Standards and Assessments
The 2017 Nation's Report Card is now available! See how your state's or district's 4th- and 8th-graders performed on the NAEP math and reading assessments: https://go.usa.gov/xQ2GS
Adjusted scores from the Urban Institute do a nice job of accounting for demographic differences between states.http://apps.urban.org/features/naep/
2017 NAEP Scores Are a Call for Action | Collaborative for Student Success
Today, Collaborative for Student Success Executive Director Jim Cowen published a memo on the recently released National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results: “While scores on NAEP largely held steady and achievement gaps between white students and students of color did not widen, the underlying data show us that traditionally high-performing students performed better while traditionally low-performing students performed worse. That result serves as a reminder for state policymakers, education officials, community advocates—everyone in the education community—that we must focus more than ever on how to work together to better serve all students and ensure that schools and educators are receiving the supports needed to make necessary improvements.”
The 2017 NAEP Results: Nothing to See Here? | Education Next
University of Southern California Professor Morgan S. Polikoff has four takeaways. First, “scores are still way up (in mathematics) and a little up (in ELA) relative to a couple decades ago.” Second, “there is no obvious pattern here with regard to Common Core versus non–Common Core states...if we take the average score change from 2015 to 2017 in the seven decidedly non-CCSS states in both subjects (Alaska, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia), we see that these states declined by about 1.4 points on average across tests,” which is “lower than the national average score change, which was a gain of 0.2 points.” Third, “the California results in particular seem to corroborate recent research on the state,” such as “recent work suggesting California’s new funding formula, which pours substantial money into low-income schools, is causing achievement to increase.” Fourth, “we need more rigorous investigation of these results to understand whether they can really tell us anything about policy effects.”
Did Computer Testing Muddle This Year’s NAEP Results? Testing Group Says No; Others Are Unconvinced | Chalkbeat
Matt Barnum writes, “A critical question has hung over this release of scores on national math and reading tests. Can state trends be relied on, given this year’s switch to digital tests?” This is the first time the “vast majority” of U.S. students took the NAEP exam electronically instead of on paper. “Students can be affected by how they take a test, something researchers call ‘mode effect.’” As we have also reported about recently, Louisiana Superintendent John White has “registered concerns regarding NAEP’s digital switch and what that meant for students with less familiarity with digital assessments.” Additionally, an analysis by Johns Hopkins University’s Institute for Education Policy “found that states where students had prior experience taking state exams online saw slightly larger gains— at most, 2 points—on three of the four tests.” These “results only show that having taken online tests is correlated with those gains; it doesn’t prove that explanation.”
NAEP SPECIAL EDITION: STATE STORIES
Massachusetts Students Top National Math and Reading Exams | Boston Globe
Nation's Report Card: 'Something Very Good Is Happening in Florida' | Orlando Sentinel
WV Math, Reading Scores Flat on NAEP Test; US Largely Same | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Students in Washington Region Show Little Change in National Test Scores | Washington Post
Accountability and School Supports
50-State Comparison: State Summative Assessments
This updated 50-State Comparison shows how all states approach summative assessments.
Ed. Dept. Policing ESSA Rules on Portfolio Assessments for Students with Disabilities | Education Week
Christina Samuels reports that the U.S. Department of Education “has started informing a small group of states that they will have to make changes to the way they test students with severe cognitive disabilities” due to “accountability changes” under ESSA. Students “with the most severe cognitive disabilities are permitted to take an alternate assessment aligned to alternate achievement standards.” Read more.
MA - This High School Finds Success Combining College-Ready Classes With Career Training
Massachusetts is turning that traditional model on its head by having many schools combine rigorous academics with hands-on career training, now called “career and technical education.” (Hechinger Report via PBS News Hour, April 16)
Delaware's first elementary school wellness center opens
Eisenberg Elementary School in New Castle officially opened its Wellness Center Thursday. Colonial School District officials say it’s the first of its kind in Delaware. It provides Eisenberg students, most of whom are low-income children of color, with access to healthcare and behavioral and social services, right in their school. Two old classrooms became a reception area, a counseling room, a check-up room, and a lab.
Educators as Catalysts
From offering child care to building tiny homes, districts are trying out a variety of ways to recruit teachers and keep them around.There may not be an overall national shortage of teachers, but shortages persist in certain specialty areas. And filling diversity gaps is a perennial struggle.
States Using ESSA, Title II to Improve Teaching
Stephenie Johnson, associate campaign director for K-12 Education Policy at the Center for American Progress, has reviewed all state ESSA plans “searching specifically for state-led and state-supported programs that will be funded, at least in part, through Title II, Part A of ESSA—the section of the law that designates funding specifically for recruiting, preparing, and supporting teachers.” Be sure to also check out this accompanying interactive tool that “provides examples of programs and initiatives across the country working to improve the systems along the teacher pipeline, from recruitment and preparation to compensation and career pathways.”
Teacher Leaders Critical to Student Success
According to a new brief —The Network Effect: Harnessing the Power of Teacher Leadership Networks to Sustain Progress in Tennessee—under the “sustained leadership” of Commissioners Kevin Huffman and Candice McQueen, the Volunteer State “boosted student achievement by leveraging the power of teacher leadership networks, a strategy that can be used to improve education systems across the country.” The brief takes an in-depth look at Tennessee’s “model for magnifying the impact of the state’s most effective educators,” and provides an overview of lessons learned for those states interested in following Tennessee’s example.
Readiness for Success
Report: State preschool enrollment continues to grow, but quality varies
States continue to enroll more young children in public preschool, but nine state-funded programs meet fewer than half of the quality indicators set by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), the Rutgers University-based center reports in this year’s State of Preschool Yearbook. Those states that meet few recommended quality standards serve large populations of preschoolers, which suggests that “many children who need it most don’t have access to high-quality preschool,” Steven Barnett, senior co-director of NIEER, said in a press call Tuesday.
Delaware remains among lowest states providing pre-k for four-year-olds
Blog post by Madeline Bayard, vice president of policy and practice at the Rodel Foundation of Delaware
The National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) released its latest state rankings for pre-K enrollment, and, much like last year, Delaware landed toward the bottom at 36th in terms of providing access for four-year-olds. Less than 10 percent of Delaware four-year-olds are enrolled in state-sponsored pre-K. Little has changed with Delaware’s NIEER standing since 2002 with preschool enrollment and spending per child relatively flat, while our state-funded pre-K (ECAP) has not been expanded since its inception in the 1990.