While self-proclaimed education reformers have been huddling, trying to hoist more change than ever before on our public schools, students and teachers have been plugging along doing the hard work of teaching and learning.
Now the jury is in. And it’s the students and teachers who can claim success. Known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of students’ knowledge in reading and math on a state-by-state basis.
Today stellar results were released for Connecticut students’ performance on NAEP.
Connecticut high school seniors lead the nation and are in a class of their own in reading, according to NAEP. In math, the class of 2013 remained in the top tier, along with seniors from only four other states.
In addition, Connecticut’s results show definitive progress in narrowing the achievement gap between black and white students in reading. In Connecticut, the black-white gap narrowed by a statistically significant amount in any grade across two consecutive NAEP administrations.
But to understand the true significance of today’s news don’t miss this: the assessments were administered in 2013. That means the students’ performance is based on teaching and learning occurring in the preceding 12 years of public schooling.
Over more than a decade, this outstanding teaching and learning occurred before anybody had to address the overhaul of teacher evaluation, before any teacher had to navigate the Internet to align his/her lesson plans with the Common Core, and before any student had to take hours away from meaningful learning to help the testing industry pilot SBAC.
Today is a real day to celebrate public education as we underscore that Connecticut takes its place at the head of the class.