High school seniors fail to show progress
High school seniors, whose school years have encompassed the sweeping education initiatives of two presidents, failed to demonstrate improvement in math or reading on a national exam.
Only 38 percent of those tested in 2013 scored as proficient readers on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” released yesterday by the Education Department. Three-quarters failed to show math proficiency. The scores were little changed from 2009, when the test was last given.
“Stagnation is unacceptable,” said David Driscoll, chairman of the board that administers the test. “Achievement at this very critical point in a student’s life must be improved to ensure success after high school.”
The seniors were in the first grade when President George W. Bush signed No Child Left Behind into law. The program called for schools to demonstrate yearly progress and to show that all students are proficient on state standardized tests by 2014. Most states have received waivers under President Obama, whose Race to the Top program has pledged $4.35 billion in state grants in four years to boost education standards.
The Nation’s Report Card shows what students know in various subject areas and compares achievement data among states and demographic groups. Tests are also given in science, history and other subjects. Just 12 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in American history, according to a 2011 report.
The results paint a similar picture to that of SAT performance. The high school Class of 2013 showed no improvement from the previous year, and fewer than half of the test takers were prepared for college- level work, according to the owner of the SAT.