- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - Results from Alaska’s new standardized tests show that fewer students are proficient in math and reading than previous tests indicated.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (https://bit.ly/1hMBlMu ) the students took the Alaska Measures of Progress for the first time in the spring of the 2014-2015 school year.

The results show less than one-third of Alaska’s public school students in grades 3-10 as proficient in math. The older Standards Based Assessment results showed about two-thirds of those students as proficient in 2013-2014.

The English and language arts assessment on the Alaska Measures of Press indicated one-third of students were proficient. The older test indicated closer to three-quarters of students were proficient in the previous year.

Nearly 100 educators analyzed the tests and the state standards over the summer to determine the cutoff scores for each of four proficiency categories. According to the state Department of Education and Early Development, categories three and four indicate students who are proficient, while categories one and two indicate students who are partially proficient.

The cutoff points will not become official until the state Board of Education votes to approve them at their next meeting.

Because the Standards Based Assessment and the Alaska Measures of Progress test toward different standards, Mike Hanley, the state commissioner of education and early development, believes the test results can’t be compared.

“We are starting a new baseline … we’re really not going back there, and so these scores look very different than what we had in the past, but it would be inaccurate to say the scores dropped, because they’re different scores,” Hanley said during a press call Monday.

According to the department, data specific to district and schools will become available sometime in October.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, https://www.newsminer.com

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