Lower Test Scores Don’t Concern Education Commissioner

The results of the state’s new public school language tests have been released, but no one yet knows what they mean. The testing, done at the 3rd and 8th grade levels, was graded on a new scale this year, and scores came out much lower. They showed that 53% of Nebraska’s third graders and 51% of the eighth graders were “Proficient”, or on track to be college ready. The ACT tests, taken by all of the State’s 11th graders, graded 54% as College Ready.

State Education Commissioner Matt Blomstedt told reporters there is no way to compare the language test scores to years prior in which State tests yielded much higher test scores.

Blomstedt said the drop was expected, and that his agency has been telling schools for some time that it was coming. He predicted that similar drops will occur in the future as other subjects, including Mathematics and Science, are tested under the new standards. He said the results under the new testing system will be considered a benchmark, and predicted scores will rise as additional tests are taken.

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