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ERIC Number: ED525095
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Review of "Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?"
Lee, Jaekyung
National Education Policy Center
The research report reviewed here concludes that many initially high-achieving students are falling further and further behind over the course of their years in school. The report intends to raise the alarm and to advocate for improved programs for these students. It is, however, a false alarm due to biased methodology and misleading arguments. The report's norm-referenced framework guarantees "losers" as well as "winners," regardless of any true improvement made by the students. Also, the "regression to the mean" effect produces a false illusion of a tradeoff of over-progress by low achievers at the cost of under-progress for high achievers. Finally, its prescription for stronger school accountability for high-achieving students under NCLB does not follow research-based guidance on how to improve student learning. Other research, including that conducted by this reviewer, finds that students who are high achievers and low achievers make approximately equal academic progress in reading and math, while the achievement gaps remain large. Moreover, a substantial part of the variation in student progress is attributable to teacher and school effects beyond students' initial status and background characteristics. (Contains 1 table, 4 figures and 17 notes.) [This report reviews "Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students" (ED524344).]
National Education Policy Center. School of Education 249 UCB University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309. Tel: 303-735-5290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder, National Education Policy Center
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey