What's the passing score?
When talking about state standardized tests like the FCAT, educators often talk about "cut scores." Here in Florida, a special committee advising the Department of Education has focused its attention on how the 10th-grade FCAT "cut scores" seem unfairly high.
But as this Washington Post story indicates, kids and parents don't know much about that phrase. They want to know what it takes to pass the test. As in, how many questions do they have to get right.
And that answer isn't always so clear. Each state can set up its own rules, as this Post sidebar shows. Many don't make those rules readily accessible or understandable, either.
Now the Congress is revising No Child Left Behind, and to resolve some of this confusion, a call is rising in support of national standards and a national test. But others are suggesting that since states pay the bulk of the education bill, that's not appropriate.
It seems clear something needs to be done. Should be interesting to see what happens.