Education News in Brief

Puerto Rican Officials Spar Over Low Scores on NAEP

By Sean Cavanagh — December 01, 2008 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Puerto Rican leaders are embroiled in a sharp disagreement over whether the island commonwealth should continue to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress, an exam on which their students have struggled.

The commonwealth’s secretary of education, Rafael Aragunde-Torres, wrote a letter last month asking that U.S. officials allow it to be “permanently exempted” from participating in the test.

The secretary, in the Nov. 12 letter, argued that the translation of the NAEP in mathematics, which has been given to Puerto Rican students in Spanish, as well as cultural differences not taken into account on test items, might be dragging down students’ scores there.

But those assertions have been rejected by Luis G. Fortuno, who was elected last month as Puerto Rico’s governor. He serves as Puerto Rico’s “resident commissioner” in the U.S. House of Representatives.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, Mr. Fortuno said removing Puerto Rico from NAEP would “do a terrible disservice to students, parents, and teachers” on the island. He accused Mr. Aragunde-Torres of “playing politics” with the issue.

Removing Puerto Rico from NAEP “does not promote the interests of the island’s public school students,” the governor-elect wrote on Nov. 19, “whose educational achievement continues to lag far behind students in the 50 states.”

Once he takes office in January, Mr. Fortuno intends to appoint his own education secretary, said Michelle Cuevas, the director of communications for the governor-elect’s transition. The No Child Left Behind Act requires Puerto Rico to take part in NAEP to receive federal Title I funding.

A version of this article appeared in the December 03, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Personalized Learning Webinar
No Time to Waste: Individualized Instruction Will Drive Change
Targeted support and intervention can boost student achievement. Join us to explore tutoring’s role in accelerating the turnaround. 
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools
Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: November 23, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 2, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 19, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: October 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read