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If State Tests Keep Changing, Should They Still Be Used to Judge Struggling Schools?

In a packed room of educators, New York City schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña announced that the city’s turnaround program for struggling schools is making extraordinary progress.

“I want to be clear,” Fariña said. “English proficiency … increased at 59 out of the 63 [Renewal] schools. Let me say this again, 59 out of 63 schools.”

Fariña is correct, but the state offered a more tempered assessment of the scores. On Friday, State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said changes to this year’s test, such as offering students unlimited time and asking fewer questions, meant last year’s scores were not an “apples-to-apples comparison” with last year’s.