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Emma Brown, writing in the Washington Post, reports the latest results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress: High school seniors showed a slippage in their test scores in math and no improvement in reading.
Throughout the entire period of “reform” that started with No Child Left Behind, scores of high school students have been stagnant. Brown writes:
The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, also show a longer-term stagnation in 12th-grade performance in U.S. public and private schools: Scores on the 2015 reading test have dropped five points since 1992, the earliest year with comparable scores, and are unchanged in math during the past decade.
In comparison to the first year of the current trendline, 2005, the average mathematics score in 2015 did not significantly differ. In comparison to the initial reading assessment year, 1992, the 2015 average reading score was lower.
In short, NCLB (signed into law in 2002) and Race to the Top (launched in 2009) have been failures. They have been disastrous failures. How many billions of dollars were wasted no testing and test prep? How many teachers and principals were fired? How many schools were closed? How many public schools were turned over to entrepreneurs?
As a nation, we have endured fourteen years of failed federal policies. Will we ever learn that testing doesn’t produce higher achievement? Will we ever learn that intrinsic motivation is more powerful than threats and rewards?
Heckuva job, President Obama and former Secretary Arne Duncan!