NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED529532
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Feb
Pages: 36
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning? With Sections on Predicting the Effect of the Common Core State Standards, Achievement Gaps on the Two NAEP Tests, and Misinterpreting International Test Scores. Volume III, Number 1
Loveless, Tom
Brookings Institution
This edition of the Brown Center Report on American Education marks the first issue of volume three--and eleventh issue over all. The first installment was published in 2000, just as the Presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and Al Gore were winding down. Education was an important issue in that campaign. It has not been thus far in the current campaign for the Republican nomination (as of February 2012). And it is unlikely to be a prominent issue in the fall general election. Despite that, the three studies in this Brown Center Report investigate questions that the victor in the 2012 campaign, and the team assembled to lead the U.S. Department of Education, will face in the years ahead. The first section is on the Common Core State Standards, a project that President Obama has backed enthusiastically. Forty-six states and the District of Columbia have signed on to the Common Core; detailed standards have been written in English language arts and mathematics; and assessments are being developed to be ready by the 2014-2015 school year. The first section attempts to predict the effect of the Common Core on student achievement. The second section of the Report investigates achievement gaps on NAEP. The NAEP has two different tests: the Long-Term Trend NAEP, which began in 1969, and the Main NAEP, which began in 1990. The two tests differ in several respects, but they both carry the NAEP label and both are integral components of "The Nation's Report Card." Achievement gaps are the test score differences between groups of students with different socioeconomic (SES) characteristics: for example, racial or ethnic background, family income, or language status. The second section poses the question: Do the two NAEP tests report similar achievement gaps? Researchers and policy makers are well aware that significant test score gaps exist between SES groups. Researchers try to study them, policy makers try to close them. What NAEP has to say about the magnitude of such gaps plays an important role in the policy arena. The analysis presented in section two indicates that the two NAEPs do in fact differ. The third section of the report is on international assessments. Interpretations of international test scores are characterized by three common mistakes. The first occurs when a nation's scores go up or down dramatically and analysts explain the test score change by pointing to a particular policy. The second mistake stems from relying on rankings to gauge a country's academic standing. The third mistake is pointing to a small group of high-performing nations, often called "A+ countries," and recommending, with no additional analysis, that their policies should be adopted. (Contains 10 tables, 1 figure and 53 notes.) [For the previous report, "The 2010 Brown Center Report on American Education: How Well Are American Students Learning? With Sections on International Tests, Who's Winning the Real Race to the Top, and NAEP and the Common Core State Standards. Volume II, Number 5," see ED515886.]
Brookings Institution. 1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-797-6000; Fax: 202-797-6004; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 12; Grade 4; Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Brown Foundation, Inc.
Authoring Institution: Brookings Institution, Brown Center on Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Poland; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Assessment of Educational Progress; Program for International Student Assessment; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study