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New York Closes the “Honesty Gap”

State Recognized among “Most Honest” for Second Straight Year; Providing Parents and Teachers with Accurate Information about Student Readiness

new_york_2015_graphNew York is one of the most honest states in the country, with little difference between state-reported student proficiency rates and those identified by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), according to a newly released follow-up analysis by Achieve, an independent education advocacy organization.

After implementing the New York State Assessment, New York narrowed its Honesty Gap by two percentage points, and is now reporting student proficiency scores within three percentage points of NAEP in fourth-grade reading. In eighth-grade math, New York is reporting proficiency rates nine percentage points below NAEP. New York is also recognized as a Top Truth Teller in 2015 for having a proficiency score within five percentage points of NAEP in fourth-grade reading.

 Click here to view the state’s previous results.

A Look Back: Last May, Achieve released an analysis that identified discrepancies in student proficiency rates reported by state tests and those found on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as “the Nation’s Report Card.” The analysis – deemed the “Honesty Gap” – found more than half of all states demonstrated a 30 percentage point or more differential between proficiency rates calculated by state tests and NAEP. That meant states were not being straightforward with parents and educators about students’ preparedness for high levels of learning, and ultimately for college and careers—often with serious consequences.

According to 2010 data, 13 percent of students entering New York’s four-year colleges and 44 percent of first-time students entering the state’s two-year programs require one or more remedial classes before they can begin credit-bearing coursework.5

Prioritizing Accurate Information and Transparency: For the first time this year, most states administered tests aligned to rigorous academic expectations. As a result, most began reporting proficiency results that more closely reflect the rates identified by NAEP. The Collaborative for Student Success identified Massachusetts, New York, and Utah as “Most Honest” for significantly closing the Honesty Gap and reporting proficiency rates nearly identical to or even more rigorous than NAEP.

Additionally, 26 states are recognized as “Significantly Improved” for closing their Honesty Gaps by at least 10 percentage points in either fourth-grade reading or eighth-grade math. Twenty-four states, including Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Georgia, Idaho,  Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia and Wisconsin, earned the status of “Top Truth Teller in 2015” for having Honesty Gaps of fewer than 5 percentage points in one or both subjects.

New York’s Success: In 2010, New York adopted college- and career-ready standards in English language arts and math. During the past academic year, New York administered the New York State Assessment. Last fall, New York officials released the results from those exams, which closely align with NAEP scores. The findings indicate parents and educators are now receiving more accurate information about how well prepared their child is to move onto higher level material based on college- and career-ready standards. In both fourth-grade reading and eighth-grade math, New York’s proficiency benchmarks are now actually more rigorous than NAEP, better ensuring that when met students are fully prepared for higher level material.

For more information read more: What is the Honesty Gap?

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