out from charter schools, the percentage of low-graduation-rate schools that are charter schools falls to 22 percent.)
  • Regular district schools (84% of all high schools). Seven percent (7%) of regular district public schools, or roughly 1,000 schools nationwide, were low-graduation rate high schools. Regular district high schools had an average graduation rate of 85 percent. The number of low-graduation-rate regular district high schools across states ranges from zero in Delaware, Hawaii, and Kentucky to more than 276 in New York and 203 in Florida.
  • Charter schools (8% of all high schools). Now authorized in all but seven states, the of charter schools is rising with mixed results on graduation rates. Thirty percent (30%) of charter schools were low-graduation-rate high schools, while 44 percent had high graduation rates of 85 percent and above. Nationwide, charter schools reported an average graduation rate of 70 percent. Hawaii, Arizona, Indiana, Ohio and California have the highest percentages of low-graduation-rate charter high schools.
  • Alternative schools (6% of all high schools). Established to meet the needs of “at risk” students, 57 percent of alternative schools are low-graduation-rate high schools. They have an average graduation rate of 52 percent. Sixty percent (60%) of students at alternative high schools are students of color. In 10 states, including Kentucky, Texas, Washington, Idaho and Iowa, 50 percent or more of low-graduation-rate high schools were alternative schools in 2014. Other states have experienced greater success with alternative schools.
  • Virtual schools (1% of all high schools). Schools offering all instruction online have greatly increased in recent years. Virtual schools were disaggregated in NCES data for the first time in 2013-14. The data shows that 87 percent of virtual schools are low-grad-rate schools with an average graduation rate of 40 percent. States with the highest percentage of non-graduates coming from virtual schools include Ohio, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Colorado.

Validity of Grad Rates

Rising high school graduation rates have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, as more people question whether the gains are real, whether high school diplomas are a meaningful measure of achievement, and whether high school graduates are adequately prepared for college and careers.

  • The most rapid rise in graduation rates occurred from 2006 to 2014, during an era when states were increasing graduation requirements, including exit and end-of course exams. Thus, graduation rates rose even as it was getting harder to graduate.
  • If standards were being lowered, one would expect ACT and SAT scores to decrease, but scores (and the percentage of SAT-takers who meet the College Board’s College and Career Readiness Standards) remain flat.
  • There is evidence that more students are participating in rigorous coursework. Since 2004, the total number of graduates taking an AP course has risen from 558,993 in 2004 to over 1 million in 2013. The number of students passing at least one AP course has risen in tandem, from 351,647 to 607,505 in 2013.
  • We will have a more comprehensive look at the relationship between high school and college and career readiness in a forthcoming report.

Policy Recommendations

To move the needle to 90 percent by the Class of 2020 and help ensure accuracy in graduation rate reporting, the report includes recommendations, including:

  • Set clear definitions and give graduation rates the weight they deserve in ESSA so that schools and districts are held accountable for graduating traditionally underserved students.
  • Clear up issues of clarity and variability in graduation rate collection and reporting regulations to allow for apples-to-apples comparisons.
  • Create evidence-based plans to improve low-graduation-rate high schools.
  • Require the reporting of extended-year graduation rates. Some students require an additional year or two of high school to earn a diploma. Today 31 states report five-year rates for the Class of 2014. These additional graduates move the national graduation rate from 82.3 percent to greater than 86 percent. And six-year rates, reported in 13 stats, add another percentage point.
  • Ensure that alternative and virtual schools are included in state accountability and improvement systems.
  • Provide real pathways to engage students who have fallen off track. Students who have fallen off track to graduation need the things that all students need to be successful: positive relationships with caring adults, strong and tailored instruction, opportunities to engage in learning experiences that connect school to careers and life beyond, and the support and resources to help them figure out what they want to do once they have earned their diploma. These should be at the core of any school or program, particularly those serving vulnerable student populations.

2016 Data Brief

Released in January, the 2016 Building a Grad Nation Data Brief focused on 2013-14 national and state graduation rate data released by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The brief provides information on graduation gaps at the national and state level for students from low-income families, Black and Hispanic/Latino students, English-language learners and students with disabilities.

The brief also provides State Progress Reports.

Sponsors

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About GradNation

The GradNation campaign – led by America’s Promise Alliance, the Alliance for Excellent Education, Civic Enterprises, and the Everyone Graduates Center at the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University – mobilizes individuals and organizations to raise the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by the Class of 2020, with no school graduating fewer than 80 percent of its students on time. GradNation also aims for dramatic increases in postsecondary enrollment and graduation.

USA: USAHealth and Fitness: USA Hospitals

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This is the weekly update from FairTest about the movement against high-stakes testing. FairTest has been leading the figh against the misuse and overuse of standardized testing since 1985.


 


Bob Schaeffer writes:


 


 


The “spin” on today’s first story may be a bit ahead of the curve. But the testing resistance and reform movement is making significant progress, as this week’s clips from half of the nation’s 50 states clearly demonstrate. To win even more tangible victories, we have to ratchet up the pressure on policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to significantly reduce testing overuse and end high-stakes standardized exams.


 


Boycotters Might Be Winning Battle Over Standardized Testing

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No Child Left Behind Has Failed

http://ift.tt/1vY7d72


 


Scholarly Support for Assessment Reform

http://ift.tt/17s5jzK

500+ Researchers Sign Letter to Congress: Stop Test-Driven “Reforms”

http://ift.tt/1FSWJpW


 


Send a Message to Congress Today — Real NCLB Reform = Less Testing + No High-Stakes

http://ift.tt/1A0ZepI


 


San Diego California School Board Unanimously Supports End of Annual Federal Testing Mandate

http://ift.tt/1E42AaH

Test Scoring of Schools Being Dismantled in California

http://ift.tt/17s5jzN


 


Colorado Teachers Protest New Standardized Testing

http://ift.tt/1vY7bfA


 


Parents Should Refuse Connecticut’s Smarter Balanced Exams

http://ift.tt/17x2ka0


 


Florida Educators and Parents Demonstrate Against Toxic Testing

http://ift.tt/1vY7d73

More Florida Families Seek Test Opt Outs

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Georgia House Approves Bill to Retroactively Cancel Graduation Test Diploma Requirement

http://ift.tt/1vY7d74


 


Hawaiian Teachers Story: My Two Kids

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Illinois Superintendent Questions Value of New State Assessment

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Indiana Testing Turmoil Likely to Boost Opt Out Movement

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New Computerized Assessments Freeze Up During Indiana Stress Test

http://ift.tt/1vY7bvX


 


Massive Testing Opt Out Looms Over Louisiana Schools

http://ift.tt/17s5lHT

Don’t Rely on Test Scores to Evaluate Louisiana Teachers

http://ift.tt/1vY7d79


 


Maryland Testing is Killing the Joy of Learning and Teaching

http://ift.tt/17s5mvp


 


High Stakes Testing Narrows Michigan Education

http://ift.tt/1vY7bvY


 


Mississippi House Votes to Eliminate Graduation Testing Requirement

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New Hampshire Takes Aim at Testing Overkill

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New Jersey Parents Revolt Against New PARCC Test

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New Jersey Voters Want More School Accountability With Less Testing

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More Than 300 Albuquerque Students Opt Out of New Mexico State Test . . . So Far

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New Mexico Teachers Challenge “Error-Ridden” Test-Based Evaluation System

http://ift.tt/1AlMdbV


 


New York Education “Reforms” Miss Mark

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Tally of 60,000+ New York Opt Outs in 2014 is Accurate

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North Carolina State Task Force Recommends Testing Overhaul

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North Carolina School Grades Spark Criticism

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Growing Numbers of Ohio Families Opt Out of Common Core Tests

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Activists Urge Parents to Opt Out of Oregon’s New Smarter Balanced Test

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Oregon Testing Debate Moves From Schools to Capitol

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Opt Out Numbers Soar in Pennsylvania

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The Limits of Standardized Testing in Pennsylvania Schools

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High-Stakes Testing Decimates Classroom Teaching in Rhode Island

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Texas Testing Is Like Using a Bathroom Scale to Measure Height

