The new National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores were just released. These assessments in reading and math, grades 4 and 8, are regarded as highly accurate gauges of student learning; none other than Diane Ravitch has called them the "gold standard of testing."
The national results are mostly flat, except for two states: Tennessee and District of Columbia. This is noteworthy because those two states have been ahead of everyone else in implementing data-based teacher evaluations. No doubt there’ll be lots of drill-down on all of this, here’s some fast facts:
- "Public school students in Tennessee, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools scored higher in 2013 than in 2011 in both subjects and grades."
- "Mathematics scores were higher in 2013 than in 2011 at both grades in Hawaii, Tennessee, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools."
New Jersey saw a drop of one point, which is statistically insignificant. In fact, our scores on all tested areas – language arts and math in grades 4 and 8 – were flat. So are our achievement gaps. In 2011 the gap between black and white students was 25 points. In 2013 it’s still 25 points. In 2011 our gap between Hispanic and white students was 22 points and now it’s 20 points, which the statisticians at NAEP say is also statistically insignificant.
- "Reading scores were higher in 2013 than in 2011 at both grades in Iowa, Tennessee, Washington, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools."