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ERIC Number: ED518986
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 26
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 20
Closing the Achievement Gap for Economically Disadvantaged Students? Analyzing Change since No Child Left Behind Using State Assessments and the National Assessment of Educational Progress
Blank, Rolf K.
Council of Chief State School Officers
A critical state-level indicator of progress in public education is student achievement annual performance and change over time. The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) has been very active in tracking and reporting on student achievement results and using state assessment scores and other data to analyze achievement trends. A central goal of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act was to close the gap in student achievement between students from different social and economic backgrounds. A principal objective of the federal funding mandated under NCLB, the design for program initiatives, and the accountability provisions of the federal law was to reduce the extent of disparity in performance of students from different demographic groups within schools as well as differences in the demonstrated performance of schools, districts, and states. The present report uses two different measures of student achievement--state student assessments and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)--to determine the degree to which achievement gaps have been reduced in the period of implementation of NCLB in states. Three key questions are addressed by this analysis: (1) Has student achievement on state-administered annual assessments in math and language arts improved significantly since NCLB implementation and particularly for students from economically disadvantaged families?; (2) Has the achievement gap for economically disadvantaged students closed since NCLB implementation?; and (3) Are state trends in student achievement on state assessments confirmed by achievement trends on the NAEP math and reading assessments? State education agencies have responsibility under state and federal laws for reporting on the educational progress of schools, and the annual "school report card" is a common method by which states or school districts organize and report selected comparable school statistics on the status and progress of education. Currently, education indicators are centered around measures of education outcomes and particularly student achievement on standardized assessments. With increasing use of integrated data systems by states and districts, student achievement growth can be tracked for multiple years and many states are now using growth models for school accountability. The analyses of achievement trends presented in this paper use achievement scores aggregated at the state level to analyze grade cohort change over time for specific target student groups. An appendix presents tables showing trends for NAEP Proficient level in reading and math. (Contains 8 tables and 4 figures.)
Council of Chief State School Officers. One Massachusetts Avenue NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-336-7016; Fax: 202-408-8072; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Council of Chief State School Officers
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress