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John B. King Asks for Patience Following Discouraging NAEP Results

John B. King Asks for Patience Following Discouraging NAEP Results

Even though the nation continues to see the highest high school graduation rates year after year, the latest results from the National Assessment for Educational Progress revealed that students aren’t performing any better in math or reading, and are in fact falling behind.

Education Secretary John B. King released a statement on the results asking for patience as changes continue to be made in American education; the past few years have seen the introduction of both the Common Core and more recently the passing of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

"We know the results of those changes will not be seen overnight, so we need to be patient - but not passive - in continuing to pursue the goal of preparing all students for success after high school,” King said.

He reemphasized his dedication to ensuring that all students receive equal opportunity to succeed.

"Indeed, the data show us some opportunities where we can make a difference. For example, 12th-graders who took math classes their senior year did significantly better on NAEP than those who did not, which indicates how important it is that schools continue to expand opportunities – particularly for historically underserved students – to take advanced coursework. It’s important to continue to help all students meet and exceed these high standards - especially those learners who are the furthest behind.”

Indeed, many say the results indicate a need for a reevaluation of the meaning of a high school diploma. If more and more students are getting a high school diploma but aren’t ready for the next step, what is the value?

“This just shows that high-schools are too often treating graduation as the end-goal for low-income kids and kids of color, rather than ensuring that they have in place learning opportunities that will truly prepare them for college and the workplace,” said Daria Hall, interim vice president for government affairs and communications at the Education Trust in Washington to the Christian Science Monitor.

When it comes to closing the achievement gap, many people are running out of patience.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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