Bad News from the Nation’s Report Card

  • Posted by scoadmin
  • On November 1, 2019

The latest results from the Nation’s Report Card are out and the news isn’t good. Recently released results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicate mathematics scores are flat and reading scores dropped. 

The online blog The 74 summed it up this way:

Scores released today from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) held bad news for American schools, with trends that are essentially flat in mathematics and down in reading. Most states saw little or no improvement in either subject, with their lowest-performing students showing the most significant declines in scores. Whether the cause lies in hangover effects from the Great Recession, missteps in federal education policy, or some combination of these and other factors, there has been little progress to be assessed for over a decade.

A few states that posted gains, but Ohio was not among them. Scores on three of four tests (4th and 8th grade mathematics and reading) dropped with results on one test staying the same. After making gains in the 2000’s, Ohio’s NAEP scores have remained stagnant or dropped over the past decade. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Aaron Churchill offers charts and commentary here.

Among the more disturbing trends is the significant drop in scores for Ohio students with disabilities. The already large achievement gap is growing.

A few questions come to mind. What are the states making progress doing that Ohio is not? Why did Ohio make gains in the 2000s but results are flat or dropping in recent years? What was happening then that’s not happening now? With all of the focus on early literacy, why did 4th grade reading scores drop?

How do we help students and schools become more successful?