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Girls Outperform Boys on NAEP Tech, Engineering Sections

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“According to results from the NAEP exam, also called the Nation’s Report Card, American eighth-grade girls were found to outperform their male peers in technology and engineering literacy tests. Overall, girls were found to score three points higher than boys. This information is a reversal of gender expectations, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, as boys tend to score higher than girls do in math and science testing. “We did not expect this pattern and the pattern does seem to be pretty clear from the data,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, a data arm of the Department of Education that evaluated the test results. “Overall it looks like girls have the ability and critical thinking skills to succeed in the fields of technology and engineering, and that’s worth noting.”…The test also discovered that students who participated in after-school activities that were focused on design and systems, such as a robotics club, or spent time creating their own design concepts typically scored higher than their peers who did not.”(more)

2015 Nation’s Report Card Reveals Majority of High School Seniors Aren’t College Ready

Education World – Nicole Gorman

“New results from The Nation’s Report Card: 2015 Mathematics and Reading at Grade 12 indicate that only 37 percent of the country’s high school seniors are prepared for college level math and reading…The Washington Post calls NAEP’s latest news “sobering,” and says it raises into question whether the high school diploma is a meaningful determinant of academic achievement…Students accepted into colleges and universities but unprepared for the coursework are spending thousands of dollars to study things they should have learned in high school.”(more)

9 Out Of 10 Parents Think Their Kids Are On Grade Level. They’re Probably Wrong

NPR Ed – Anya Kamenetz

“In a recent survey of public school parents, 90 percent stated that their children were performing on or above grade level in both math and reading. Parents held fast to this sunny belief no matter their own income, education level, race or ethnicity. The nationally administered test known as the Nation’s Report Card, or NAEP, suggests a very different reality. About half of white students are on grade level in math and reading by fourth grade; the percentages are lower for African-Americans and Hispanics. Bibb Hubbard founded the new organization, Learning Heroes, that commissioned the nationwide survey of 1,300 parents of kids in grades K-8. She calls this result “shocking.” “There is this cognitive dissonance happening,” Hubbard says. “We’ve got to find good, productive ways to educate and inform parents.””(more)

State Test Results Are Getting Closer To Student Achievement On NAEP

Achieve – Staff Writer

“In 2015, we first released this report, Proficient vs. Prepared, showing large disparities between most state test results and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). With states taking action to transition to new, more rigorous tests over the past couple of years and also setting new levels of proficiency or cut scores, states deserve a lot of credit for reducing or even eliminating the “honesty gap” that existed. With standards and tests that gauge whether students are able to show they can do grade-level work, parents are provided better information so they can partner with educators to impact student achievement. The 2016 edition of the Proficient vs. Prepared report demonstrates that most states acknowledged and corrected their reporting of student proficiency. Parents, students, and teachers in the states where gaps closed are now getting information from state tests that are much closer to other proficiency indicators allowing them to make more informed decisions for their individual students.”(more)

Nationwide Test Shows Dip in Students’ Math Abilities

The New York Times – Motoko Rich

“For the first time since 1990, the mathematical skills of American students have dropped, according to results of a nationwide test released by the Education Department on Wednesday. The decline appeared in both Grades 4 and 8 in an exam administered every two years as the National Assessment of Educational Progress and sometimes called “the nation’s report card.” The dip in scores comes as the country’s employers demand workers with everstronger skills in mathematics to compete in a global economy. It also comes as states grapple with the new Common Core academic standards and a rebellion against them.”(more)

Achieve Report Shows Honesty Gap in State, National Test Results

Education News – Kristin Decarr

“A new report issued by the national education reform organization Achieve suggests that a gap present between results on state and national tests show that states are misinforming the public concerning student proficiency in language arts and math. The report, Proficient vs. Prepared: Disparities Between State Tests and the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, calls that gap the “honesty gap,” and asks that the public and legislators demand for higher accountability measures concerning how student performance is measured in each state…“Too many states are not leveling with students or parents. They’re being told students are proficient, but by external benchmarks they’re not prepared at all,” said Michael Cohen, the president of Achieve, the education reform group that conducted the survey.”(more)