Lack of progress on North Carolina students’ test scores is “frustrating,” state superintendent of schools Mark Johnson said this week.

Test scores in North Carolina aren't showing improvement.
North Carolina students’ scores on a national test aren’t showing recent improvement, though they are better than 20 years ago. Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

A nationwide evaluation of educational achievement in fourth- and eighth-graders found that scores for North Carolina students largely remained stable between 2015 and 2017, but went down in some areas. Scores for poor students and minority students also lagged significantly behind other students.
“Teachers in North Carolina are working hard, and our state has made strong investments in early grades,” Johnson said in a Department of Public Instruction press release.
“While it is frustrating for educators and state leaders to see incremental progress instead of general success, we have spearheaded efforts to ensure that all funds invested by our state actually benefit teachers and students. Also, with new leadership at DPI, we have been reevaluating how those funds can best be used to support teachers and to improve students’ outcomes.”
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tracks student test scores in reading and math and state participation and is a requirement for states to receive federal aid.
Scores for fourth- and eighth-grade students in reading and eighth-grade students in math remained unchanged since the 2015 evaluation, according to data DPI released this week.
Continued on North Carolina Public Press

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  1. Reading, Writing and ‘Rithmetic. And some exercise.
    Not social experiments. Not political statements. Not value judgments. Not emotional crusades.
    There are only so many hours in a day. Spend them on the things that are tested. The things that matter. The things that schools are designed for.

  2. Guy . . . schools and their curriculum were designed for a much different world. We need to prepare kids much differently in 2018 than we did in 1918.
    What jobs will our 1st graders be applying for in 2035?
    Of course reading is important. Math too. But problem solving and having an incredibly unique and flexible set of thinking skills will be extremely valuable in an ever-changing global world.
    With that said, in my opinion, the main issue is poverty. Kids from low-income homes, per studies, are behind when they enter school. This gap only increases the longer they stay/live in poverty. Schools and teachers can only do so much to lessen that academic gap.

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