McClaughry: Vermont’s sad education test scores

By John McClaughry

VTDigger’s report entitled “Making the Grade?” presents the results of the tests used by Vermont and 14 other states to determine public school student proficiency in English and math in third, eighth and 11th grades.

The Vermont Agency of Education goes to great pains to emphasize that it’s not possible to compare the student proficiency levels of one state with another, for a lot of complicated reasons. So don’t leap to the unwarranted conclusion that public education is getting better results in state A over state B.

But now for the key finding of the report:

Vermont is among a group of states that use the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test to measure student performance in English and math for students in 3rd through 8th grades and 11th grade…. Students who score proficient or above have mastered the material and are ready for the next grade….The average percentage of students achieving proficiency this year in Vermont was 48.4 percent, down from 50.92 percent last year.

Did you get that? Half of our public school students finishing their respective school years are not ready to advance to the next grade, measured by Vermont’s own proficiency standards, which may be too high, or too low — who’s to say?

For a billion and a half dollars every year, it seems to me that we ought to be getting better than 50 percent proficiency.

John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/ProjectManhattan
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4 thoughts on “McClaughry: Vermont’s sad education test scores

  1. “For a billion and a half dollars every year, it seems to me that we ought to be getting better than 50 percent proficiency.”

    Absolutely correct. This is why not only Vermont’s enormous property tax burden but it’s overall tax burden provides little Value.

    Other states provide much better education, and services for less money. End result: They offer a better Value to you the taxpayer. .

    You’re the customer here, you have choices. Sit and continue to be fleased by the state of Vermont and the VTNEA or do something about it.

  2. Yet public school teachers demand their annual salary increases along with all the other benefits. They whine about being over worked, underpaid, even as they hire teacher aides to help them in their exhaustive careers…..and stupid Vermonters continue to vote these salaries in, expecting that more pay, more bennies will result in a better education for their children. It doesn’t. It just encourages them to whine for more….or shut down the school. They should not be allowed to strike.

  3. And this is comes as a surpise to you, John? Guess you haven’t been reading True North for the last several months.

    The question is, what do you propose we do about it?

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