Nov 052004

State education board refuses to change middle-school test scores
RALEIGH, N.C.: The State Board of Education won’t adjust middle-school ratings on standardized tests, a decision that will cost thousands of teachers bonus pay this year.

Board members quietly dismissed a recommendation from an advisory panel to recalculate the middle-school results for the 2003-04 year because of a flaw in measuring the reading progress of sixth-graders.

As a result, only two of the state’s 388 middle schools achieved expected progress on reading tests taken by sixth-graders.

The board previously had accepted the 2003-04 ABCs results and didn’t need to act on the testing panel’s recommendation. Board member John Tate of Charlotte said adjusting the formula when the scores are low may damage the board’s credibility.

“We had incredibly high scores last year, and the schools benefited,” Tate said. “This is a catch-up year.”