State Standards and Student Growth: Why State Standards Don’t Matter as Much as We Thought

This is a study of the relationship between student growth and state standards, specifically examining two questions: 1) Does the difficulty of a state’s proficiency standards bear any relationship to student academic growth? 2) Do students who are above their state’s proficiency standards demonstrate less growth, relative to their peers, than students performing below the level of their state proficiency standards? Findings include that what did impact growth was not whether state proficiency standards were high or low, but whether a student was above or below that arbitrary proficiency line, wherever it was. Students above that line received less benefit from their instruction, relative to peers, than did students below that line. This finding has implications for higher performing students.

By Micahel Dahlin, Yun Xiang, Sarah Durant and John Cronin

Resource Type

Focus Area