It’s easy to have “excellent” schools if your standards are low enough. That’s the argument of an article in the Summer 2008 issue of Education Next. Paul E. Peterson and Frederick M. Hess took a look at the standards used by each of the 50 states and compared them with the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Roughly speaking, if the state’s performance on its own standards were roughly similar to its performance on the NAEP, the state scored an A.
Kansas scored a C-, suggesting that it’s suffering from grade inflation. It’s similar to an argument we made in the report “Does Kansas Grade Itself on a Curve?“