I highlighted the key takeaways from the 2017 NAEP scores as mentioned on the Nation’s Report Card. What they don’t say is that this demonstrates stagnation after years of having Common Core in the classrooms. As a reference, Common Core was first approved by most states in 2010 but was not fully implemented in most states until one to two years later.
A couple of things to note:
1. 4th-Graders who have been under Common Core for their entire education are stagnant.
Look at the national trendlines in math:
While one can’t argue from NAEP scores that Common Core has hurt 4th-graders, you also can’t argue that it has helped. There has been a slight since the average score high in 2013.
You see similar stagnation among 4th-graders with reading.
2. 8th-Graders overall have shown the same stagnation.
Here’s the trendline for 8th-grade math.
And the national average trend in 8th-grade reading:
3. A widening gap between high performing students and low performing students.
This is something we warned about as Common Core was being implemented and now we see it with the NAEP results. It is more pronounced in the 4th-grade math assessment than the reading assessment. It’s more pronounced among 4th-graders in general than 8th-graders. Among 8th-graders there is a bigger gap in math than reading where the trends show stagnation among all percentile groups.
Here are the trendlines for the 4th-grade math assessment:
Here are the 4th-grade reading assessment trendlines:
Here are the 8th-grade math assessment trendlines:
And for the 8th-grade reading assessment:
Blame it on a computer-based assessment?
We noted that Louisiana State School Chief John White was concerned about scores dropping as a result of the switch to computers rather than pencil and paper, but that does not tell the whole story.
Richard Phelps noted in his write-up on the NAEP scores:
According to NAEP Commissioner Peggy Carr, the 2017 test administration contained “very innovative tasks,” but she also asserts that the widening achievement gap is “absolutely not” caused by the digital transition (because the trend data was calculated from students taking the tests with paper and pencil).
She added that the international Progress in Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) have also shown widening achievement gaps among US students, and those tests’ administration remain solely paper and pencil.