Latest Benjamin Center report examines misalignment in test-based and actual definitions of college readiness

The Benjamin Center for Public Policy Initiatives at SUNY New Paltz has released its 17th discussion brief, “NY State Assessments: Faulty Predictions, Real Consequences.”

The report, authored by Michael O’Donnell, argues that while New York State claims that testing in grades 3-8 can be used to predict students’ college readiness upon completion of high school, test-based predictions do not align with actual measures of college readiness.

“This carefully researched analysis adds a serious dimension to the current debate in New York State on the value of testing in our elementary and middle schools,” said Benjamin Center Director Gerald Benjamin. “The Center looks forward to reactions to this work, and consideration by policy makers of its implications.”

A fundamental purpose of the state’s testing programs in grades 3-8, following the adoption of Common Core State Standards, is measuring college readiness, with the goal of creating opportunities to intervene when necessary.

However, the Benjamin Center report finds that estimates of college readiness derived from the NYS Grades 3-8 ELA and math assessments do not align with actual measures of college readiness, such as college remediation rates. O’Donnell argues that this misalignment is a disservice to our students, our teachers and our education system more broadly.

“Measurement is dependent on tools that give a useful result,” O’Donnell writes. “A sprinter has no use for a broken stopwatch; a tailor needs a tape measure that is not torn. If the current NYS Grades 3-8 assessments cannot accurately measure college-readiness − their stated intention − we must ask: what’s the point?”

The full text of “NY State Assessments: Faulty Predictions, Real Consequences,” can be accessed online by following this link:

Contact the Benjamin Center at (845) 257-2901 to request a copy.

About The Benjamin Center
The Benjamin Center (formerly CRREO) was established in 2007 to help SUNY New Paltz engage with communities, governments, not-for-profits and businesses across our region. The Benjamin Center conducts and publicizes research on important policies and topics; creates and directs select institutes focusing on specific areas of regional interest; connects and partners with local governments, not-for-profits and businesses to initiate reforms and advocate for best practices; contracts to assess the performance of public and not-for-profit agencies and programs; and works to foster intergovernmental collaboration and community engagement.

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