Opinion
Assessment Letter to the Editor

We Need NAEP

July 12, 2022 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

In his essay, Al Kingsley, a British school official, encourages Americans to ignore and do away with the National Assessment of Educational Progress biannual math and reading results (“Ignore NAEP. Better Yet, Abolish It,” June 6, 2022).

Perhaps Mr. Kingsley is unaware that NAEP is our country’s only common standard to measure student progress. NAEP results allow us to compare trends across districts and states and gauge student achievement, including changes and gaps in achievement over time. In stark contrast to the U.K. education system—which has a national curriculum and standards used by all primary and secondary schools (aside from private, academy, and free schools) and standardized national assessments like A-levels—the U.S. public education system is primarily a state and local responsibility.

It is crucial that we have one valid and reliable measure to demonstrate how U.S. students are doing compared with their peers both nationally and internationally. While it does not tell us what each individual student knows, NAEP is a powerful snapshot of what students have learned and provides representative estimates of key subgroups. We need this information to make important policy decisions, examine the effects of education interventions across different subnational entities, determine our international competitiveness, and identify inequities and how best to allocate resources.

NAEP is especially important now as our country grapples with the massive disruption to learning that has happened over the past two years. The results provide critical evidence of the pandemic’s impact on students’ education across the country that we can leverage to mitigate learning loss and advance learning. Policy decisions should be based on rigorous evidence, and the United States would face an immeasurable loss without the unique insights and evidence that NAEP provides.

Rachel Dinkes
President & Chief Executive Officer
Knowledge Alliance
Washington, D.C.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the July 13, 2022 edition of Education Week as We Need NAEP

Events

School Climate & Safety K-12 Essentials Forum Strengthen Students’ Connections to School
Join this free event to learn how schools are creating the space for students to form strong bonds with each other and trusted adults.
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
IT Infrastructure & Management Webinar
Future-Proofing Your School's Tech Ecosystem: Strategies for Asset Tracking, Sustainability, and Budget Optimization
Gain actionable insights into effective asset management, budget optimization, and sustainable IT practices.
Content provided by Follett Learning
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
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning

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

Assessment What the Research Says What Teachers Should Know About Integrating Formative Assessment With Instruction
Teachers need to understand how tests fit into their larger instructional practice, experts say.
3 min read
Students with raised hands.
E+ / Getty
Assessment AI May Be Coming for Standardized Testing
An international test may offer clues on how AI can help create better assessments.
4 min read
online test checklist 1610418898 brightspot
champpixs/iStock/Getty
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
Assessment Whitepaper
Design for Improvement: The Case for a New Accountability System
Assessments in more frequent intervals provide useful feedback on what students actually study. New curriculum-aligned assessments can le...
Content provided by Cognia
Assessment The 5 Burning Questions for Districts on Grading Reforms
As districts rethink grading policies, they consider the purpose of grades and how to make them more reliable measures of learning.
5 min read
Grading reform lead art
Illustration by Laura Baker/Education Week with E+ and iStock/Getty