ERIC Number: ED234352
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Jan-3
Reference Count: 0
How Well Can Students Read and Write? Issuegram 9.
Mullis, Ina V. S.; Mead, Nancy
The most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports suggest that the issue of declining quality in American education may be more complex than media accounts have portrayed it. If one looks at isolated communication skills, it appears that many students understand the fundamentals of reading and writing. The results also indicate that achievement levels have remained relatively stable across time for older students and may be improving for younger students. Although blacks and students in disadvantaged urban areas still tend to perform below national levels, in many instances they have either shown marked improvements or at least narrowed the gap between themselves and the rest of the nation. However, NAEP data suggest that curricula still emphasize instruction in competent skills apart from the "application" of these skills. Many students show difficulty with tasks requiring higher-order skills. Declines in inferential reading comprehension and in many writing tasks requiring critical thinking may reflect dwindling resources for teaching application and analytical skills. The results suggest that increased spending combined with placing instructional priority on the basics may have helped improve these skills, but the emphasis on the basics has not helped students develop higher order skills such as inference, analysis, or evaluation. Instructional priorities should be broadened to include higher level communication skills. Students need more time learning to read and write, and more time reading and writing to learn. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Community
Authoring Institution: Education Commission of the States, Denver, CO.
Identifiers: National Assessment of Educational Progress