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Texas Refuses Fed’s Demand for Test-Based Teacher Evaluation

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Utah May Cancel Test After First Year

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Tacoma, Washington Parents Take Case Against High-Stakes Testing to School Board

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Washington State Teachers Rally Against “Toxic Testing”

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West Virginia School Board Supports Testing Reduction, Postponing Consequences

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Wisconsin State Testing is a Mess

http://ift.tt/17s5meN


 


How to Tell Parents That They are “Wrong” About Testing

http://ift.tt/1DyFIlm


 


Uncle Sam is Not Good at Providing “Cover” for School “Reform”

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Bad Apples: Pearson’s Stranglehold on American Education

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Malcolm X and the Problem of High-Stakes Testing

http://ift.tt/1Fu3XQS


 


 


Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779

mobile- (239) 699-0468

web- http://www.fairtest.org
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/19ykfOy

The weekly report on testing from Bob Schaeffer of Fairtest:


FairTest provides these weekly summaries of news clips and other resources as a tool to build the national assessment reform movement. We encourage parents, educators, students, administrators, community organizers, researchers and other allies to draw on the positive initiatives described in these links as models for their own local campaigns.


If you have similar materials to share, please send them to us for possible inclusion in future editions.


Some States Rush to Tie Common Core Tests to Graduation


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California Rethinks How to Report Test Scores


http://ift.tt/1qAogZY


Colorado Legislators Express Bipartisan Skepticism About Testing at Pre-Session Hearing


http://ift.tt/1slIP8a


Connecticut Working to De-emphasize Testing in School Accountability


http://ift.tt/1qAoeBm


Florida School Boards Association Takes a Stand Against Over Testing


http://ift.tt/1yeKbDu


Text of Florida School Boards Resolution


http://ift.tt/1slIQZI


Opposition Grows to Illinois’ Use of PARCC Common Core Test


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Louisiana Political Struggle Over PARRC Testing Continues


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How Massachusetts Teachers Defeated a Test-Based Evaluation Plan


http://ift.tt/1ERxGl8


New Jersey Parents, Teachers Talk About Opting Out of PARCC Test


http://ift.tt/1qAoeRH


Mom Dares New Jersey Gov. Christie to Defend Common Core Exam After Taking It


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Judging New York’s Education Chancellor By Her Own “Standards”


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Ohio’s Harmful Obsession with School Testing


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PTA in Oklahoma Calls for End to High-Stakes Testing


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Oklahoma PTA Resolutions on Testing


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Dallas, Texas, School Board Responds to Parents Call for Less Focus on Testing


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What Might a Republican Rewrite of “No Child Left Behind” Look Like?


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Duncan’s Hammer: Test Scores


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National Secondary School Principals Group Criticizes Value-Added Measurement


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First Step to Close Test Score Gap: Reduce Poverty and Segregation


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To Fix School Problems: Listen to Experienced Education Experts


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Standardized Testing a False Solution to Attacking Educational Racism


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Beware of Another Standardized Test: This One on Civics


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Corruption and Cheating Increase with Imposition of School “Accountability” Schemes Says Finnish Expert


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The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing — forthcoming book available for pre-order now


http://ift.tt/1slIPoH


Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779

mobile- (239) 699-0468

web- http://www.fairtest.org
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/1qAoeBj

Texas Virtual Academy Students Log in August 25th to Start School Year – WSJ.com

Texas Virtual Academy Students Log in August 25th to Start School Year

LEWISVILLE, Texas, Aug. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – Texas Virtual Academy, a public online school serving students in grades 3-12, will have hundreds of students returning to school Monday, August 25 – without ever leaving their homes.

“Students from across the state can enroll in Texas Virtual Academy, which provides an active, supportive community, a range of extracurricular activities, and a robust Advanced Learner Program,” said Sherri Remington, head of school of Texas Virtual Academy. “Our school provides a great choice for families who are interested in actively engaging in their children's education.”

Texas Virtual Academy is a tuition-free option for students and families simply looking for an online learning experience or for students who would benefit from individualized learning.

Interested families are still eligible to enroll for the 2014-2015 school year. For more information visit http://www.k12.com/txva.

