Thursday, October 29, 2015

NAEP Scores Stagnate; Test-and-Punish Flops; But Duncan’s New Plan Fails to Change Course | janresseger

NAEP Scores Stagnate; Test-and-Punish Flops; But Duncan’s New Plan Fails to Change Course | janresseger:

NAEP Scores Stagnate; Test-and-Punish Flops; But Duncan’s New Plan Fails to Change Course






The biennial NAEP scores were released yesterday.  Diane Ravitch knows a lot about the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the NAEP.  Appointed by President Bill Clinton, she served on the National Assessment Governing Board for seven years. She describes what this test is: “NAEP is an audit test. It is given every other year to samples of students in every state and in about 20 urban districts. No one can prepare for it, and no one gets a grade. NAEP measures the rise or fall of average scores for states in fourth grade and eighth grade in reading and math and reports them by race, gender, disability status, English language ability, economic status, and a variety of other measures. The 2015 NAEP scores showed no gains nationally in either grade and in either subject… The best single word to describe NAEP 2015 is stagnation.”
Ravitch describes what she believes is the meaning of this year’s scores, and I agree with her: “For nearly 15 years, Presidents Bush and Obama and the Congress have bet billions of dollars—both federal and state—on a strategy of testing, accountability, and choice.  They believed that if every student was tested in reading and mathematics every year from grades 3 to 8, test scores would go up and up. In those schools where test scores did not go up, the principals and teachers would be fired and replaced. Where scores didn’t go up for five years in a row, the schools would be closed. Thousands of educators were fired, and thousands of public schools were closed, based on the theory that sticks and carrots, rewards and punishments, would improve education.”  But it hasn’t worked.
Carol Burris, the retired NY high school principal and now executive director of the Network for Public Education, interprets the 2015 NAEP scores: “NAEP is a truth teller. There is no NAEP test prep industry, or high-stakes consequence that promotes teaching to the test. NAEP is what it was intended to be—a national report card by which we can gauge our national progress in educating our youth.  During the 1970s and ’80s, at the height of school desegregation efforts, the gap in scores between our nation’s white and black students NAEP Scores Stagnate; Test-and-Punish Flops; But Duncan’s New Plan Fails to Change Course | janresseger:

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