Bloated scores or floating cut scores?
Indy Star likes these type of headlines. Indiana is criticized for reporting high graduation rates and state proficiency levels higher than NAEP scores.
From reading most of the actual paper posted on line by the author, one of the major problems is trying to rank the states when the states use different measuring sticks for determining proficiency.
The author seems to think that if the NAEP proficiency percentages match the state's reported percentages on their statewide assessments, then they are "not inflated."
Yet who says the NAEP cut scores are appropriate? Who says Indiana's scores aren't a better measure of true proficiency? Well it depends on what your agenda is. There certainly has been enough educational researchers question the appropriateness of the NAEP proficiency levels.
Here is an article from 2004 that describes why it is hard to make sense of all the proficiency hoopla.