Speaking of tests, new Wake County Schools Superintendent Jim Merrill gave an “early warning” that state test scores won’t look so great this year.
The state tests were changed this past school year to reflect the new common core state standards. This means that the passing rates will be much lower than in 2011-12 under the prior curriculum.
“We do not expect those scores to be good,” Merrill said at Tuesday’s school board meeting. “I don’t think anyone in the state is excited about what they anticipate those scores will be.”
Merrill said that it would be “inaccurate” to compare the new results under the “more rigorous” common core standards with the prior tests. He gave an analogy.
“We were measuring time based on a sprint,” Merrill said. “Now we will measure time based on a steeplechase. And you can not compare the times because the two kinds of races are completely different.”
Merrill said this year’s results should be considered the benchmark year that Wake will build and grow on.
State Schools Superintendent June Atkinson gave a similar warning about the test results when she met with reporters Aug. 12.
Former Wake Superintendent Tony Tata made similar remarks during his “State of the Schools” speech in August 2012.