The NAEP proficiency myth

Excellent essay about the manipulation and misappropriation of education assessments to “prove” the public schools are FAILING.
 
“On May 16, 2016 I got into a Twitter argument with Campbell Brown of The 74, an education website. She released a video on Slate giving advice to the next president. The video begins: “Without question, to me, the issue is education. Two out of three eighth graders in this country cannot read or do math at grade level.” I study student achievement and was curious. I know of no valid evidence to make the claim that two out of three eighth graders are below grade level in reading and math. No evidence was cited in the video. I asked Brown for the evidentiary basis of the assertion. She cited the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
 
NAEP does not report the percentage of students performing at grade level. NAEP reports the percentage of students reaching a “proficient” level of performance. Here’s the problem. That’s not grade level.
 
In this post, I hope to convince readers of two things:
 
1. Proficient on NAEP does not mean grade level performance. It’s significantly above that.
2. Using NAEP’s proficient level as a basis for education policy is a bad idea.
 
Before going any further, let’s look at some history…”
 

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