As Michael Petrilli of the Thomas Fordham Institute, a big supporter of the Common Core standards just wrote:
Some education reformers and media outlets are already using the results of the new, tougher tests to brand schools as “failing” if most of their students don’t meet the higher standards. Note, for instance, the Daily News’s special report, “Fight for their Future,” which leads with the provocative headline “New York City is rife with underperforming schools, including nearly two-thirds of students missing state standards.” This line of attack closely resembles the talking points of Eva Moskowitz and Jeremiah Kettridge of Families for Excellent Schools, who both promote the notion that in New York, “800,000 kids can’t read or do math at grade level” and “143,000 kids are trapped in persistently failing schools.”
These statements are out of bounds, and reformers should say so. They validate the concerns some educators voiced all along: that we would use the results of the tougher tests to unfairly label more schools as failures.
If these scores aren’t ready to be used to judge students, they aren’t adequate to judge our schools or deem them “failing” either. They are certainly not reliable enough to ask the State Education Department to take over our public schools – which has had NO record of success in doing so.