U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued the following statement on Mapping State Proficiency Standards onto NAEP Scales: 2005-2007, which the National Center for Education Statistics released today:
"Today's study confirms what we've known for a long time: States are setting the bar too low. In all but a few cases, states aren't expecting students to meet NAEP's standard of proficiency. Far too many states are telling students that they are proficient when they actually are performing below NAEP's basic level. At a time when we should be raising standards to compete in the global economy, more states are lowering the bar than raising it. We're lying to our children when we tell them they're proficient but they're not achieving at a level that will prepare them for success once they graduate.
"I am grateful that leaders from 48 states are working together to set standards that will determine whether students are college- and career-ready. Their work will set a common standard that all states will be able to use to measure the success of their students.
"But it will take more than college- and career-ready standards to succeed in school reform. We'll need tests that fairly and accurately measure students' performance on those standards. We'll need data systems that help teachers know whether students are on track for success in college and the workplace. We'll need effective teachers in every classroom, especially in ones serving students that need the most help. We'll also need strategies to turn around our lowest-performing schools.
"The Obama administration is providing unprecedented resources to states and districts to drive reform through these policies, and we're working with state and district leaders to put these policies into action."