Kansas school test scores: can they be reconciled with national tests?

In the Kansas Education Summary dated January, 2009, Kansas Commissioner of Education Alexa Posny wrote this summary: “Across all of Kansas, the percent of students reading at the proficient level or above has risen from 59% in 2000 to 84% in 2008. This is a 25% gain. Math has risen from 50% to 81%, a 31% gain.”

These gains are good — if the scores are a valid and reliable measure of student achievement.

On the National Assessment of Education Progress (the Nation’s Report Card), results have not increased by anywhere near as much. In some cases, scores have not budged. (To view results, click on NAEP state profiles and select “Kansas.”)

How can these results be reconciled?

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