The nation’s 9-year-olds have made considerable gains in reading and mathematics over the past five years, turning in the highest scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress long-term trend tests in those subjects since they were first given more than three decades ago.
The achievement gap is narowing.
Minority students and those scoring in the lowest percentile on the tests given during the 2003-04 school year showed the most dramatic progress among 9-year-olds, narrowing the achievement gap between black and Hispanic students and their white peers, and the highest and lowest performers, to the smallest margins ever. Average scores among 13-year-olds also showed improvement in math, but not in reading, while the performance of 17-years-olds on both tests was flat since the tests were last given in 1999.
Does No Child Left Behind deserve the credit? It’s too soon to tell. Eduwonk advises the Democrats to cheer success and credit teachers. Gadfly is happy but not gaga, noting that there’s a long way to go. Well, sure. But we seem to be moving in the right direction.