This week, The Christian Science Monitor reported on the 2007 National Assessment of Education Progress test results. Released Tuesday, the NAEP scores indicate that elementary and middle school students are making significant gains in math and marginal improvements in reading. The achievement gap between black and white students—27 points—is still large, but at an all-time low.
Many are quick to link the achievement gains to No Child Left Behind, particularly as Congress debates its reauthorization. Defending NCLB in light of the NAEP results, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said, “[It’s]…working…Any efforts to weaken accountability would fly in the face of rising achievement.” However, the NAEP results may not be enough to convince most. A September PDK/Gallup Poll suggests that, for the first time, most Americans view NCLB unfavorably.
Reflecting on the response to the NAEP scores, Gail Russell Chaddock of the Monitor writes, “The timing of the biennial release of fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading scores—as Congress takes up renewal of a controversial education law—could not be more politically charged.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.