Now what if there were NO Common Core standards being enacted? Would he be quite so calm? He was quite happy in 2013 when the scores went up and he crowed about how all eight states using CCSS showed improvement in at least one score with none declining. Today?
“Big change never happens overnight,” Duncan said. “I’m confident that
over the next decade, if we stay committed to this change, we will see
From The Answer Sheet:
NAEP is often called the nation’s report card because it is the only
measure of student achievement given periodically to a sampling of
students around the nation. It is seen by many as a high-quality test
though it has many critics, too, some of whom say that the NAEP
definition of “proficiency” is unnaturally high, and that the test
cannot measure many of the qualities students must develop to be
My Post colleague Emma Brown reports in this story
that math scores for fourth-graders and eighth-graders across the
United States dropped this year, the first time since the federal
government began administering the exams in 1990. Reading scores weren’t
much better; eighth-grade scores dropped while fourth-grade performance
was stagnant compared with 2013, the last time the test was
administered. Since 1990, scores had generally edged up with each
administration, though achievement gaps between white and minority
students have remained large.
From educator and activist, Carol Burris:
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 dramatically
narrowed. You could see the effects of good, national policy reflected
in NAEP gains.
Considering that the rationale for the Common Core State
Standards initiative was low NAEP proficiency rates, it would appear
that the solution of tough standards and tough tests is not the great
path forward after all. For those who say it is too early to use NAEP to
judge the Common Core, I would remind them that in 2013, Education
Secretary Arne Duncan used NAEP increases to
do a victory dance about the states that had already implemented the
Core at that time—and I never heard any reformer complain.
All of Arne’s superstar states had eighth-grade scores that dropped or did not budge.