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Gerald Bracey has an opinion piece in the Post (A Test Everyone Will Fail) arguing that NAEP achievement levels are not only too high, but also internally inconsistent and contradict other results. Bottom line? NAEP Bad.


The NAEP may be too hard, but since the percentage of proficient readers declined from 40% in 1992 to 35% in 2005, it is indisputable that student performance is in decline.

Youpedia is wrong, this can be disputed.

If you are going to be comparing over time like this, you need to use the long-term trend NAEP (that's what it's for, after all). Compared to similar age students in 1971, those at age 9 in 2005 are up significantly, age 13 are up significantly, age 17 is the same, so overall reading proficiency is up.

Compared to 1992, it is flat overall, with an significant increase at age 9, flat at age 13, and down at age 17.

I just checked. He's misleading for the regular NAEP too. Grade 4 went up, Grade 8 was flat, and the decline he cites is true for grade 12 only.

Sam, you are right, I should have been more specific in my previous comment. The decline in NAEP proficiency I cited was for the 12th grade. My original point stands however: what difference does it make for a student to be proficient in reading in the 4th and 8th grades, only to not be proficient in reading at the end of the 12th grade? It is the end product of a student's education that will determine their readiness for employment/higher education. The 12th grade test scores are the most important to look at and they show a state of decline.

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