Schools: Test scores falling from already dismal levels…

… and, the gap is widening between highest achieving and lowest achieving students.

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Every 2 years, an organization called The Nation’s Report Card conducts an “Assessment of Educational Progress” being made in America’s school.

The overall conclusion: not much progress is being made.

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Specifically…

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Based  on the just published 2019 results…

Roughly 1/3 of students — regardless of grade level — are rated as proficient in reading and writing.

Roughly 40% of 4th graders are proficient in math and science.

But, there’s slippage, and only about 1/3 of 8th graders demonstrate math proficiency.

Ouch.

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Drilling down, the scores raise more reasons for concern…

For example, as one might expect, there’s a wide gap between the scores earned by students attending private schools and those attending public schools.

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For example, on average, almost half of 4th grade students demonstrate proficiency across the 4 basic subject area.

But, only about 1/3 of public school 4th graders scored as proficient … and, that number drops to about 1/4 of 4th graders attending urban public schools meet the proficiency threshold.

The same basic results were evident among 8th graders, too.

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Are these results driven by the quality of the students … or the quality of teaching and facilities?

Draw your own conclusion.

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One perspective: according to a WSJ analysis of the National Report Card scores:

Washington, D.C., has been the biggest school reform success story over the last decade.

Twice as many fourth and eighth graders score proficient in math than in 2009.

Proficiency in reading has likewise increased by about 10 percentage points, and the learning gap between whites and blacks has significantly shrunk.

What accounts for these improvements?

For one, charter-school enrollment in Washington has increased by nearly 60% since 2009.

Studies have shown that charters have increased competition and thereby raised student performance at traditional public schools.

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