Smarter Balanced Cut Points – What’s With That?

The lead article in the December 3 Education Week announces that the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) — the organization that will provide high stakes assessments for English / language Arts (ELA) and mathematics in Maine and 21 other states — has set the “cut points” for proficiency at a level that is likely to ensure that most students will be judged as “not proficient.” Specifically, they expect that only 41% of 11th graders will be judged as proficient in ELA; for mathematics only a third of 11th graders are likely to be proficient.

Huh? Why would they do that?  Continue reading

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