Earlier this week the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction released results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAEP, among other things, tests 4th and 8th grade students in math, reading and other subject areas.
You can find out more about NAEP and North Carolina results here.
Some quick reviews:
North Carolina Fourth grade reading scores declined 3 points, from 244 to 241. The fourth grade average score for the nation was 239.
Those findings are noteworthy in light of the emphasis North Carolina has placed on reading and the Read-to-Achieve program which aims to have students reading at grade level by the fourth grade.
Other NC NAEP results for fourth grade reading and eighth grade reading and math were not significant statistically.
NAEP results will be analyzed extensively over the coming months. Researchers will study the changes and delve into performance gaps.
However, another question worthy of discussion is: why — considering the billions spent on education and education reform efforts at the federal, state and local levels — have NAEP math and reading scores remained essentially flat over the past fifteen years?
It’s a question that deserves an answer.