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Not your typical advanced average student

I read a news release last week that indicated that Vermont was ranked third in the nation on an assessment test called the NAEP. If you want to see government in action, then you should visit the NAEP web site.

NAEP is short for National Assessment for Educational Progress; it is an assessment tool given to selective students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Department of Defense Activity (domestic and overseas).

About 2,100 fourth-grade students and 2,400 eighth-grade students from Vermont took the NAEP assessment. Like all things that Congress mandates, this assessment needs to have a score range from 0500. Hardly a person on this planet has any idea how a NAEP test score is developed; regardless, Vermont has a score of 244.

The NAEP assessment also contains the following information: of the 4,500 who took the assessment from Vermont, 6 percent (or 270 students) were considered advanced. (I cannot find how a student becomes advanced in one of these assessment tests, but I certainly hope they didnt use the same rule as the NECAP. The NECAP indicates that a student that has acquired 51 out of 66 points is an advanced proficient student. That means a student that failed about 22.5 percent of the test is an advanced proficient student. Wow, times sure have changed. Years ago, that kind of performance was considered merely average.)

The NAEP also indicates that 37 percent of these 4,500 students were in the proficient range; this amounts to 1,665 students. Now, I really hope that this is not the same standard as used on NECAP assessment.

On the NECAP assessment if you get 29 points out of 66 you are proficient. In other words you can now fail about 56 percent of the assessment and be classified as proficient. Who do you know, that is only able to do their job 44 percent of the time, that would be classified as proficient? The NAEP also indicates that 43 percent or 1,935 of the 4,500 students were in the basic level. What ever that means. Believe it or not there is another category called below basic and 13 percent or about 585 were in this last category.

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