The 2011 NAEP Guide Where Not to be Reincarnated as a Poor Child

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

The chart on the right presents scores for Free and Reduced Lunch Eligible students on the 2011 NAEP 4th grade reading test. Memo to self: remember not to come back as a poor kid in Alaska or DC in the next life. Ten points roughly equals a grade level worth of progress. Low-income kids in Alaska and DC are reading almost as poorly as 1st graders in Massachusetts, which is to say, not much all.

Florida hit a wall in terms of improvement (more on that later), DC saw nice math gains but not much progress in reading, Arizona finally started to move the needle a bit, and it is not entirely isolated to Hispanic children.

The 2009-2011 scores are pretty “meh” so far, and this biggest story I am finding is something big and positive going on with Maryland’s reading scores: 8 point gain for FRL kids between 2009 and 2011, and a nothing to sneeze at five point gain among middle and high income students.

More to come…

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13 Responses to The 2011 NAEP Guide Where Not to be Reincarnated as a Poor Child

  1. Efavorite says:

    DC saw NO progress in reading. Completely flat in the 8th grade and down one point in the 4th grade.

    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2011/2012454DC8.pdf
    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2011/2012454DC4.pdf

    Please don’t make inaccurate statements. It decreases your credibility. Keep in mind that statements about NAEP scores can easily be checked.

    Also the “nice” gains in math are no nicer than two years ago in the 8th grade and not nearly as nice as two years ago in the 4th grade.

    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2011/2012451DC8.pdf
    http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/pdf/stt2011/2012451DC4.pdf

    • I have no idea what “inaccurate statement” you are rebutting. When I read the post I saw that Matt wrote: “stay away from Iowa, Maine and DC for good measure.” It sounds to me like the two of you agree.

      • Efavorite says:

        Hi, Jay — I’m responding to the statement “DC saw nice math gains but not much progress in reading.”

        Not much progress implies some progress and there was none.

        A statement more reflective of the facts would have been “DC saw math gains similar to 2009 but no progress in reading.”

        Another accurate way to say it would have been “DC ‘s math gains were less impressive than in 2009 and reading scores were stalled.”

        I’m looking forward to Ladner’s complete analysis of DC’s scores and his thoughts on the effects of school reform there.

  2. George Mitchell says:

    Matt,

    It also will be interesting to see graphs and your analysis of all students, regardless of SES.

  3. George Mitchell says:

    I quote the following from the NAEP release:

    “At grade 4, the average mathematics score in 2011 was 1 point higher than in 2009, and 28 points higher than in 1990….

    “At grade 8, the average mathematics score in 2011 was 1 point higher than in 2009, and 21 points higher than in 1990.”

    These long-term results seem at odds with oft-reported statements that (spending is up and) results are flat. Some/many students appear to be doing better.

    • Greg Forster says:

      The story we’ve been seeing for some time now is that 4th and 8th grade scores are up but the only two measures that really count – 12th grade results and graduation rates – are flat. We’re not retaining those gains through later grades, and there’s not much point to producing gains in early grades if they vanish later. (Disclosure: I haven’t looked at the new results yet.)

  4. [...] Ladner of the George W. Bush Institute in his analysis of 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress data. He also notes that Michigan — a [...]

  5. [...] of the achievement gap, Matt Ladner lays out how poor students and (more specifically) poor, African-American students did state-by-state on 4th grade reading; [...]

  6. MaineMom2Three says:

    Can you please post a graph like this for all white students? I’m a parent from Maine. It appears that Maine is on the bottom when it comes to reading scores for black students. I’m also interested in reading and math score rankings for white students (97% of our make-up). I believe that we are on the bottom for both black and white demographics. It’s important for state DOE’s to release the demographic rankings to the public. Thank you for sharing this information

  7. [...] performance of certain subgroups, such as low-income children. Education researcher Matthew Ladner notes: Ten points roughly equals a grade level worth of progress. Low-income [4th grade] kids in Alaska [...]

  8. [...] performance of certain subgroups, such as low-income children. Education researcher Matthew Ladner notes: Ten points roughly equals a grade level worth of progress. Low-income [4th grade] kids in Alaska [...]

  9. [...] performance of certain subgroups, such as low-income children. Education researcher Matthew Ladner notes: Ten points roughly equals a grade level worth of progress. Low-income [4th grade] kids in Alaska [...]

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