2019 NAEP Scores: Achievement Gap or …?


Here you go:

A ‘Disturbing’ Assessment: Sagging Reading Scores, Particularly for Eighth-Graders, Headline 2019’s Disappointing NAEP Results

NAEP 2019: Reading scores drop for US students, with mixed math results

What To Make of the 2019 Results from the ”Nation’s Report Card”

DeVos Bemoans ‘Devastating’ NAEP Scores, Pushes for ‘Education Freedom’

I used GOOGLE and typed in “NAEP 2019 results.” It returned 406,000 hits. After reading a “sample” of the returns it’s obvious that:

  1. Teachers are horrible people?
  2. Public Schools are horrible places?
  3. American children are horrible creatures?
  4. Test result “porn” is a new form of clickbait?

If you picked number 4, Congratulations! Because check out the graphs below.

Since the late 1980s the “achievement gap” has remained steady despite the fact that politicians along with billionaire “reformers” have spent 30 years “fixing” the American Public Education system.

Reality check! Look at the data over time. The only “achievement gap” closing occurred during a short period between the mid 1970s into the mid to late 1980s. After that—stagnation! Why? Well I have written about this in the past and presented to countless groups over the years and my message remains: We are either really good at measuring the gap or others are really good at keeping the gap in place.

Obviously the measuring comment is simply a snarky statement to set up the reality that the “achievement gap” serves a single purpose in keeping in place the failing schools narrative. This horrendous narrative has led to 30 years of education policy built on a simple minded and damaging belief that test based “accountability” is the only remedy for poor academic performance by students of color and students at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder.

When will it end? Seriously! These scores—along with all the other state wide and district administered test scores—will always tell you the same thing. Children at the bottom of the gap are the victims of socio-economic injustice and entrenched racism.

We (America) have spent BILLIONS of dollars in the name of accountability to keep in place a status quo system that only benefits politicians, testing and data companies, and political pundits who desperately want to do away with public education in America.

This is why the test score “porn” is just click bait that only serves to harm more children.

Isn’t it time for the “education press” to stop sensationalizing the “achievement gap?” Isn’t it time that these so called journalists are held “accountable” for perpetuating the failing schools myth and failing to dig into the realities surrounding the “achievement gap?”

Seriously. Look back up at the data. Why did the gap start to close for a short period of time and then open back up and never move for 30+ years?

This is not a story about test scores in 2019. This is the story of dismantling the War on Poverty and declaring a new War on Public Education. This is the story about how an elite movement starting with Reagan era conservatism combined with modern day neoliberalism to excuse the ruling class from any culpability for the socio-economic system that traps our neighbors, friends, family members, and people we don’t even know in perpetual poverty.

We don’t have an “achievement gap.” America has a morality gap!