January 2008 Upfront

NEWS ANALYSIS: Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3
January is “Testing and Assessment” month at ASBJ, as reflected by the articles starting on Page 30 in the print edition. In that spirit, we decided to forego the traditional news analysis to look at some interesting trends in the testing world.

New studies released
How are the nation’s largest school districts performing on the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ Trial Urban District Assessment? Well, the news is both good and bad.

First, the good: Math scores are up, and low-income and minority students perform comparably to similar students nationwide. The not-so-good news: Reading scores are so-so, with gains slow in coming.

The urban NAEP report, issued in mid-November, looked at fourth- and eighth-grade performance of students from Atlanta; Austin, Texas; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cleveland; Houston; Los Angeles; New York City; San Diego; and Washington, D.C.

“There is still quite a bit of room for improvement,” said Darvin M. Winick, chair of the National Assessment Governing Board, which sets NAEP policy. “But on average, when demographics are considered, student performance … is similar to the performance of their peers nationwide.”

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