I just have one question.

If the NAEP scores are the best uniform standardized assessment of learning we can come up with as a nation, why don’t we give the NAEP to everyone?

9 thoughts on “I just have one question.

  1. I clicked through from my feed reader, hoping there would be an answer in the comments, but there is none.

  2. @Dave: LOL.

    @Nicolasa: I mean, multiple measures, right? Hang on to the best local/state assessment procedures, *and* use the NAEP as a baseline for national policy decisions.

    @Tom: Understood prior, so noted and revised.

  3. Expense.

    Actually, I think the NAEP is the way we should do standardized testing. Just test a sample – you never know if it is going to be your school/class so you still have to be prepared. But we don’t have to waste so many days of testing for every student in so many grades.

    Plus, we could save enough money that we could actually create more meaningful standardized tests if we were only testing a random percentage of the population.

  4. Good question. The probable short answer – states’ rights and the 10th amendment.

    I personally am rooting for national standards before a national test.

  5. @Jenny: Yeah, I get this. Lord knows we don’t need another exam crammed down kids’ throats. However, there must be some way to fold the NAEP into state assessments such that it doesn’t represent an undue burden.

    I also don’t think money is going to solve the problem of meaningful standardized assessments. Some would argue that you can’t have a meaningful standardized assessment by definition, for example. As for me, as I state above, I would only hope the NAEP would serve baseline/snapshot data for large policy decisions, one of many sources of input and information.

    @Zach: National standards would be lovely– as long as they, too, are baseline (power standards), growth-model, and allow for additions appropriate to local communities’ needs.

  6. This is by design. If it were given to everyone, people would teach to the test. If that happened, it wouldn’t measure anything except how good your test prep is.

    It’s also designed to be as non-intrusive as possible so that even in the sample, each individual student only takes a small portion of the test.

    Some of this is answered on the NAEP website: http://www.nagb.org/faqs.htm

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