Sunday, April 22, 2018

Louisiana Drops in Latest NAEP Report Card

It is disturbing to note the drop in Louisiana's achievement in the recently result NAEP scores: Louisiana finished 50th in eighth grade math and 48th in reading.  We dropped from previous years, if that's even possible.

Will Sentell at The Advocate sums it up:
In the latest snapshot of education achievement, scores for Louisiana public school fourth-graders plunged to or near the bottom of the nation in reading and math. In addition, eighth-graders finished 50th among the states and the District of Columbia in math and 48th in reading.  
The exams, which sparked controversy this time, are called the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. Math, reading and other results make up what organizers call the nation's report card.  
In 2015, fourth-graders finished 43rd in the U. S. in reading and 45th in math.  But both scores dropped five points – to 212 and 229 out of 500 respectively – during tests administered to 2,700 students last year. That means fourth-grade math scores finished 51st while fourth-grade reading scores are 49th. The group that oversees the exams, the National Center for Education Statistics, said both drops are statistically significant. The results were also at odds with other states, where most scores were unchanged from 2015 in both subjects and both grades.
State Superintendent John White blames this drop on the fact that the exams were done online for the first time (which begs the question, why are we doing ACT testing online, then?).

What's the problem?  What are we doing wrong in this state with regard to education?

Actually, it's not just this state.  Pretty much the only state that made gains was Florida.

The Common Core State Standards are alive and well nationwide despite what Betsy DeVoss or anyone else might tell you.

Most states are still using CCSS, they're just calling it something less toxic than "Common Core."

Whatever they are called, it doesn't work.

At the simplest level, Common Core is basically scripted lessons and sterile, canned PowerPoint slides that are geared to teaching the test.  With a scripted lesson there is little or no room for teacher creativity, spontaneity or individualized instruction. It is relentless standardized testing.

Given that Common Core is still with us, despite what your state is calling it, this article at The Hill goes a step further to point out that the CCSS are not only failing our kids but are especially failing at risk kids; if one of the goals of Common Core was to "close the achievement gap" it looks as if we can call that one a bust:

But in fact, the NAEP results show the achievement gap is actually growing. According to John Engler, chairman of NAEP’s governing board, “We are seeing troubling gaps between the highest- and lowest-performing students.” It’s logical to attribute this decline directly in part to Common Core. The standards embrace student-centered “discovery” learning, where the teacher acts as more facilitator than instructor. 
Especially for disadvantaged students, that pedagogy doesn’t work. Project Follow Through, the largest and most extensive government education study in history, proved this by following tens of thousands participant children for years to determine the best means of educating them. The answer was direct instruction — an approach disfavored in Common Core.

For the 2017-18 school year, Louisiana implemented its own version of Common Core and these Guidebooks are hosted on the LearnZillion website.  The results are mixed; it's a work in progress.

It will be interesting to see if this helps our students in the next NAEP examination.

It's clear that Louisiana needs to do something better than what we are doing for our kids; scoring at the bottom of the list, and continuing to fall, is not acceptable.

Further reading:
Education report card shows Common Core still fails US students
Does Common Core hurt minority students the most?
NAEP shows little to no gains...
Teacher made lessons make inroads
Prepared remarks by Betsy DeVoss - January 2018
Nation's Report Card: Something very good is happening in Florida
NAEP and John White's computer testing hypocrisy
How has school reform worked in Louisiana?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Crusty Old TV Tech again.

Well, if you consider the top employers in the Shreveport/Bossier metro area (from Wikipedia, so insert grain of salt comment here)...

According to the City's 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[32] the top employers in the metropolitan area are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Barksdale Air Force Base 10,284
2 Caddo Public Schools 6,815
3 State of Louisiana 6,549

...then it's obviously not from a lack of warm bodies working for the CPSB! I wonder what all those 6815 folks do all day, given the dismal educational results you have posted.