Families will benefit from trend

College & Career Readiness | 01/28/2016

Kate Shepherd Marketing & Communications Director

Kate Shepherd is the Marketing & Communications Director for Stand for Children Indiana.

Stand for Children Indiana today applauded a new report that shows The Honesty Gap appears to be closing in a significant way.  A just-released study by the education group Achieve compared new state test score results with those furnished last fall by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and found that many states, including Indiana, are providing families with more honest and accurate information about how children are doing in school. 

The latest study comes eight months after a blockbuster analysis found many states were grossly misleading the public on whether K-12 students were proficient in the most basic reading and math skills. 

“It is incredibly encouraging that The Honesty Gap has nearly disappeared in Indiana,” said Stand for Children Indiana Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller. “Hoosier parents and students deserve accurate information about where they are along the pathway to college and career readiness. For too long, it was only after graduation that many Hoosiers discovered they weren’t where they needed to be.  This led them to spend large amounts of money on remediation in college, and possibly not finish, or miss out on higher-paying jobs.” 

The report released today found three major findings:

  1. The Honesty Gap has significantly narrowed in nearly half the states since August 2015 as states have become more transparent. In the past year, 18 states demonstrated an improvement of at least 10 percentage points by closing The Honesty Gap in both 4th Grade reading and 8th Grade math since 2013 (the last time NAEP was administered). The states are: AK, AZ, AR, DE, DC, GA, HI, IL, IN, LA, ME, MD, MS, NH, OH, OR, PA and SC. These states join three others with 2014-15 state scores that are so closely aligned to NAEP scores that they are, for all intents and purposes, identical (less than a 5 percentage point deviation): MA, NY and UT.
  2. The number of states in which The Honesty Gap is narrow has nearly tripled since 2015. Achieve’s analysis from May 2015 identified only six states (AL, MA, MN, NY, UT and WI) in which The Honesty Gap was 15 percentage points or smaller in both 4th Grade reading and 8th Grade math. Today, that number has nearly tripled to 17 states: AL, CO, ID, KY, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NM, NY, RI, UT, VT, WA, WV and WI.
  3. The Honesty Gap remains very large in only a handful of states, meaning they are misleading parents about student proficiency. Just four states continue to dramatically mislead the public about student proficiency rates, down from 18 states last year. Today, The Honesty Gap is 35 percentage points or greater in IA, OK, TX and VA.

“The closing of The Honesty Gap puts parents and students in a much better position to evaluate whether they are on track to master the content and skills needed to succeed in college or in a 21st Century career,” said Sandy Boyd, chief operating officer for Achieve. “With reliable, transparent information, students will have a better grasp of their readiness for their futures, while avoiding the high-cost of college remediation courses, and which careers they are best suited for.”

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