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ERIC Number: ED518144
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 19
State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 3: Student Achievement at 8th Grade
Chudowsky, Naomi; Chudowsky, Victor
Center on Education Policy
Over the past few decades, concerns have escalated about the quality of education in the U.S. for students in the middle grades. Children entering adolescence have unique educational, social, and emotional needs. How effectively the nation is educating these students has long been a topic of research and debate. This study by the Center on Education Policy (CEP), an independent nonprofit organization, examines trends in the achievement of grade 8 students on the state reading and mathematics tests used for accountability under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The authors chose to analyze grade 8 data because states tend to have longer test trend lines for grade 8 than for grades 6 and 7, and grade 8 is the middle grade tested for other national and international assessments. They looked at trends from 2002 (or a more recent year in some states) through 2009 for students overall and for the major subgroups tracked for NCLB accountability purposes. If students in the middle grades are doing poorly, as some analysts have charged, one might expect to see stagnant test scores and less progress relative to elementary or high schools. This study found, however, that grade 8 students seem to be doing fairly well as gauged by solid progress on state tests, particularly in math, and by comparisons with grade 4 and the high school grade tested in each state for NCLB. But at the advanced level of achievement, the authors found a problem of widening achievement gaps. Key findings from this study include the following: (1) Grade 8 gains; (2) Comparisons with grades 4 and high school; (3) Widening gaps in advanced achievement; and (4) Asian American performance at the advanced level. (Contains 7 tables and 1 footnote.) [For related reports, see "State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 1: Rising Scores on State Tests and NAEP" (ED513962) and "State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 2: Slow and Uneven Progress in Narrowing Gaps" (ED513914).]
Center on Education Policy. 1001 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 522, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-822-8065; Fax: 202-822-6008; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 4; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Carnegie Corporation of New York; Smith Richardson Foundation; Spencer Foundation; George Gund Foundation; Phi Delta Kappa International
Authoring Institution: Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001