With the bar set higher, PAWS scores drop
Wyoming saw a drop in standardized test scores this year.
Third-through-eighth graders saw average scores on the Proficiency Assessments for Wyoming Students – or PAWS – drop by up to seven points in Reading, Math and Science.
Still, the Wyoming Department of Education’s Director of Assessment, Deb Lindsey, says the drops are not statistically significant.
Lindsey says the state introduced higher testing standards last year, pushing some subject matter to earlier grade levels, and asking more from the students overall.
“They expect more critical thinking out of kids. Kids are expected to demonstrate more sophistication in their thinking in order to answer items than they used to.”
Lindsey says students performed better when their teachers aligned their curricula with the new standards.
She adds that the department will be working with educators to help align their curricula before the even more-advanced 2014 PAWS.