Every two years, education policy wonks like me wait with bated breath for the release of data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The data allows us to compare progress across states, see whether the country has made gains and argue about what it all means. This year’s release generated even more anticipation and discussion than usual: It was the first National Assessment of Educational Progress administration after states began implementing the Common Core State Standards, and national scores dropped in fourth- and eighth-grade math for the first time ever. In addition, scores in eighth-grade reading also fell.
Two weeks later, the hand-wringing has died down a bit, but we still don’t have solid answers to the big questions about how Common Core implementation might have affected the scores. One explanation may be that the National Assessment of Educational Progress is now testing certain topics before teachers are teaching them.
The obvious solution? Fix the test.This article was originally published in U.S. News & World Report.