- The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report, known as the Nation's Report Card, show the average score for students in math and English is a point lower in 2015 than it was in 2013.
- The Nation's Report Card is issued every two years, and for 2015, 18,700 students from public and private schools were tested in reading and 13,200 tested in math.
- Less than 40% of students scored as ready for college or careers, according to the report.
The NAEP tests don't "align completely with Common Core," but are supposed to reliably indicate college-ready students. Despite dips since 2015, U.S. students show overall improvement since the 1970s. Data from the NAEP Long-Term Trend series reveals math scores are now rising faster than reading scores.
When the Alliance for Excellent Education previously looked at NAEP scores, they found that nearly half of minority students and students from low-income communities failed to meet basic reading scores on national test data.
The disconnect for educators is that while NAEP shows fewer than 40% are ready for life after high school, 82% are graduating. So, is the problem with what each entity is measuring? Or does there need to be a better bridge between what high school prepares students for and what colleges expect?
U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. John B. King Jr. said in a statement the results may be reflected to what he called "some of the most significant changes in decades" to approaches to classroom standards and assessments. Admitting that "Indeed, the data show us some opportunities where we can make a difference," King pointed to the need for schools to "expand opportunities — particularly for historically underserved students — to take advanced coursework."