Today, the “Nation’s Report Card” came out…. It’s called NAEP, the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which tests a sample of 4th and 8th graders across the country to get a snapshot of how we’re doing as a country. It’s given every two years in arts, civics, economics, geography, math, reading, science, U.S. history, and writing.
The great news? Since 1990 we’ve seen growth in what our kids are learning.
The reality from the announcement this morning? Scores dipped a little bit this round, but we’re not surprised by that.
You can dig into all the data here.
States across the country are in a period of smart transition in our schools. We’re implementing higher standards, moving to a system of better and fairer tests, as well as a host of other smart policies. It’s inevitable that we’d see a bit of a bump in the road, and it also makes the strong case that we must stay the course in ensuring we are elevating what our kids are learning to be ready for college and career.
I think our friends at the Collaborative for Student Success said it best:
”Many states have been and continue to be in a major state of transformation in education – three quarters of states only began fully implementing higher standards barely a year ago; the vast majority of states are focused on supporting teachers in developing new curriculum to meet those standards; and almost every state is working to implement new, 21st Century tests to measure student progress. In the midst of this, declining scores should not be a surprise, as many states have seen on their own state assessments scores.
It's also important to note that there are remarkable bright spots in the NAEP data – most noticeably in 4thgrade reading. In Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina and the District of Columbia, progress on 4th grade reading shows that when educators and policymakers focus on a specific goal (in this case making sure kids are reading by 3rd grade), that can have remarkable impact."