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Why Is Everyone Upset About NAEP?

In the News | November 14, 2019

In his latest column for Forbes, MƒA President John Ewing wonders why everyone is so upset about NAEP. Released last month, NAEP (National Assessment of Education Progress) scores have once again brought forth a range of commentary from politicians and pundits, a few of which claim another education crisis. Ewing believes tiny changes in NAEP scores are not as meaningful as some would have you believe.

“Why are people so agitated by small decreases (in NAEP scores) that are part of two decades of small ups and downs? It may reflect a lack of statistical sophistication, but I think something else is at play here: Policy makers and reporters are so anxious to gin up an education crisis that they throw common sense to the wind. Over the past few decades, Americans have become obsessed about a crisis in education. For many, the crisis has become a way of life. For some, it's become a livelihood.”

Ewing suggests that instead of bashing schools, teachers, and test results, we should be focusing on other societal trends. 

“Instead of creating a phony crisis over tiny changes in NAEP scores, why not investigate two decades of stagnant scores? That's a trend, not a crisis, and trends are likely reflections of society rather than schools.”

Read Ewing’s full Forbes column on NAEP here.