Heartland Institute Education Experts React to Dropping NAEP Test Scores
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), often referred to as the Nation’s Report Card, released its 2015 12th grade test scores last week. The tests are given every two years and are a measure of the state of K–12 education across the country.
The 2015 scores show statistically significant decreases in 12th grade mathematics for students scoring in the 50th percentile and below. Scores in reading remained statistically flat overall but show statistically significant decreases in the 10th and 25th percentiles. These drops come after full implementation of Common Core State Standards.
The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000.
“Last week’s release of the Nation’s Report Card student performance results for 12th graders tested in 2015 tells only part of the story.
“Results from their 8th grade testing that same year shows significant declines in both reading and mathematics after years of steady improvement. One wonders if these drops have not been affected by the rushed introduction of the Common Core State Standards. And wouldn’t the degradation affect the younger students more than the 12th grade students, just as we see here?”
“Evidence continues to mount that a top-down, one-size-fits-all mandated education system is not working, nor will it ever work to effectively educate our children. With this multi-billion- dollar failed experiment, it is clearly time to transform education to a student-focused model and away from the system-focused model. Education choice, with the money following the child and the purse-strings held by parents instead of bureaucrats, is the only way to fix the broken system. The system will not and cannot be fixed with more money and government mandates.”
“The poor NAEP results for 12th graders are not surprising for those paying attention to the scores for 4th and 8th graders released late last year, or for those who have been following these scores over the past decade.
“Advancing ill-educated children from grade to grade is the modus operandi of the bloated, inefficient bureaucracy that is the public education system. Mediocrity is what bloated, inefficient bureaucracies produce. Your local DMV will never run like an Apple store, and unless you live in an affluent neighborhood, your local public school will never produce a classroom full of students who are all above proficiency in reading and math.
“The only way to help ensure more children have a chance at a quality education is for states to introduce a gamut of educational choice options (charters, education savings accounts, vouchers, tax credit scholarships, etc.) so every parent who wants to remove his or her child from the public school system has the opportunity to do so.”
“If the results from the 2015 NAEP mathematics and reading assessment are indicative of anything, it’s that Common Core is failing American high school seniors. In fact, of the 2015 participants, only 25 percent and 35 percent were proficient in mathematics and reading, respectively. These are the students that are set to enter secondary education institutions, yet less than 50 percent of them are proficient in basic education.
“We need to quit failing our students, leaving them ill-prepared for the future, and rethink how the American education system works. It’s time to start offering students and parents more choices in education than failing public schools with limited proficiency in basic subjects such as math and reading.”
The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.