Texas Virtual Academy, a ResponsiveEd charter school in partnership with K(1)(2), gives students the opportunity to learn in the ways that are right for them, while covering both core subject areas and electives. The school gives parents and families the choice to access the award-winning curriculum and tools provided by K(1)(2).

The school is held accountable for the same state testing required of all Texas public schools. Texas Virtual Academy is accredited by the Texas Education Agency and AdvancED.

About Texas Virtual Academy

Texas Virtual Academy is a full-time, online public school in Texas. Texas Virtual Academy is tuition-free for Texas residents and is made possible through a partnership between ResponsiveEd and K12 Inc. For more information, please visit http://www.k12.com/txva or call 866-360-0161.

About K12 Inc.

K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) is leading the transformation to technology-powered individualized learning, which aims to customize instruction to meet each student's unique capabilities, interests, and needs. As the nation's leading provider of online education solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school, K(1)(2) empowers states, districts, and schools to offer their students the broadest array of options for learning in a flexible, individualized, and innovative way. K(1)(2) provides online curricula, academic services, and learning solutions to public and private schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and directly to families.

SOURCE Texas Virtual Academy

/CONTACT: Rachel Schiller, SE2, 303-892-9100 x 17, rachel@publicpersuasion.com

The Wall Street Journal news department was not involved in the creation of this content.

Pearson, the British megacorporation, appears to have won the PARCC Common Core contract, which is worth about $1 billion. Its tests will be administered to 6-10 million children in 14 states. The third grade tests will take eight hours. The high school tests will take 10 hours. PARCC is also developing tests for kindergarten, first and second grades.


FAIRTEST has compiled a catalogue of known Pearson errors:


PEARSON’S HISTORY OF TESTING PROBLEMS


compiled by Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing


Updated May 5, 2014


1998 California – test score delivery delayed


1999-2000 Arizona – 12,000 tests misgraded due to flawed answer key


2000 Florida – test score delivery delayed resulting in $4 million fine


2000 Minnesota – misgraded 45,739 graduation tests leads to lawsuit with $11 million settlement – judge found “years of quality control problems” and a “culture emphasizing profitability and cost-cutting.” http://ift.tt/U3VWj0 (FairTest consulted with plaintiffs’ attorneys)


2000 Washington – 204,000 writing WASL exams rescored


2002 Florida — dozens of school districts received no state grades for their 2002 scores because of a “programming error” at the DOE. One Montessori school never received scores because NCS Pearson claimed not to have received the tests.


2005 Michigan — scores delayed and fines levied per contract


2005 Virginia — computerized test misgraded – five students awarded $5,000 scholarships http://ift.tt/WcgKXx


2005-2006 SAT college admissions test – 4400 tests wrongly scored; $3 million settlement after lawsuit (note FairTest was an expert witness for plaintiffs)


2007-2011 Mississippi – subcontractor programs correct answer as incorrect resulting in erroneous results for almost four years during which time 126 students flunked the exam due to that wrongly scored item. Auditors criticized Pearson’s quality control checks, and the firm offered $600,000 in scholarships as compensation


2008 South Carolina –“Scoring Error Delays School Report Cards” The State, November 14, 2008


2008-2009 Arkansas — first graders forced to retake exam because real test used for practice


2009-2010 Wyoming – Pearson’s new computer adaptive PAWS flops; state declares company in “complete default of the contract;” $5.1 million fine accepted after negotiations but not pursued by state governor


http://ift.tt/U3VVLW


http://ift.tt/WcgM1I


2010 Florida – test score delivery delayed by more than a month – nearly $15 million in fines imposed and paid. http://ift.tt/1iqUC49


2010 Minnesota — results from online science tests taken by 180,000 students delayed due to scoring error http://ift.tt/U3VWj7


2011 Florida – some writing exams delivered to districts without cover sheets, revealing subject students would be asked to write about http://ift.tt/U3VVLX


2011 Florida – new computerized algebra end-of-course exam delivery system crashes on first day of administration http://ift.tt/U3VVLZ


2011 Oklahoma – “data quality issues” cause “unacceptable” delay in score delivery — http://ift.tt/WcgM1K

Pearson ultimately replaced by CTB/McGraw Hill http://ift.tt/U3VVM3


2011 Guam – score release delayed because results based on flawed comparison data; government seeks reimbursement — http://ift.tt/WcgM1N


2011 Illinois – 144 student in five Chicago schools wrongly received zeroes due to scoring error. The state sought nearly $1.7 million from Pearson, which could not explain how the errors occurred.


