Todays New York Times Editorial "Test and Switch" chides the States that have so watered down their proficiency tests as to be meaningless.
They write - "Congress hoped that if it required the states to give annual tests in return for federal education aid, state politicians would be encouraged — or at least embarrassed — into improving dismal schools ...That’s not how things have worked out. Many states have gamed the system — and misled voters — devising weak tests, setting low passing scores or changing tests from year to year to prevent accurate comparisons over time. The charade will continue, and children will continue to be shortchanged, until the country develops a rigorous national test keyed to national standards."
While the New York Times is on the right track they are only about 5 years late. The time for National Standards has passed - America needs to measure itself against a Global Education Standard - one that fairly compares our best and brightest with the best and brightest around the world. And that compares our average students with average students in all nations.
I believe that if we start comparing ourselves to Global Education Standards, not only will our average students fair poorly, our best students will be behind the best students of India and China - and there are 7 times more of them than of US top students.
That has profound implications for our country's economy in the decades ahead. America is behind the largest countries in the world in education standards and NEAP, TIMMS and State tests simply further mislead the American people.