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Vermont Test Scores Slide

When Michael Hock learned how Vermont students scored on the statewide standardized test this year, even he was surprised — and he’s the director of assessment at the Vermont Agency of Education.

The results from the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests, taken by all Vermont public school students in grades three through eight and grade 11 in English language arts and math, show a decline in student performance from the 2015-2016 school year. 

“Frankly, we were as surprised as anyone,” Hock said during a phone interview last week, shortly after Holcombe released the performance data that reported a dip in the percentage of students who received a “passing” test score of proficient or above. 

This is also the first year that scores will be used to hold schools accountable through the Every Student Succeeds Act, the federal public education law that replaced the landmark No Child Left Behind Act, by helping to determine the roughly 5 percent of schools that need support most urgently, Holcombe said in a phone interview last week.