University of Arkansas Office for Education Policy

NAEP Brief is Out!

In The View from the OEP on March 12, 2012 at 9:12 am

We hope the weekend was refreshing for you and this Monday morning finds you well-rested and refreshed. On Friday afternoon we published a report on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP). The NAEP is an nationally administered assessment given to all 50 states and Washington D.C. that provides an apples-to-apples comparison of student performance at the state level. The NAEP is probably the best measure we have of how Arkansas students are performing relative to the national average.

In this brief we analyzed the most recent NAEP data for Math and LIteracy (2011), and we also compared our recent performance to the long-term trends observed in the state. Additionally, we looked at the reforms that have been implemented over the last twenty years alongside our NAEP scores. The report, which can be found in  its entirety here, highlighted some good news and some bad news for the state.

The good news is that Arkansas’ students are performing at a much higher level than they have in years past. Furthermore, once the data is disaggregated, Arkansas’ low-income students outperformance is higher than the national average for low-performing students.

The bad news is that, despite this increase in performance, and the relative performance of our lower income students, the gap between the wealthy and poor is still quite high. And the relatively poor performance of our African-American students has persisted over time. Furthermore, though Arkansas has grown quite a bit since the early 1990s, most of this growth occurred before 2005 and our scores have since remained fairly stagnant.

We hope you will take a look to examine the important report.

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