Once again, the State Education Department is lowering standards for K-12 students — literally setting pandemic-related learning loss as the “new normal.”
SED, the Times Union reports, is setting the bar for “proficiency” on state math and reading tests by using last year’s as the standard — actually calling it the “new normal.”
In other words, the achievements of kids who’d just suffered nearly two years of school shutdowns and the joke of “remote learning” are all the state bureaucracy will expect for the foreseeable future.
So much for all the billions of dollars the state’s supposedly devoted to mitigating that learning loss.
Data from gold-standard National Assessment of Educational Progress exams show kids lost an average of as much as a full year of ground during the school shutdowns.
And studies out of Harvard and elsewhere show that lower-performing children lost even more ground than others.
Yet SED’s reaction is to hide the evidence.
And then try to talk the issue away.
“Yes, there’s learning loss between 2019 and 2022, but in some ways we don’t want to keep going backwards,” Technical Advisory Committee Co-Chair Marianne Perie told the Board of Regents. “So for New York we are saying the new baseline is 2022.”
HUH?? That’s literally locking in the lost ground, the very definition of going backward.
Plus, it ensures that comparisons with pre-COVID years are impossible. How convenient.
SED also says it’ll “re-norm” the US history Regents exam, with other Regents tests (once a nationally known standard of excellence) doubtless to follow.
This is nothing but rank dumbing-down of state testing, top to bottom. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines proficiency as “mastery”; the SED is pulling the meaning down below “adequacy.”
Clearly, the State Education Department under orders from the Board of Regents has given up on serving students’ interests: The only winners from this disgrace are the adult “stakeholders” in the schools — mainly, the teachers unions.
While every educrat playing along with this farce deserves contempt, ultimate blame falls on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, who effectively appoints the Regents — and made a devil’s bargain with the teachers unions to become speaker.
And under Democrats’ one-party rule of New York, no other power-player even dares to call him on it.