2011 Iowa – State Ethics and Campaign Finance Disclosure Board opens investigation of Iowa Education Department director Jason Glass for participating in all-expenses-paid trip to Brazil sponsored by Pearson Foundation http://ift.tt/WcgMi1


2011 New York – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenas financial records from Pearson Education and Pearson Foundation concerning their sponsorship of global junkets for dozens of state education leaders — http://ift.tt/rETwhL


2011 Oklahoma – State identifies 18 significant problems with Pearson’s tests leading to $8 million penalty settlement. http://ift.tt/WcgKXF


2011 Wyoming – Board of Education replaces Pearson as state’s test vendor after widespread technical problems with online exam ( http://ift.tt/WcgMi3)


2012 New York – “Pineapple and the Hare” nonsense test question removed from exams after bloggers demonstrate that it was previously administered in at least half a dozen other states –


http://ift.tt/HZ0iBf


2012 New York – More than two dozen additional errors found in New York State tests developed by Pearson — http://ift.tt/WcgMi4


2012 Florida – After percentage of fourth grades found “proficient” plunges from 81% to 27% in one year, state Board of Education emergency meeting “fixes” scores on FCAT Writing Test by changing definition of proficiency. http://ift.tt/JL0fGy


2012 Virginia – Error on computerized 3rd and 6th grade SOL tests causes state to offer free retakes. http://ift.tt/WcgKXI


2012 New York – Parents have their children boycott “field test” of new exam questions because of concerns about Pearson’s process http://ift.tt/U3VWzn


2012 Oklahoma – After major test delivery delays, state replaces Pearson as its testing contractor http://ift.tt/WcgMi6


2012 New York – More than 7,000 New York City elementary and middle school students wrongly blocked from graduation by inaccurate “preliminary scores” on Pearson tests


http://ift.tt/U3VW2p


2012 New York – State officials warn Pearson about potential fines if tests have more errors http://ift.tt/U3VW2q


2012 Mississippi – Pearson pays $623,000 for scoring error repeated over four years that blocked graduation for five students and wrongly lowered scores for 121 others http://ift.tt/WcgKXJ


2012 Texas – Pearson computer failure blocks thousands of students from taking state-mandated exam by displaying error message at log on http://ift.tt/WcgLdX


2013 New York – Passages from Pearson textbooks appear in Pearson-designed statewide test, giving unfair advantage to students who used those materials http://ift.tt/WcgMia


2013 New York – three Pearson test scoring mistakes block nearly 5,000 students from gifted-and-talented program eligibility http://ift.tt/U3VW2r


2013 Worldwide – Pearson VUE testing centers around the globe experience major technical problems, leaving thousands unable to take scheduled exams or register for new ones http://ift.tt/WcgMib


2013 New York – Second error found in New York City gifted-and-talented test scoring makes 300 more students eligible for special programs http://ift.tt/WcgMic


2013 England, Wales and Northern Ireland – General Certificate of Secondary Education exam in math leaves out questions and duplicates some others http://ift.tt/U3VWzq


2013 Texas – State Auditor finds inadequate monitoring of Pearson’s contract: vendor determined costs of assessment changes without sufficient oversight and failed to disclose hiring nearly a dozen former state testing agency staff http://ift.tt/WcgMid


2013 Virginia – 4,000 parents receive inaccurate test scorecards due to Pearson error in converting scores to proficiency levels http://ift.tt/1ddLYBA


2013 New York – New Pearson Common Core textbooks are “full of errors,” including in sample test items http://ift.tt/WcgMie


2013 New York – Pearson fined $7.7 million by New York State for using its non-profit foundation arm to steer business to the firm http://ift.tt/18JHscv


2014 National – Pearson notifies students who took the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) in 2011 that their exams had been miscored http://ift.tt/1lb4NaV


2014 Florida – State education commissioner seeks penalties after schools in 26 counties suspend Pearson’s new computerized tests because server problems prevent students from logging on and freeze screens http://ift.tt/1f4FUzE


2014 New York – Printing errors result in missing questions and blank pages in Pearson-designed statewide math assessment http://ift.tt/U3VWzv


2014 Texas – Pearson emails out two test questions to teachers days before the exam is administered http://ift.tt/WcgMyx


If you have questions or additional examples, contact Bob Schaeffer.


Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779

mobile- (239) 696-0468

web- http://www.fairtest.org
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/U3VWiV

Pearson, the British megacorporation, appears to have won the PARCC Common Core contract, which is worth about $1 billion. Its tests will be administered to 6-10 million children in 14 states. The third grade tests will take eight hours. The high school tests will take 10 hours. PARCC is also developing tests for kindergarten, first and second grades.


FAIRTEST has compiled a catalogue of known Pearson errors:


PEARSON’S HISTORY OF TESTING PROBLEMS


compiled by Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing


Updated May 5, 2014


1998 California – test score delivery delayed


1999-2000 Arizona – 12,000 tests misgraded due to flawed answer key


2000 Florida – test score delivery delayed resulting in $4 million fine


2000 Minnesota – misgraded 45,739 graduation tests leads to lawsuit with $11 million settlement – judge found “years of quality control problems” and a “culture emphasizing profitability and cost-cutting.” http://ift.tt/U3VWj0 (FairTest consulted with plaintiffs’ attorneys)


2000 Washington – 204,000 writing WASL exams rescored


2002 Florida — dozens of school districts received no state grades for their 2002 scores because of a “programming error” at the DOE. One Montessori school never received scores because NCS Pearson claimed not to have received the tests.


2005 Michigan — scores delayed and fines levied per contract


2005 Virginia — computerized test misgraded – five students awarded $5,000 scholarships http://ift.tt/WcgKXx


2005-2006 SAT college admissions test – 4400 tests wrongly scored; $3 million settlement after lawsuit (note FairTest was an expert witness for plaintiffs)


2007-2011 Mississippi – subcontractor programs correct answer as incorrect resulting in erroneous results for almost four years during which time 126 students flunked the exam due to that wrongly scored item. Auditors criticized Pearson’s quality control checks, and the firm offered $600,000 in scholarships as compensation


2008 South Carolina –“Scoring Error Delays School Report Cards” The State, November 14, 2008


2008-2009 Arkansas — first graders forced to retake exam because real test used for practice


2009-2010 Wyoming – Pearson’s new computer adaptive PAWS flops; state declares company in “complete default of the contract;” $5.1 million fine accepted after negotiations but not pursued by state governor


http://ift.tt/U3VVLW


http://ift.tt/WcgM1I


2010 Florida – test score delivery delayed by more than a month – nearly $15 million in fines imposed and paid. http://ift.tt/1iqUC49


2010 Minnesota — results from online science tests taken by 180,000 students delayed due to scoring error http://ift.tt/U3VWj7


2011 Florida – some writing exams delivered to districts without cover sheets, revealing subject students would be asked to write about http://ift.tt/U3VVLX


2011 Florida – new computerized algebra end-of-course exam delivery system crashes on first day of administration http://ift.tt/U3VVLZ


2011 Oklahoma – “data quality issues” cause “unacceptable” delay in score delivery — http://ift.tt/WcgM1K

Pearson ultimately replaced by CTB/McGraw Hill http://ift.tt/U3VVM3


2011 Guam – score release delayed because results based on flawed comparison data; government seeks reimbursement — http://ift.tt/WcgM1N


2011 Illinois – 144 student in five Chicago schools wrongly received zeroes due to scoring error. The state sought nearly $1.7 million from Pearson, which could not explain how the errors occurred.


