Prospective teachers in Vermont must take the standardized Praxis test to get their license. But officials say that, for many applicants, the test is an unfair hurdle.
Standardized test scores from spring 2021 showed marked decreases from previous years. But education officials say that data is problematic because of the challenges of administering tests during the pandemic.
Vermonters can urge the state Agency of Education to waive the requirement to administer the tests this year.
The results won’t be used to identify low-performing schools, and schools won’t face penalties if less than the normally required percentage of students participate.
The U.S. Department of Education said it would grant waivers to any state impacted by COVID-19 closures.
The system will eventually allow the public to see how schools rank in new indicators, but problems with data collection have slowed the launch of the Snapshot and the release of testing data.
Any narrowing of the test performance gap between students on opposite ends of the income spectrum was because wealthier students fell back, according to the education secretary.
Students were above average in all four of the subject areas tested on the college-readiness exam: English, math, reading and science.
A VTDigger analysis of statewide scores also showed that private schools don’t necessarily outperform public ones, and spending doesn’t predict results.
Low-income children here scored almost as well as the average student nationwide but remained behind their better-off peers in Vermont. And scores haven’t shown noticeable improvement.
Although Vermonters held their own in statewide scores compared with students elsewhere, low-income children didn’t meet the state average for proficiency in any subject or grade tested.
A web-based tool called Polarys was made available to educators to help them draw useful information from test data. But the company that created it is leaving a two-year private grant unfulfilled after what it says were repeated attempts to get up-to-date test scores from the state.
Vermont students are 37 percent proficient in math and 58 percent proficient in English, according to the first results from the replacement test for NECAP.
The State Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to not use the SBAC scores for the 2014-15 school year for the purpose of annual school evaluation determinations.