States Leading the Way

The Road to Closing the Honesty Gap

State policymakers are taking the “Honesty Gap” very seriously in their states, which is why 26 states have “Significantly Improved” by narrowing their “Honesty Gap” by 10 percentage points or more.

In fact, there are many exemplary states which have started to erase the “Honesty Gap” by going from “Biggest Gaps” last May to double-digit improvements today, including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, and South Carolina.

Georgia and Arkansas are two excellent case studies.

In 2015 Georgia had the most pronounced “Honesty Gap” in the country, but in specifically citing Achieve’s analysis, the Peach State today is among the best in the nation at providing transparent information to parents. Additionally, Arkansas state officials set proficiency rates high – consistent with other states that administered PARCC – giving their parents the benefit of quality information.

The presence or absence of new, higher standards and more rigorous, aligned assessments appears to correlate to the “Honesty Gap”.

In 2015, we have adopted a more rigorous definition of “Top Truth Teller” as those states who have an “Honesty Gap” within five percentage points (as opposed to 15 percentage points) of NAEP. It is noteworthy that ALL of the twenty-four  “Top Truth Tellers” in 2015 use the Common Core State Standards or some similarly-matched standards (Arizona, Arkansas Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, D.C., Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin). Conversely three of the four “Honesty Challenged” states with persistently wide 2015 “Honesty Gaps” reject the Common Core (Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia).

Now that “Honesty Gaps” are closing, parents and students are in a much better position to evaluate whether their students are truly as prepared for the next step – the next grade level, college, career, or the military – as their state claims. With reliable, transparent information, students and parents can be confident that their students are on track to be prepared for whatever comes next.