NAEP stands for National Assessment of Educational Progress. Everyone is talking about the recent results posted to its website, but some parents don’t even know what it is, why it exists, how it affects their children, when the tests are taken or where they are taken. We think that it’s important to provide some background information before sharing the abysmal results.
What is NAEP? According to its website, NAEP “is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s student know and can do in various subject areas.” Specifically, this assessment evaluates students in the following areas:
Mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, US History, and technology and engineering literacy.
The test has been around since its conception in 1964 and its first administration was in 1969. So it has been around for several generations.
Here’s how it works. The NAEP is not designed to report individual results of students of schools. Not all students are tested. Instead, a sample of students take the tests (in grades 4, 8 and 12), and they will represent the national student population made up of nation, states, and districts.
The results are categorized and classified into three levels of achievement, advanced, proficient and basic.
Parents can view sample questions here: But here is a sample 4th grade math question:
So, with that background information, let’s explore some of the results shall we.
Increase in 2017 average reading score for the nation at grade 8 compared to 2015; no changes for reading at grade 4 or mathematics at either grade
No change since 2015. No Improvement. No decrease either, so that’s a good thing. I guess?
I personally do not think it’s acceptable that students are not showing improvement and that by the 8th grade most kids are still NOT reading at grade level! Why do we accept such mediocrity? Please take a moment to explore the website and see for yourself what the scores look like across the nation, in your area and district and decide for yourself if you want to accept results like this for your child and from your schools.
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