In a speech last week (Oct. 15th) at the University of Rhode Island, Diane Ravitch stated, as she often does, that student test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress Long-Term Trend Assessments (NAEP) “had gone up steadily for 40 years until No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top."
In other words, according to Ravitch, America’s public schools’ problems have been overstated by critics in order to advance an education reform agenda, and the nation’s NAEP scores bear her out. Here’s Poltifact’s verdict on the veracity of Ravitch’s claim:
There are a few problems with her statement.
First, the time spans for the scores she cites are 32 and 38 years, not 40.
Second, while the scores increased overall, there were a few dips. And for 17-year-olds, the overall increases were insignificant.
Finally, despite her implication that the increases stopped after No Child Left Behind, scores actually rose for all age groups in 2008 and for nearly all in 2012, the next two testing periods.
Because Ravitch’s statement contains some element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, the judges rate it Mostly False.