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The Network for Public Education was founded in 2013 by Diane Ravitch and Anthony Cody. We are an advocacy group whose mission is to protect, preserve, promote, and strengthen public schools for both current and future generations of students.
The goal of NPE is to connect all those who are passionate about our schools – students, parents, teachers and citizens. We share information and research on vital issues that concern the future of public education at a time when they are under attack.

To find out more about NPE Action, the advocacy arm of Network for Public Education, click here.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Carol Burris
Executive Director of the Network for Public Education Fund

NAEP Test Scores Demonstrate Failure of Corporate Reforms

October 28, 2015

Today’s release of stagnant and declining NAEP scores is one more indication that the test-based reforms emanating from NCLB and Race to the Top are not working. The Network for Public Education (NPE) once again calls for a change in course from over a decade of ineffective policies.

NPE President, Diane Ravitch said, “The decline in NAEP scores is a wake-up call to the nation. It is a clear indication that No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have failed to improve our children’s education. Educators have warned for years that the strategy of test-and-punish was a grave error. President George W. Bush launched these so-called reforms, and President Obama built on Bush’s flawed foundation by using test scores to fire teachers and principals and close thousands of public schools. It is past time to abandon the failed Bush-Obama “reforms.”

NAEP scores have been used since the 1970’s to assess the impact of national education policies on the literacy and numeracy of American students. For example, the NAEP achievement gap between white students and black students dramatically narrowed in the 1970s and ’80s, during the height of school desegregation efforts. In contrast, the small narrowing of gaps in 2015 are not attributable to the improvement of black student scores, but rather to declines in the scores of white students.

According to NPE vice-chairperson, Anthony Cody, “Test scores, we have been told, should be used “to keep kids on track.” For all too many students, these tests are used to place them on a track that leads nowhere. It is time to return assessment to where it belongs, in the hands of classroom teachers, and toss standardized test-based accountability out for good.”

Disappointing NAEP results mirror the recent drop in SAT scores, which declined by 7 points in one year. “Clearly the Common Core, its tests, and the evaluation of teachers by test scores are not having a positive, transferable impact on the reading and math skills of America’s students,” said NPE Fund Executive Director, Carol Burris.

Former teacher and NPE vice-chairperson, Phyllis Bush observed, “For many reformers/policy makers/politicians/know-it-alls, data seems to be the only means of assessment that they understand.  If data is “the measure” of reform, NAEP scores are sending a message that is loud and clear–using assessments for high-stakes purposes, rather than to diagnose and evaluate what students know, is just not working.”


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