The Problem with Proficiency

In this blog article, the author argues for the elimination of proficiency standards, saying that they represent a school demographic background far more than school effectiveness. He argues “using these rates to evaluate schools will end up mislabeling many as failures that might in fact be doing incredible work at helping their students make progress over time.”

Content Comments 

Given that this is a blog and an opinion article, the content, even if not necessarily supported by strong evidence, is likely to be of interest and value to readers, especially if they also read the counter article, "Let's Hear It for Proficiency" by Chester Finn. Communications quality is reasonably high. This article is an easy read, although short on visuals. Utility makes the grade overall even if it merely stimulates the readers' own thinking processes which it is likely to do. The author provides reasonable evidence of effectiveness, although he clearly has a stake in the point he tries to drive home, that "proficiency rates as school measures" should be put "out of their misery once and for all."