This week, the Department of Education released the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment results, often called the Nation’s Report Card, ,,,
First, the results were dismal. Scores were up a tick in 4th grade math, but dropped in 4th grade reading, 8th grade reading, and 8th grade math. Indeed, the drop in 8th grade reading was large — at more than 3 scale points, it was the largest change in scores ever seen for that test, and in the wrong direction.
Second, test score declines are never welcome. But these results were especially disheartening given the backdrop of the past decade. While there were some test score gains (particularly in math) between 2000 and 2010, NAEP performance has stagnated since that time, with the 2015 results showing the first widespread declines in NAEP.
Third, a close look at the detailed results adds insult to injury. The bulk of the declines are coming from our lowest scoring students. In 4th grade reading and in 8th grade reading and math, declines are larger for lower-performing students.