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Newswire – April 11, 2018

THIS WEEK, you can’t scan your favorite news site, Twitter feed or newspaper (yes, they’re still out there) without reading about the Nation’s Report Card. Scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics are out. So are the opinions.

But look again: no one’s talking about the timing of the release of these startlingly bleak, stagnant scores just days before the 35th anniversary of the landmark 1983 report, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform. The connection between these two reports is obvious and our observations are clear: where innovation and opportunity are encouraged, the results are better — in some states, significantly better. Florida’s unprecedented gains in both reading and mathematics were the highest.

Demanding Progress


A NEW FEATURE ON OUR WEBSITE
is devoted to the NAEP scores, the analysis behind the data and trends, current commentary and decades of CER resources and research representing our unparalleled efforts on the frontlines challenging the status quo and working against the rising tide of mediocrity that was decried as eroding the educational foundations of our society in A Nation at Risk 35 years ago. The feature is called, “A Nation Still at Risk? Results From the Latest NAEP Recall the Report From 35 Years Ago.” There you’ll find the scores from this year and previous years, the entire A Nation at Riskreport, the story behind Florida’s success and much more. Check it out.

The Case for Education Transformation


THE CASE FOR EDUCATION TRANSFORMATION
, Part I: The Disappointing Reality of American Education was published in February. It’s now been updated and reissued with the newest data from the 2018 NAEP report. New findings and further analysis shed even greater light on widening achievement gaps and proficiency stagnation:

“Data from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress show that the lowest performing students in the nation are faring worse than they did on the same assessment in 2015. The gap in reading achievement between the nation’s poorest and wealthiest students equates to more than six years of learning in middle and high school.”

Reality Check With Jeanne Allen


A SPECIAL REALITY CHECK WITH JEANNE ALLEN PODCAST
offers a deeply personal commentary by CER’s founder and CEO, who looks at this week’s NAEP scores through the lens of more than 30 years of driving the most innovative efforts to transform how we educate our citizens. Don’t miss this special editionof Reality Check as Jeanne shares her insights and analysis of the trends and challenges we face if the nation does not transform how — and what — we do to educate learners at all levels.

American Education: 35 Years of Mediocrity Since A Nation at Risk


IN ONE OF THOSE TELLING IRONIES
that pop up every now and then, this week’s release of NAEP scores just happens to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the release of the landmark report on education: A Nation at Risk.For many Americans, the report was unsettling. It was a principle of citizenship to believe that America was the best in everything, especially in education. So it all came as a shock when the report said there was “a rising tide of mediocrity” in our schools; that educational content “was a mile wide and an inch deep”; and that our teachers were lacking the necessary qualifications to ensure expert teaching, particularly in math and science. And it didn’t calm any concerns when President Reagan stepped up to lead the call to action, telling his fellow Americans that our education system was plagued by “low standards, lack of purpose, ineffective use of resources, and a failure to challenge students to push performance to the boundaries of individual ability.” So the fact that the latest NAEP scores show that 35 years later, we are still a nation at risk is a sad, frustrating irony. The first Reagan Institute Summit on Education convenes tomorrow to commemorate the work of the report’s creators — the National Commission on Excellence in Education. Dozens of current and former elected officials from all levels of government will discuss a new path forward. Will they be bold and unyielding in their demand for change? Here’s hoping so, along with a reminder that the subtitle of the Nation at Risk report was, “The Imperative for Educational Reform.” Read more in National Review Online.

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