Can NAEP Predict College Readiness?
If you want to know which states are closing black-white achievement gaps in grades 4, 8, and 12, the National Assessment of Educational Progress can show you. If you want to find out how many 8th graders understand how to translate decimals to fractions, "the nation's report card" can help with that, too.
But after nearly a decade of effort, educators and policymakers are still trying to figure out whether NAEP can predict how likely a state's students are to start college without needing to take remedial courses, not to mention whether they are prepared for careers. And researchers' struggles with the federally administered NAEP may highlight the uphill battle that awaits the developers of common state assessments or anyone else trying to tie school performance to the post-high-school world.
"There have definitely been widespread comments over the last few years that there's no distinction between college and career readiness," said Louis M. Fabrizio, the North Carolina education department's director of data, research, and federal policy and a member of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for NAEP. "What our preliminary research findings indicate is that may...
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