Failure of the Standards Movement – Research and Opinion by Larry Stedman

Test Results

  • The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) remains our best measure of achievement trends. It tracks 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds as well as 4th, 8th, and 12th graders. Long-term patterns show that achievement, especially in high school, has generally stagnated. Literacy is the cornerstone of learning, but reading and writing have languished. Only 1/3 of 12th graders are proficient readers. History, geography, and science performance have changed little over two decades. Though a poor barometer of schooling, the SAT shows similar results. U.S. high school achievement on the international assessments has declined. Large minority achievement gaps persist. Clearly, the standards push has made little difference in achievement.
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