"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

. . .a pupil attitude factor, which appears to have a stronger relationship to achievement than do all the “school” factors together, is the extent to which an individual feels that he has some control over his own destiny. James Coleman, 1966

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

FairTest comments on NAEP

FairTest calls for overhaul--is that a half-way measure?
National Center for Fair & Open Testing

for further information:
Dr. Monty Neill (617) 864-4810
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

for immediate release, Wednesday, October 19,

"The 2005 National Assessment of Educational
Progress (NAEP) reading andmath scores show that
high-stakes, punitive testing does not produce
meaningful improvements in student achievement,
contrary to the promises made by proponents of
No Child Left Behind," said Monty Neill, Ed.D.,
co-director of the National Center for Fair &
Open Testing (FairTest), in response to today's
release of the 2005 NAEP report.NAEP Reading
scores were essentially unchanged from 2002 to
2005 at grade 4 and declined markedly at grade 8.
Math scores did not increase at a significantly
faster rate than in the 1990s, well before most
high-stakes exams for elementary and middle school
were put in place. The NAEP 2003-2005 data covers
the period when the Bush Administrationand Congress
imposed testing with severe sanctions as a requirement
states to receive federal funding.
While reading scores for Blacks and Hispanics
rose in the 1990s at grade four, they have been
flat since 2000. At grade eight, they have been
flat since 1998. The math gains these groups made
in the 1990s have tapered off."The drill and kill
curriculum that accompanies high-stakes,
one-size-fits-all testing programs undermines
rather than improves the quality of education,"
explained Dr. Neill. ""Intensified testing has
especially hurt education for low-income, African
American and Latino students, reinforcing the
hard bigotry of inequality and segregation.
Once again, independent data demonstrate that the
nation cannot test its way to educational quality.
It's time to abandon the failed test-and-punish
quick fix and get on with the hard work of identifying
the real causes of student learning problems,
then addressing them effectively. Congress should
follow the lead of the more than 60national education,
civil rights and religious organizations that have
come together to call for an overhaul of this damaging
federal law."
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The multi-organizational statement calling for an
overhaul of “No ChildLeft Behind” and other assessment
reform materials are available at

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