I would like to present some more results from the latest batch of released scores from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, so you can judge for yourselves.
As usual, the charlatans and quacks who are guiding US educational policy today claim that the results are clear proof that their ill-considered policies are working miracles, especially in the District of Columbia, my home town.
I claim that there has been no miracle. Yes, scores on the NAEP reading and math scores in the 4th grade and 8th grade are gradually but unevenly increasing — as has been the case for the past twenty years or so. But there has been no Rhee/Kamras/Henderson miracle in DC, or at least not one we can see on these graphs — no huge, enormous jump that trumps all growth prior to their mayoral takeover of the DC public schools.
Plus, we don’t yet know what weight the NAEP statisticians give to the scores of the kids in the regular public schools, those in the private or religious schools, or those in the charter schools. We do know that the proportion of white students counted in DC has increased substantially since the 1990′s, and that the proportion of black kids has shrunk, but we can only guess just what that means.
For each graph, I have drawn a thick, red, vertical line to distinguish the pre-”Rhee-form” era from the Era of Excellence and Data. See if you honestly see significant differences.
First, average NAEP math scores by states for 8th grade kids, 1990-2013. Remember, please, this is public AND private schools. I chose the states because they were the highest- or lowest-scoring ones in the nation (MA & MS) or because they were located near DC.
Next, average NAEP reading scores for 4th graders: