CLEVELAND, Ohio – Ohio and other states won little or nothing in last year's national test that serves as the "Nation's Report Card," which shows no significant improvement in reading or math, even as states continue pushing educational reform efforts like more aggressive teacher evaluations and changing to new standards based on the Common Core.
The Cleveland school district also did not show overall gains, with a large increase in one area offset by large drops in two others.
Overall, Ohio scored in the middle of the national packet or slightly above the average in the four measured areas of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for 2017, with only a few changes since the 2015 test or in the last years.
NAEP tests a sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students every two years from all states, both reading and math, to track how well students do over time.
The "largely flat" results of 2017 published today There have been improvements throughout the country since the 1990s, but since 2015 only the eighth reading scores have increased significantly
. The national math scores were exactly the same for fourth and eighth grades as in 2009, the last test before the states began debating the Common Core, and fell off the peaks in 2013.
In Ohio, the scores for Reading has practically not changed since 2009 and a small increase since 2015, but they are not statistically significant. The math scores were mixed, falling in fourth grade and rising in eighth grade from 2009 and 2015, but not significantly.
The Ohio State School Board adopted its version of Common Core in 2010.
State Superintendent Paolo DeMaria did not respond to Plain Dealer's questions about what the mostly flat Ohio results imply about the new standards of Ohio. Instead, he focused only on Ohio scores compared to other states and promised to continue working to improve.
"The most recent NAEP scores show that Ohio students continue to perform better or the national average in both math and reading." he said. "We can be proud that the percentage of Ohio's fourth and eighth grade students achieving a higher or higher reading proficiency level is greater than the vast majority of the US, only a handful of states perform better. 19659002] In Cleveland the results were uneven, albeit down, with a small fall in one area and big falls in two.
The main bright spot was eighth-grade math, where Cleveland had the third highest increase among the cities. That put the Cleveland scores ahead of Baltimore, Detroit, Fresno and Milwaukee districts and in a tie with Shelby County (Memphis), Tenn.
The district also held on to a considerable increase in fourth grade reading between 2013 and 2015, the previous NAEP test, falling only one statistic-significant level.
But the fourth grade reading scores in mathematics and eighth grade had the worst and third worst in all the cities evaluated.
District Executive Director Eric Gordon said he was happy to keep earnings in the fourth grade. Since 1965, Gordon also noted that the district has put most of its effort in recent years into improving the secondary schools, without paying enough attention to the primary schools measured by NAEP. . That focus is changing now, launching some new styles of elementary school teaching this fall.
"We really have to control the K-8 schools," he said. "We have a lot more work to do and we know that."
At the state and national levels, officials hesitated to draw conclusions about the reform efforts that created little improvement in NAEP.
Peggy Carr, an assistant commissioner for NAEP, said that although NAEP has a "tremendous overlap" with what Common Core expects students to know, studies have shown that they do not completely align.
Others said more details will be available in the coming days and months. The researchers delve into the data just published at midnight.
Chad Aldis of the Fordham Institute, a supporter of the Common Core, said that Ohio has failed to get districts to teach the new standards, particularly by giving them a "safe harbor". of any penalty during the transition.
"While Ohio continues to be ranked in the top half of the states in terms of achievements, the state can not afford to stay stuck in neutral," Aldis continued. "In recent years, Ohio lawmakers have been hesitant about results-based responsibility."
Discussing NAEP scores is difficult, as they do not follow a traditional 0-100 point system or come with attached scores. The scores instead use a scale of 500 points, with states and districts grouped between average scores of around 200 to 300.
In addition, from the National Center for Educational Statistics, an arm of the US Department of Education. UU., Take samples of students in all states, changes of one or two points, even three times, often are not considered statistically significant.
You may also see average scores or how many students qualify as "proficient" or higher, a bar much higher in NAEP than most states, including Ohio, use.
Carr said last week that the NAEP competency standard is aspirational, not one that all students are expected to meet.
Here's a quick look at Ohio's first results:
Fourth grade Mathematics: In Ohio, 41 percent of students scored proficient, one hair above the national average of 40 percent. That puts Ohio in a group of 19 states that are not considered to have a significant difference from the national average.
Eighth Grade Mathematics: Ohio was tied for eighth place nationwide with 40 percent of students scoring, a significant jump ahead of 33 percent national average.
Ohio's average scores were up three points, compared to 2015, but they were two points lower than 2013. The change was not statistically significant.
Reading in third grade: Ohio was tied at 15 th with 39 percent of students rated proficient, ahead of 35 percent nationwide.
Eighth grade reading: Although Ohio has 39 percent of students who qualify as proficient, compared to 35 percent nationally, the difference is statistically different from the national average.
There are some other problems with the national results that will surely be examined.
– Students who normally scored well in the past had st The NAEP changed this year from paper tests to fully tablet tests, a change that generally brings a drop in scores as students struggle with the technology. even when they know the tested material.
Louisiana State Superintendent John White expressed concern over the switch to tablets last month, noting that few students had ever tested on the computer. He was also concerned that while NAEP took steps to ensure that there were no changes in national scores due to the change, it could affect some places more than others.
Reporters nationally questioned Carr about that change, but she insists that the organizers took several statistical precautions to ensure that the results are not "contaminated."
"We can all believe, without a doubt, that we're going to look at the real performance," Carr said.