A deep dive into student data reveals real improvement and reasons for hope
by PRP Group, on 11/28/2022
The National Assessment of Academic Progress (NAEP) recently released the Nation’s Report Card for the 2021–2022 school year, and the results are concerning. In just one example, this assessment reveals the biggest drop in math scores among students in grades 4 and 8 since the NAEP began.
The NAEP is a national sample with a long history. It has remained constant in terms of scale and difficulty since 1969, so it’s one of the best and most reliable sources for longitudinal data about student performance. It is also the only such test administered to students in all 50 states.
However, because of its design and the fact that it only comes out every other year, the NAEP can tell only part of the story. The most recent NAEP assessments were administered in March, and student progress tends to slow down during the second half of most school years—but in 2022 we found that student work continued to grow very solidly throughout the spring, meaning that students’ performance continued to evolve after NAEP’s snapshot was taken.