The 2017 results of the low-stakes national exams called the NAEPs were released late last night --- showing that across the country, student achievement has stalled over the past decade, except for a slight increase in 8th grade reading, while test score gaps between low and high performing students have widened. As the Wall Street Journal reported, "American students had nearly flat results in math and reading on a national exam, continuing a pattern of stagnation over most of the past decade, as some of the lowest performers fell further behind."
The results are a huge rebuke to wrongheaded corporate reform agenda of high stakes testing, charter expansion and Common Core standards that prevailed over this period and that was supposed to lift all boats, lead to more equity and more learning.
Over the last four years, in New York state and NYC, the story is much the same. There have been no significant increases in any subject or grade since 2013, except for a sharp decline in 4th grade math of five points in NY State and seven points in NYC. You can check the NAEP data yourself here, or a summary here.
All this goes to show that my 2016 blog post was correct that the increase in state and city test scores over this period was illusory and that we had entered a new era of state test score inflation. Let's hope this puts an end to the endless Groundhog days of state and city officials holding self-congratulatory press conferences, and articles that assume the rise in test scores is real and could be due to charter school expansion or the Common Core. But I wouldn't count on it. It's too easy for educrats to manufacture signs of improvement when there are none.
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