Last October, newspapers around the country reported the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. And just like in previous years, the headlines weren’t positive. This time, though, it was even worse than usual. It was the first time students took these biennial assessments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and based on the results, it was quite clear our country’s students had suffered greatly. Results had dropped in both reading and math in nearly every state in the nation. But beyond that, what did the tests prove?
Not much, according to the many superintendents I’ve spoken with. My organization, the Institute for Education Innovation, recently hosted a conclave of innovative educators, along with business and nonprofit leaders in the education field, to discuss some of the thorniest topics in education today. NAEP was among them.
It can be tough for school superintendents to publicly criticize this nationwide assessment, which has been congressionally mandated for decades, but behind closed doors, they had a lot to say. One participant even used the words “tar and feather” when talking about the people who came up with this assessment system—in jest, of course. But the fact is, feelings around NAEP are strong. …Read More