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Mapping state cut scores against NAEP: The proficiency debate

The circles in the graphs represent where each state's cutoff score for proficiency would be if placed on NAEP's scoring scale. Since placing state scores on the NAEP scale is a statistical process there is a certain amount of error. So the lines expanding from the circles represents the range of NAEP scores that state cutoff scores for proficiency would likely fall between and the circles are in the center of that range.

Placing each state's cutoff score for proficiency on the NAEP scale provides a way of comparing the rigor of state performance standards to NAEP. So states with higher NAEP scores likely have more rigorous performance standards for proficiency on their state assessments. For example, Figure 1 shows that 4th grade students in Massachusetts who score at or above proficient on their state math assessment would also score at or above NAEP's proficient achievement level, while students in Tennessee may score proficient on their state assessment but score below basic on NAEP. The graph shows that Massachusetts has a higher performance standard for proficiency than Tennessee. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The document was written by Jim Hull, policy analyst, Center for Public Education.
Posted: June 17, 2008
©Center for Public Education

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