Despite Gains On Tests, D.C. Students Have Furthest To Go | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Despite Gains On Tests, D.C. Students Have Furthest To Go

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as The Nation's Report Card, finds that D.C. students show more growth than any state — but they also have the furthest to go.

The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls the improvement in NAEP scores for 4th and 8th graders across the country modest. But D.C.'s five- to seven-point increases on math and reading — on a 500-point test — are a remarkable story.

"Given all the doubters, all the naysayers, all the people who said it wouldn't be done or couldn't be done or that progress would stop, this is irrefutable evidence quite to the contrary, the pace of change is speeding up, its accelerating here in D.C.," he said on Thursday.

But while the District is ahead of states in terms of growth, it's only fair to point out that D.C. ranks worst in the nation in terms of overall scores. Just 23 and 28 percent of 4th graders are what's called proficient or above in reading and math. At the 8th grade level it's worse — not even 20 percent of students are proficient or higher in either subject.

Jack Buckley, a commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, says there's also a substantial black-white gap. "White students on average in 8th grade outperform black students by 54 points, in math its 56 points. D.C. gaps are close to double what we see in the nation on average," he explains.

But Buckley says D.C. is on the right trajectory — he says you can't get from the bottom to the middle overnight, and that doing so will take time.

NPR

Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical

In writing her new book On Immunity, Eula Biss found that questions about vaccination touch on attitudes about environmentalism, citizenship and trust in the government.
NPR

European Activists Say They Don't Want Any U.S. 'Chlorine Chicken'

Most U.S. poultry is bathed in a little chlorine on the way to your plate. But that treatment is banned in Europe. Now "chlorinated chickens" are a sticking point in a trans-Atlantic trade deal.
NPR

GOP Candidate In Michigan's U.S. Senate Race Avoids Media

Michigan has an open seat because Democrat Carl Levin is retiring. GOP candidate Terri Lynn Land is running a low-key campaign. Democratic Rep. Gary Peters leads in polls, but the race is close.
NPR

Kids And Screen Time: Cutting Through The Static

One Los Angeles school is working technology into the learning process, while avoiding the traditional screen-time pitfalls.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.