"But none of Washington's scores were significantly higher than they were in 2005, the last time the exams were given, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the part of the U.S. Department of Education that administers the exam.
Washington's fourth-graders scored 224 out of a possible 500 in reading, compared with the national average of 220, and 265 in eighth-grade reading, compared with 261 nationally.
In math, Washington's fourth-graders scored 243, compared with 239 nationally; and eighth graders scored 285 to the nation's average of 280.
While Washington's scores didn't improve, 18 other states posted significant increases in fourth-grade reading, and six in eighth grade. And fourteen states and the District of Columbia posted gains in math in both grade levels. In Washington, the achievement gap between white and African American students widened."About the NAEP:
"A representative sample of students takes the exams, which are given periodically in reading, math, science and a variety of other subjects. This year, a total of 702,000 fourth and eighth-graders from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and Department of Defense schools were involved, and roughly 3,000 from Washington state. Participation used to be voluntary, but has been required since 2003 under the No Child Left Behind Act."
I wish we would drop all the state tests and use this one national test that would give a clear picture of how students are doing, across the nation and locally. NCLB requires it anyway; why not make it the test of choice? The money and time it would save would be tremendous and both could go towards helping students.