Washington, D.C. — Carmel Martin, Executive Vice President for Policy at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the release of new National Assessment for Educational Progress, or NAEP, scores.
Today’s scores give us one piece of a broader picture, and we should use them along with other measures to help students and schools improve. The overall results demonstrate that we have serious work to do, and we need to ensure that teachers have the necessary support to give every child a chance at success. The results come at a time of major transitions for states, districts, schools, and teachers, including significant demographic shifts and higher expectations in most classrooms.
Although it is disappointing to see that performance declined at the national level, students today are performing better than they were a generation ago—particularly groups of disadvantaged students. NAEP has always been about long term trends, and it is not surprising to see mixed results during times of change and transition. It brings home the need to invest in the resources necessary to translate high standards into effective practice and to ensure teachers are at the forefront of implementation efforts.
It is also important to note that during this time of transition to new, higher standards, NAEP has not made its own transition. The current assessment has not been updated in more than 10 years and is not well aligned to the content that students are learning in their classrooms. In fact, a recent report uncovered that more than half of the fourth-grade NAEP math questions contained content that is not being taught in a majority of fourth-grade classrooms.
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.6331.