November 2015

NAEP Scores Released

Read results and statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen

Connecticut's fourth- and eighth-graders showed little to no improvement on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). According to 2015 results, Connecticut's eight graders who took the test scored about the same in math as the last time the test was administered, performing slightly above the national average. Fourth-graders' scores in math declined to the same level as the national average.

Connecticut's large achievement gaps between children from low-income families and those from middle- or upper-income families did not change significantly, nor did the gap between white students and black and Hispanic children.

Read the 2015 State Snapshot Reports released October 28, 2015

· Grade 4 Reading · Grade 4 Mathematics
· Grade 8 Reading · Grade 8 Mathematics

Statement from CEA President Sheila Cohen on 2015 NAEP Scores

Before parents and communities examine the recently published NAEP scores, they should examine the education policies that focus on test scores instead of teaching and learning. These reform policies—excessive testing and test prep, less quality instructional time, and the diminishment of teachers' authority in classroom practices—need to change. In fact, these scores provide evidence of the failure of the corporate reform agenda based on the very outcomes their reform movement sought to affect.

There is much more to schools than what is measured on a standardized test score, and a single test score will never truly measure the continued daily success that happens in classrooms across Connecticut. Those who put testing before learning and push ill-conceived school reforms are alienating more students and leaving them behind.

Students who have ample time for high-quality teaching and learning, are engaged in their work, and are encouraged to think critically tend to perform better on the NAEP. Students and teachers in Connecticut need policies that support the use of instructional practices that foster these attitudes and behaviors.

If our students are to lead the nation, Connecticut must act now to end the test and drill system that is failing our students. At the state level, the new Mastery Test Committee, created by the legislature last spring, provides a timely opportunity to take concrete action. At the federal level, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act means the U.S. Congress can act positively to address the high-stakes tests that are hurting quality education.

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