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Articles by Patte Barth

The eye of the beholder

Yesterday, BoardBuzz reported new NAEP results showing that  U.S. students are continuing to make gains in reading and math. To our admittedly pro-public school mind, this is obviously good news. Yet judging by yesterday’s coverage, NAEP, which is also called “the nation’s report card,” should more accurately be described as “the nation’s Rorschach test.”

From the New York Times:

The achievement gap between white and minority students has not narrowed in recent years, despite the focus of the No Child Left Behind law on improving the scores of blacks and Hispanics …

Then the Washington Post says:

Math and reading scores for 9- and 13-year-olds have risen since the 2002 enactment of No Child Left Behind, providing fuel to those who want to renew the federal law and strengthen its reach in high schools.

Shouts FairTest:


A more measured, but still gloomy headline from Education Week observes:

Older Students Less Successful on Math NAEP.

Holy Moly! No wonder Achieve was motivated to pronounce:

NAEP Long-Term Trend Assessments Show Mixed Results

BoardBuzz believes our readers can make their own judgments by looking at The Nation’s Report Card: 2008 Long-Term Trends for themselves. We think that, like us, you’ll find reason to applaud the hard work of our schools, teachers, and school kids.

Patte Barth|April 29th, 2009|Categories: Educational Research, Student Achievement, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|

Can you read this?

If so, you are part of the 86 percent of American adults who have at least basic literacy skills. If not, you don’t get what BoardBuzz has written anyway so you’ll have to listen to the podcast. But only if someone downloads it for you because you can’t locate the word “podcast” on the webpage.  We don’t mean to be flip, but we were intrigued by a recent report we read about In USA Today today.

Not too long ago, the Center for Public Education  reported on a study by researchers for the U.S. Department of Education who looked at the reading and math skills of a representative sample of adults across the country. They found that 14 percent of lack basic reading skills to the degree that they are functionally illiterate.

This week, the department has released data estimating the proportion of BBPLS folks (that’s Below Basic Prose Literacy Skills) in each state. The state with the highest BBPLS-ers is California with 23 percent, followed by New York (22 percent) and Florida (20 percent). Our cold weather compatriots in Minnesota, New Hampshire and North Dakota share a three-way tie for the least number at 6 percent.

The department also put together a really cool data tool so you can find out how much BBPLS is in your state and your county. This tool allows you to compare jurisdictions and track change between 1992 and 2003. Check it out.

Patte Barth|January 9th, 2009|Categories: Curriculum, Educational Research, NSBA Opinions and Analysis|
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