Saturday, October 31, 2009

KCCT standards in perspective (retro edition)

From 1999 to 2006, we used one version of the Kentucky Core Content Tests, but in 2007, we switched to a new version. Some folks call it the change from "old CATS" to "new CATS" or from "CATS I" to "CATS II." The differences included revised core content, increased weight on multiple choice questions, a new system of scale scores, and a new definition of the scores needed to be considered proficient.

A new study (introduced here) maps each state's 2005 and 2007 proficiency standards to NAEP scale scores. That gives us a helpful, if indirect, way to think about how our standards changed in 2007.

In fourth grade reading, the study shows:
  • 206 as the NAEP score identified as equivalent to our "old CATS" proficiency standard.
  • 205 as the NAEP score equivalent to our "new CATS proficiency standard.
In eight grade mathematics, the study shows:
  • 285 as the NAEP score equivalent to "old CATS" proficiency.
  • 279 as the NAEP score equivalent to "new CATS" proficiency.
In effect, the report gives us a formal demonstration that we lowered the proficiency bar in 2007. The reading change was quite small, but the math change more substantial.

The report also shows Kentucky's 2005 standards to have been quite high in national perspective, with only 21 percent of the included states having higher standards in either subject.

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Updates and data on Kentucky education!