Making the grade: How to spur achievement after NAEP declines

Key points:

  • Alarming declines in NAEP scores are prompting educators to look for ways to increase academic achievement
  • Understanding each individual student helps educators design supplemental educational programs
  • See related article: What do superintendents really think of the NAEP?

For decades, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has pursued a mission to monitor student academic performance, providing insights into educational progress and long-term trends. It’s a record of consistency that has earned NAEP scores a reputation as “the nation’s report card.”

Recently, that report card revealed some worrying trends. In May, NAEP reported that eighth grade students’ U.S History and civics scores declined significantly between 2018 and 2022. Only 13 percent of eighth graders were at or above the level that NAEP categorizes as proficient in U.S. history—and only one in five were at or above the proficiency level in civics.…Read More

Research points to a widening academic divide

Math and reading scores demonstrate more variability post-COVID, primarily due to a larger gap between low and high academic achievers, according to NWEA, a nonprofit research and educational services organization serving K-12 students.

NWEA has released new research findings that examine to what degree students’ reading and math test scores have become more variable during the pandemic, and how achievement gains across the pandemic compare to pre-pandemic trends for students who were low- or high-achieving before the pandemic started.

The research used test scores from more than 8 million US students in grades 3 – 8 across 24,000 public schools who took MAP® Growth™ assessments in reading and math comparing results from students who tested during COVID-interrupted school years (2019-20 through 2021-22) and students who tested prior to the onset of the pandemic (between 2016-17 and 2018-19).…Read More

Redefining what it means to be ‘college-ready’

Societal pressures on high school seniors seemingly grow by the year. These days, a student’s level of college and workforce readiness is said to be dependent on their college admission test scores, completing the most rigorous high school classes possible, and obtaining AP credit. But research shows that these are not the sole indicators.

ACT recently released a report that claims only 26 percent of 2018 high school graduates were ready for the workforce, but I believe readiness is dictated by so much more than a standardized test score.

Related content: 4 keys to supporting college and career readiness…Read More

The fetishization of international test scores

Not one, not two, but 10 national educational organizations are planning to host a blowout digital event to talk about (what else?) international standardized test scores, the Washington Post reports. There’s even a new Web site just for PISA Day, called, you won’t be surprised to learn, PISADay.org. The event is being held on Dec. 3, the same day as the release of the latest scores from PISA, the  Program  for International Student Assessment,  a test of reading, math and science given every three years to 15-year-old students in more than 65 countries and education systems by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development…

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