Education Spending Is Up, Test Scores Aren’t. Who’s to Blame?

By Lindsey Burke The U.S. Department of Education recently released the 2013 results of math and reading achievement for 12th graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. It’s hard to say what’s been achieved. According to the NAEP—a standardized test often referred to as the nation’s “report card”—just 26 percent of the country’s 12th graders are proficient in math. Only 38 percent are proficient in reading. Those numbers are entirely unchanged since 2009, when the NAEP was last administered. Notably, reading achievement was significantly higher overall in 1992 when the NAEP exam was first administered in reading. Forty percent of students were proficient in reading in 1992. The new NAEP scores confirm the outcomes found on the NAEP long-term-trend assessment, which has assessed reading achievement since 1971 and math achievement since 1973. Twelfth graders today perform no better in reading than high school seniors of the early 1970s. The new NAEP study also revealed worrisome increases in achievement gaps. There is a 29-point gap (out of a 500-point scale) between white and black 12th graders in reading, a gap that has increased since the last assessment in 2009 (when the gap was 27 points), and since the assessment was first administered in 1992 (when the gap was 24 points). As education researcher Matthew Ladner notes, 10 points on the NAEP is the equivalent of one grade level of learning, effectively meaning that since 1992, the disparity has increased by half a grade level’s worth of learning. Read the full article here:

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