Yes, Achieve Inc. is actually letting people know that certain states are closing their self-created “honesty gap”. What is an honesty gap? Apparently, according to Achieve Inc., it is when you make your state standardized tests too easy and kids do too well on them. Using the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) as their benchmark, Achieve Inc. felt too many students did way better than the NAEP in recent years. As a result, the gap between NAEP scores and state assessment scores was too big, which created an “honesty” gap. Now that the “tough new tests” like Smarter Balanced and the PARCC rolled out in many states last year, Achieve Inc. is praising states that are closing this honesty gap. I kid you not.
Of course, their whole evidence of this supposed honesty gap is scores on standardized tests. Let’s not even worry about the actual grades kids are getting in class, if they are getting their projects and homework done, or if they feel like they are succeeding. Let’s just worry about the data, the high-stakes test scores. All this report really does is show how bad the Common Core standardized tests are really doing. Let’s not read into this too much folks! Only a corporate education reform company would judge failure as a success!
I am sure Achieve Inc. is salivating at the thought of brainwashed State Boards of Education saying “we need to fix this! Now that we know how bad our kids are doing, we need to get them back up again!” And Achieve Inc.’s marketing department is going “Hallelujah! Let’s roll out the products!” If it isn’t their marketing department, I’m sure it is one of the 1,000 or so other ed reform companies hoping to make a quick buck before the speculation craze in education goes the way of baseball cards. I have no doubt, in my own state of Delaware, our State Board of Education will talk about this at one of their upcoming meetings. In fact, I found the link to this absurdity through their own Twitter account!
Here’s an honesty gap for you Achieve Inc.: You helped to create Common Core, got a ton of money through Race To The Top grants as a vendor to many states, convinced states of this crucial need for an assessment inventory, and now you are telling them these horrible, waste of time, cash in the trash assessments are what students need? Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket!