So there is now some back and forth about the recent Maryland test scores that is reminiscent of the back and forth about the New York test scores (speaking of which, they’re still arguing about New York City down below). Again, transparency would really help here.
But this raises a bigger question: Let’s assume for a moment that Maryland, New York state, and a host of other places have all gamed their scores. And let’s assume that states regularly try to game the system to make themselves look better. Can someone explain exactly how a national, federal, or “American” in the new parlance, test will be any different? If indeed there is a political pathology out there to make schools look better, regardless of whether they are better, a proposition that seems pretty spot on to me, then how are the politics somehow so radically different at the national level? National test proponents have never really answered this question except to point to the NAEP. But, the NAEP is a no-stakes test right now so it really doesn’t make the point.