Test Scores Are Falling, Is The Sky?

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ky. 4th, 8th graders outperform peers nationally in reading.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A national report card shows Kentucky’s public school students are outperforming their peers nationally in fourth- and eighth-grade reading and in fourth-grade mathematics.You don’t need a math expert to know this doesn’t add up: despite every effort, the math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress fell overall for the first time in years.CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) – Nevada students’ scores stayed mostly flat in a national test administered every two years, although 8th grade math scores fell and the state’s overall performance continues to lag near the bottom nationally.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – The latest batch of national assessment tests shows New Hampshire students remaining among the highest achievers in math and reading. 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. Results released Wednesday show South Dakota eighth-graders scored an average of 285 on the 2015 math test, compared with the national average of 281.

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. Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt says he’s encouraged by the performance in reading, but says efforts to improve results in middle school math will be a future emphasis. NAEP, released on Wednesday, is considered a barometer of student achievement across the United States because it is the only test that measures student achievement in all states. In math, the average score for New Hampshire fourth-graders was four points lower than in 2013, but still high enough to tie with five other states or jurisdictions at the top: Massachusetts, Virginia, Minnesota, Indiana and Department of Defense Schools. Laczko-Kerr and O’Reilly said they thought the bumps in the scores mean that Arizona students are adapting to the Arizona College and Career Ready Standards.

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. Forty-six percent achieved proficiency or higher, compared to 32 percent nationally. “It is reassuring to know that our students, teachers, parents and the encompassing educational communities throughout New Hampshire continue to strive for the excellence reflected in our NAEP results,” said New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry. “As much as we are satisfied with our continued success, we acknowledge that there are numerous opportunities for future academic growth and improvement in all subjects and at all grade levels.” 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. Are changes like national standards and common assessments really the answer, or are they part of the problem? “It is a testament to the hard work of Arizona teachers and students that NAEP scores have remained stable given the many significant changes to our state’s education system in recent years Our schools should absolutely be commended for the steadiness seen in these results,” Douglas said.

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