The Proficiency Illusion

Publication Date: October 2007

Publisher: Thomas B. Fordham Institute

Author(s): John Cronin; Michael Dahlin; Deborah Adkins; G. Gage Kingsbury

Research Area: Education

Keywords: academics; low grades ; students; education

Type: Report

Coverage: United States


“The Proficiency Illusion”, uses a Northwest Evaluation Association exam as a common benchmark to measure proficiency scores in twenty-six states. The findings suggest that the tests states use to measure academic progress and student proficiency under the No Child Left Behind Act are creating a false impression of success, especially in reading and especially in the early grades. The report also found that states are aiming particularly low when it comes to their expectations for younger children, setting elementary students up to fail as they progress through their academic careers.