On July 1, 2009, the State Board of Education voted to increase the rigor of student proficiency standards for all Grades 3-8 in Mathematics and Reading assessments. The higher expectations have resulted in lower pass rates across the state. Superintendent Garrett and the State Board of Education believes this action was necessary to ensure that Oklahoma students remain competitive nationally and internationally.
The U.S. Department of Education has recently published a report that analyzed the results from three international studies of student academic achievement. The analysis found that in the United States there was no measureable change in average reading literacy scores between 2001 and 2006. No measurable change was detected in 15-year-olds’ average mathematics literacy scores between 2003 and 2006. Math scores for 15-year-olds in the United States now lag behind those in thirty-one other countries. These trends suggest that educational progress in the United States has stagnated.
Increasing the rigor of academic achievement standards is one of the major goals of educational reform as outlined by President Obama. Momentum is building for states to adopt a set of common internationally benchmarked standards in math and reading. Forty-nine states, Oklahoma included, have joined this common core initiative. By raising proficiency standards in Grades 3-8 Mathematics and Reading, Oklahoma has taken immediate steps to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a high standard of excellence for our students and schools. Increasing our expectations of student performance will help Oklahoma students move forward and remain competitive in a global market.
By now you should have received a report on your state assessment results. These scores reflect the increased student proficiency standards in Grades 3-8 Mathematics and Reading. You may have scored lower than you have scored in the past. This does not mean that your school or teachers are performing poorly. Rather, the change in scores simply reflects the increased expectations on student performance. In Colbert, we are fortunate to have a pool of highly-qualified and dedicated teachers. These professionals work hard to provide you with the best education possible.