From the Daily News:
Over the last four years, the number of children deemed "proficient" on standardized English and math exams has steadily climbed, particularly in the city. In English, 57% of city eighth-graders scored proficient in 2009, up from 37% in 2006. In math, the number rose to 71% from 39%.
While the gains reflected rising achievement, there is fresh and stunning evidence that New York's definition of "proficient" has been a fraud.
To wit: Almost half the eighth-graders who scored at the lowest level eligible to qualify as proficient will never graduate from high school.
To wit: Almost three-quarters of city teenagers who make it through graduation and go on to City University community colleges require remediation before they can tackle course work.
State Education Commissioner David Steiner is about to use these and many other dismal statistics to explain why New York must dramatically overhaul how it measures whether students are actually on track, not only to graduate from high school, but also to attend college.
The exercise will be painful, starting with soon-to-be-released results of this year's standardized tests. As Steiner put it in a meeting with the Daily News Editorial Board, "a lot" of students will be notified that they are sub-par - even though they previously had been graded as proficient.
Instructors who had been satisfied with their students' performance will discover they have not really been getting the job done.
Schools that have seemed excellent will confront being rated as mediocre.