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ERIC Number: ED501477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 48
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Windows on Achievement and Inequality. Policy Information Report
Barton, Paul E.; Coley, Richard J.
Educational Testing Service
Shifting focus from typical data and information about the status of educational achievement in the United States and about gaps in achievement among the nation's students, this report undertakes investigation of less-frequently-asked questions. As required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), educators are continuously monitoring whether more or fewer students are scoring at a level termed "proficient." The authors examine what is happening to both top-performing and lower-performing students and how the distribution of scores is changing in the United States, and make a case for measuring growth throughout the school year, rather than the end. NCLB also requires that states provide information about gaps in student performance among racial/ethnic groups. The report contends that different states have established different definitions of what it means to be proficient, and cautions about comparing numbers across states. The authors discuss changes in the demographic characteristics of the student population over the past several decades, and how these changes have affected national test scores. Acknowledging that the world is increasingly competitive, the authors conclude by presenting a case for an understandable, summative view of where U.S. students rank globally, by summarizing results from international assessments, which vary by participating countries, subjects assessed, and grades and ages covered. The authors advocate that there are many aspects of achievement that require further review and research by parents, educators, policymakers, researchers, and the media. Three appendixes are included: (1) Changes in Four NAEP Reading Measures, Grade 8, 2002 to 2007; (2) Changes in Four NAEP Mathematics Measures, Grade 8, 2000 to 2007; and (3) Regression Analysis Used for Predicting Eighth-Grade NAEP Reading Proficiency. (Contains 29 footnotes, 23 figures and 7 tables.)
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Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Policy Information Center
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001