Disappointing report card for fourth and eighth graders

29 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

City’s fourth graders score lower on national math test but reading scores are steady; eighth graders’ results up slightly in both subjects.

Reading and math scores decreased slightly in Georgia and remain mostly below U.S. averages, with students struggling to improve understanding of the core subjects, according to 2015 data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.Still, the scores for both grades on both tests remain substantially higher than they were in the 1990s, and officials caution that it’s too soon to know if the decline is a blip or a reversal of the longer trend.

Frequently referred to as the “nation’s report card,” NAEP tests a representative sample of fourth- and eighth-graders across the country every other year. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The latest national figures show Minnesota students’ performance in math and reading this year was mostly stagnant or declined from 2013. Some blame the test, especially in light of President Obama’s statement Saturday that too much testing occurs in schools, but most experts agree that the NAEP is a good one.

That is down from 34% of city students in 2013, the last time the test — which is regarded as the U.S. gold standard of academic testing — was given. Fourth grade reading scores for city students remained relatively flat, with 26% of city kids scoring proficient or higher in 2015 compared with 28% in 2013.

Still, experts and educators are puzzled by the nationwide drop in math scores, taken by some as a sign that enormous education reform efforts have borne no fruit. Three to six states scored higher on the four tests than Washington, which was ranked in a middle tier of 19 to 27 states with scores that weren’t statistically different from each other. An achievement gap remains in scores between white and minority students in Minnesota, worse than the national average in nearly every measure, the St. Norvell said city school officials will work to improve city students’ math skills. “These results are not good enough for our country, our state or our city.

We have to demand more from ourselves, our principals and our teachers,” Norvell said. “We are focused on strengthening the curriculum and training teachers to deliver it. President Denise Specht of Education Minnesota, the state teachers union, said it’s “disappointing” that Minnesota has not made more progress in closing its achievement gaps and that the national scores have stagnated. “While it’s true that in the past 15 years the demographics of Minnesota students changed, and our state was hit by the Great Recession, we should not use the external factors to absolve our leaders, and ourselves, of the responsibility to do more,” Specht said in a statement. Achievement gaps for African Americans and Hispanics also remained unchanged on the fourth-grade math test since 2003 and on reading tests in both grades since 1998. You cannot implement terrible education policies and expect that achievement will increase,” writes Carol Burris, a just-retired New York high school principal and head of the nonprofit Network for Public Education, in the Washington Post. “Although NAEP and the SAT were not designed to align to the Common Core, they measure what the Common Core Standards were supposed to improve—the literacy and numeracy of our nation’s students. Just 31 percent of the state’s fourth-graders were proficient or above in reading in 1992 compared to 43 percent this year. “Supporting these positive long-term trends are thousands of teachers, principals and other educators in the commonwealth’s elementary schools who challenge their students every day to meet Virginia’s high expectations,” said Steven R.

When the last round of NAEP scores came out in 2013, Education Secretary Arne Duncan pointed out that the eight states that had already implemented Common Core saw test scores rise. Georgia students who are eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, who tend not to do as well academically, scored about 25 points lower than all students, the data showed. Students with the Atlanta Public Schools system — one of the major U.S. urban districts included in the NAEP results — had lower scores than the statewide averages, the results showed. She adds, however, that while some standardized testing is important, it’s only one measurement of student achievement. “We test a lot but that doesn’t really give the true picture of what’s going on in the schools,” she said. “I don’t want to say testing doesn’t matter because it does.

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