Every other year, the federal government (specifically, the National Assessment Governing Board, which is appointed by the Secretary of Education) administers a national assessment known commonly as NAEP, or the Nation's Report Card.
As of now, it's probably the best barometer for measuring student performance across the country in math and reading. Scores have been ticking up very slightly in recent years. Still, only a little more than a third of all 8th graders score at the "proficient" level in reading and math.
This morning, the 2013 NAEP results were released. Scores showed another modest uptick, enough for Secretary of State to call them "absolutely encouraging." They showed that 36 percent of 8th graders were "proficient" in reading and math -- up from 33 percent in reading and 34 percent in math in 2011.
In a post over on our frizzle blog, Scholastic's Chief Academic Officer, Francie Alexander, suggested three areas of focus that could lead to significant improvement in these scores in the future:
- Early learning: Too many students arrive at school on day 1 underprepared and unready to learn. We must provide families and communities with enriching educational opportunities starting at birth, and we must put into place programs in the early grades that meet every child at his or her level and propel them forward.
- Technology: We must take advantage of the promise of technology – using it in ways that support proven instructional practices, provide opportunities for differentiated learning, and extend teaching and learning beyond the four walls of a classroom.
- Common Core: It’s crucial that teachers and school districts have the resources they need to effectively implement the Common Core in their classrooms and schools – to ensure students get the most out of their school experience, and are prepared for college, careers and life. Otherwise, like other reforms before it, Common Core may fail to deliver for our students.
Do you agree?