OMAHA, Nebraska — A member of the Nebraska State Board of Education is chastised for her remarks about standardized testing.
State Board of Education member Deborah Neary was assailed by her opponent during a candidate debate in Millard on Tuesday, who said that the most recent Nebraska proficiency scores, which are the average of standardized test results, were too low.
Hodgen stated that the state’s proficiency scores are all below 50%.
Neary then remarked, “Proficiency scores tell you nothing about how well our pupils are performing,” he said.
There are further gasps from members of the crowd. Wednesday, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen stated in a statement, “Her support for reducing proficiency scores means giving up on our children.”
Mike Kennedy, a longtime member of the Millard School Board, was astonished by the comments and proficiency ratings. “In Millard, they signify a great deal,” said Kennedy.
Hodgen, her opponent, appeared on KFAB radio on Wednesday and referenced the Education Department’s.
Hodgen stated, “Clearly they advocate for them on their own website, yet we have a current board member who essentially says they don’t matter.”
It is true that all grade school and high school topics are tested.
The Education Department informs 3 News Now, these data were amassed during a school year in which some pupils were absent, and they are worse than in previous years.
3 News Now discussed Neary’s remarks with her.
Nearly stating that these exams are valuable tools, but pointing out that Nebraska ranks significantly higher than the national average on these measures.
“It’s the only one that asks the same questions across the state, so we can evaluate our performance,” said Neary.
She stated that comparing state-by-state proficiency scores is not an apples-to-apples comparison.
“They are not a measure of how Nebraska compares to other states since our questions and cut scores are completely different,” Neary explained.
Hodgen told KFAB that assessments are an essential tool for evaluating educators.
“By obtaining this information about the performance of our students, we can hold teachers and administrators accountable,” said Hodgen.
Neary is seeking reelection for a second term. Hodgen is a newbie to politics.