Twelfth graders are declining to take the National Assessment of Educational Progress test, given to a sample of students nationwide. After all, students don’t get their individual scores on the “nation’s report card.” And the test doesn’t do a good job of measuring 12th graders readiness for college, work or the military.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s report card, needs a significant makeover at the 12th-grade level, according to a commission created last year by the test’s governing board to review the exam.
Among the biggest recommendations is expanding the test’s basic purpose so that it gauges not just what 12th-graders know but also their readiness for work, college or the military. Such a change would require government approvals that could take years.
The commission also recommended that the test be required in every state in reading and math every two years, just as it is in those subjects in grades four and eight. That would produce the first-ever state results for high school seniors — not just a national average — to help policy-makers evaluate their school standards and make comparisons to other states.
A sample of students are chosen to take the test at each grade level; nearly half of 12th graders refuse. That weakens reliability. One incentive considered is a letter from the president thanking the student for participating.