2011 Iowa – State Ethics and Campaign Finance Disclosure Board opens investigation of Iowa Education Department director Jason Glass for participating in all-expenses-paid trip to Brazil sponsored by Pearson Foundation http://ift.tt/WcgMi1


2011 New York – Attorney General Eric Schneiderman subpoenas financial records from Pearson Education and Pearson Foundation concerning their sponsorship of global junkets for dozens of state education leaders — http://ift.tt/rETwhL


2011 Oklahoma – State identifies 18 significant problems with Pearson’s tests leading to $8 million penalty settlement. http://ift.tt/WcgKXF


2011 Wyoming – Board of Education replaces Pearson as state’s test vendor after widespread technical problems with online exam ( http://ift.tt/WcgMi3)


2012 New York – “Pineapple and the Hare” nonsense test question removed from exams after bloggers demonstrate that it was previously administered in at least half a dozen other states –


http://ift.tt/HZ0iBf


2012 New York – More than two dozen additional errors found in New York State tests developed by Pearson — http://ift.tt/WcgMi4


2012 Florida – After percentage of fourth grades found “proficient” plunges from 81% to 27% in one year, state Board of Education emergency meeting “fixes” scores on FCAT Writing Test by changing definition of proficiency. http://ift.tt/JL0fGy


2012 Virginia – Error on computerized 3rd and 6th grade SOL tests causes state to offer free retakes. http://ift.tt/WcgKXI


2012 New York – Parents have their children boycott “field test” of new exam questions because of concerns about Pearson’s process http://ift.tt/U3VWzn


2012 Oklahoma – After major test delivery delays, state replaces Pearson as its testing contractor http://ift.tt/WcgMi6


2012 New York – More than 7,000 New York City elementary and middle school students wrongly blocked from graduation by inaccurate “preliminary scores” on Pearson tests


http://ift.tt/U3VW2p


2012 New York – State officials warn Pearson about potential fines if tests have more errors http://ift.tt/U3VW2q


2012 Mississippi – Pearson pays $623,000 for scoring error repeated over four years that blocked graduation for five students and wrongly lowered scores for 121 others http://ift.tt/WcgKXJ


2012 Texas – Pearson computer failure blocks thousands of students from taking state-mandated exam by displaying error message at log on http://ift.tt/WcgLdX


2013 New York – Passages from Pearson textbooks appear in Pearson-designed statewide test, giving unfair advantage to students who used those materials http://ift.tt/WcgMia


2013 New York – three Pearson test scoring mistakes block nearly 5,000 students from gifted-and-talented program eligibility http://ift.tt/U3VW2r


2013 Worldwide – Pearson VUE testing centers around the globe experience major technical problems, leaving thousands unable to take scheduled exams or register for new ones http://ift.tt/WcgMib


2013 New York – Second error found in New York City gifted-and-talented test scoring makes 300 more students eligible for special programs http://ift.tt/WcgMic


2013 England, Wales and Northern Ireland – General Certificate of Secondary Education exam in math leaves out questions and duplicates some others http://ift.tt/U3VWzq


2013 Texas – State Auditor finds inadequate monitoring of Pearson’s contract: vendor determined costs of assessment changes without sufficient oversight and failed to disclose hiring nearly a dozen former state testing agency staff http://ift.tt/WcgMid


2013 Virginia – 4,000 parents receive inaccurate test scorecards due to Pearson error in converting scores to proficiency levels http://ift.tt/1ddLYBA


2013 New York – New Pearson Common Core textbooks are “full of errors,” including in sample test items http://ift.tt/WcgMie


2013 New York – Pearson fined $7.7 million by New York State for using its non-profit foundation arm to steer business to the firm http://ift.tt/18JHscv


2014 National – Pearson notifies students who took the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) in 2011 that their exams had been miscored http://ift.tt/1lb4NaV


2014 Florida – State education commissioner seeks penalties after schools in 26 counties suspend Pearson’s new computerized tests because server problems prevent students from logging on and freeze screens http://ift.tt/1f4FUzE


2014 New York – Printing errors result in missing questions and blank pages in Pearson-designed statewide math assessment http://ift.tt/U3VWzv


2014 Texas – Pearson emails out two test questions to teachers days before the exam is administered http://ift.tt/WcgMyx


If you have questions or additional examples, contact Bob Schaeffer.


Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director

FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing

office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779

mobile- (239) 696-0468

web- http://www.fairtest.org
















via Diane Ravitch’s blog http://ift.tt/U3VWiV

Shocker: Texas Lifts Enrollment Caps on K12 | Diane Ravitch’s blog

Shocker: Texas Lifts Enrollment Caps on K12

Diane Ravitch's blog[1]

A site to discuss better education for all

K12, the online charter corporation founded by the Milken brothers, has received a series of terrible evaluations. The NCAA recently denied a score of K12 “schools” credit because of the poor quality of instruction. A CREDO study in Pennsylvania concluded that virtual charters performed wose than public schools or brick-and-mortar charter schools.

Major stories in the Néw York Times and the Washington Post have reported that K12 virtual charters have high attrition rates, low test scores, and low graduation rates.

But K12 is good at two things: recruitment and lobbying.

In this article[2], Jason Stanford reports that Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams just lifted the enrollment cap on K12. Williams was previously head of the Railroad Commission, which theoretically “regulates” the energy industry.

According to Stanford, Williams is a friend of K12′s lobbyist. He, along with other key state officials, attended her lavish birthday party in Wine Country. The GOP candidate for governor has pledged to increase funding for K12.

In Texas, it seems the #1 criterion for education funding is not need, but lobbying. Kids come last.

Shocker: Texas Lifts Enrollment Caps on K12 | Diane Ravitch’s blog

Shocker: Texas Lifts Enrollment Caps on K12

Diane Ravitch's blog[1]

A site to discuss better education for all

K12, the online charter corporation founded by the Milken brothers, has received a series of terrible evaluations. The NCAA recently denied a score of K12 “schools” credit because of the poor quality of instruction. A CREDO study in Pennsylvania concluded that virtual charters performed wose than public schools or brick-and-mortar charter schools.

Major stories in the Néw York Times and the Washington Post have reported that K12 virtual charters have high attrition rates, low test scores, and low graduation rates.

But K12 is good at two things: recruitment and lobbying.

In this article[2], Jason Stanford reports that Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams just lifted the enrollment cap on K12. Williams was previously head of the Railroad Commission, which theoretically “regulates” the energy industry.

According to Stanford, Williams is a friend of K12′s lobbyist. He, along with other key state officials, attended her lavish birthday party in Wine Country. The GOP candidate for governor has pledged to increase funding for K12.

In Texas, it seems the #1 criterion for education funding is not need, but lobbying. Kids come last.

Bill Moyers on ALEC | Diane Ravitch’s blog

Diane Ravitch's blog

Diane Ravitch's blog[1]

A site to discuss better education for all

Because I was traveling in Texas over the weekend, I didn’t see Bill Moyers’ report on ALEC. I watched it last night,[2] and I hope you will too.

If you want to understand how we are losing our democracy, watch this program.

If you want to know why so many states are passing copycat legislation to suppress voters’ rights, to eliminate collective bargaining, to encourage online schooling, to privatize public education, watch this program.

ALEC brings together lobbyists for major corporations and elected state officials in luxurious resorts. In its seminars, the legislators learn how to advance corporate-sponsored, free-market ideas in their state. Its model legislation is introduced in state after state, often with minimal or no changes in the wording.

Watch Moyers show how Tennessee adopted ALEC’s online school bill and how Arizona is almost a wholly owned ALEC state. Watch how Scott Walker followed the ALEC template.

Moyers could do an entire special on ALEC’s education bills[3]. ALEC promotes the parent trigger, so that parents can be tricked into handing their public schools over to charter chains. ALEC promotes gubernatorial commissions with the power to over-ride the decisions of local school boards to open more charters. ALEC promotes vouchers. ALEC, as he noted, promotes virtual charter schools (Pearson’s Connections Academy and K12 wrote the ALEC model law). ALEC has model legislations for vouchers for students with special needs. ALEC has a model law to allow people to teach without credentials. ALEC has legislation to eliminate tenure protection. ALEC has model legislation for educator evaluation.

It is all so familiar, isn’t it?

ALEC wants nothing less than to privatize public education, to eliminate unions, and to dismantle the education profession.