Additional Information on "Test Score Scam of 2009" and 68% Graduation Rate
and 34% on Nationally Normed test in Language
This former article can be found at this link: http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20Score%20Scam%202009.htm
Graduation Rate in Arkansas in 2004 and 2005 was 81 percent. In 2008 the graduation rate is 68 percent. Has anyone sounded the alarm? See ADE information at these links for documentation: http://normessasweb.uark.edu:80/src1/State304.php for 2004 & 2005 and http://normessasweb.uark.edu/schoolperformance/State/SRCy3.php for 2008
Note that the number of points that students have to scores to be considerd Proficient on the state benchmark criterion referenced math tests have been lowered every year, which makes Arkansas and the students look as if they are improving. (Proficient means students have mastered the standards.) In reality this is simply manipulating the data. In 8th grade math in 2004 students had to score 47 points out of 80 to make Proficient; in 2005 only 39; and in 2009 only 28. Other cut off scores to be Proficient were also lowered significantly in math at every grade level from 2005 until 2009.
Arkansas Department of Education also implied in its press release ( and I fully believe purposely) that students in Arkansas scored at the 62 percentile on the nationally normed tests that compare Arkansas students to students across the nation by stating in their press release:
"Academic growth is also evident in the state's normreferenced exams. Normreferenced questions allow for comparison of Arkansas students’ scores to their counterparts across the nation and are reported in percentiles. The scores are listed as percentile scores. A score at the 62nd percentile would mean that on average, Arkansas students scored as well or better than 62 percent of their nationwide cohort. The percentile scores in most testing areas were slightly higher in 2009 than they were in 2008." Taken from this link: http://arkansased.org/communications/pdf/test_scores_071309.pdf
Third grade did improve on these nationally normed tests from 34% to 35%, and 4th grade did improve from 33% to 34% from 2008 to 2009, but no one would get any idea from the way ADE reported the scores that any scores were anything like this low. In fact, several people reading the above paragraph thought the students scored at the 62nd percentile when in fact many of the scores were quite low. Note in the table of scores below that scores in reading also dropped in every grade level.
Below are the scores this year as reported by ADE. See this link: http://arkansased.org/communications/pdf/assessment_071309.pdf and look for Norm Reference Test.
Stanford Achievement Test 2009 for state of Arkansas

Language 
Reading 
Math 


2009 
2008 
2009 
2008 
2009 
2008 
3rd Grade 
35% 
34% 
43% 
48% 
58% 
56% 
4th Grade 
34% 
33% 
61% 
64% 
68% 
65% 
5th Grade 
43% 
41% 
53% 
56% 
60% 
61% 
6th Grade 
45% 
44% 
44% 
46% 
65% 
64% 
7th Grade 
48% 
45% 
51% 
53% 
58% 
56% 
8th Grade 
43% 
41% 
50% 
53% 
66% 
64% 
9th Grade 
48% 
46% 
46 
53% 
66% 
63% 
I feel sure the Language scores are so low because Arkansas only tested Reading and Math the last few years on their state benchmark tests; therefore, the curriculum is narrowed to those two subjects, leaving students totally inadequate in language. The grades do look good on math. But but keep in mind that math has been the area of emphasis for several years now, and even science teachers will tell you that they had to spend a great deal of their time teaching math and preparing the students for the tests. If the curriculum is narrowed to two subjects at every grade level, students should improve in those scores. .
Other testing articles that show the "other side of the story"
Link to : "Money Wasted on Misguided Educational Reforms, Why Scores Are Lower Now Than When Accountability System Was Started"
http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20Scores%20in%20AR%2019842003%20%20Why%20Lower.htm
Did We Win Olympic Medal on NAEP Scores or Did We Bomb Them  You Decide
http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20scores%20%20NAEP%20Olympic%20Win%20or%20Bombed.htm
See this lnk for "Real Truth Behind Those Low 4th Grade Benchmark 2005 Test Scores (only 33% earned achievement score of BASIC)
http://www.wpaag.org/Testing%20%20ADE%20Test%20Inflation.htm
See this Link for Why did ADE Commissioner James Spins Low Test Scores
http://www.wpaag.org/Testing%20%20ADE%20James%20%20Spins%20Low%20Test%20Scores.htm
See this link for Why Test Scores Are Lower in Arkansas Now Than in 1984
http://www.wpaag.org/SAT%20Scores%20%20Why%20Lower%20Now%20than%20in%201987.htm
See this link for Arkansas Department of Education Presents Deceptive Scores (03)
http://www.wpaag.org/Testing%20%20ADE%20Deceptive%20Scores%20Altheimer.htm
ADE Director Ray Simon Gives False Information About Test Scores
http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20Scores%20False%20%20USDOE%20%20Ray%20Simon.htm
See this link for "Testing System Corrupted, No Correlation Among NAEP, IBS, and Benchmark Tests
http://www.wpaag.org/Test%20Scores%20in%20AR%2019842003%20%20Why%20Lower.htm
Women Action Group