You’re about to get mislead with NAEP Reading data
I wrote back in May and earlier about the recent release of the Trial Urban District Assessment results for 2009 from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Jefferson County took part in this for the first time in 2009.
At that time, I cautioned that Jefferson County schools cannot be fairly compared to typical inner city school systems in this country because the student demographics in Jefferson County are not close to similar to real inner city school districts.
I used this graph to help make that point (click on graph to enlarge).
Now, the National Center for Education Statistics has released one-page “Snapshots” of the results from the reading assessment. As soon as I heard about them, I suspected these snapshots would be simplistic summaries that would totally ignore the serious problem of demographics.
I was right. The Snapshots are incomplete and can be misleading.
To learn more, click the “Read more” link below
Sadly, this typical “Snapshot” for grade 8 reading for Jefferson County
(click to enlarge), contains not a clue that Jefferson County’s 56 percent white demographic in the eighth grade is far larger than the inner city white percentage of 22 percent. Because whites strongly outscore other groups on NAEP, when more whites are present, they pull the overall average scores upward.
Note that while racial breakdowns for Jefferson County are presented on the snapshot, they are not provided for the inner city or national average groups. That hides the fact contained in the NAEP Trial Urban District Reading Report Card that while eighth grade whites in Jefferson County scored 34 percent proficient in reading, the average score for eight grade whites in large cities across the country was considerably higher at 42 percent. Even blacks in Jefferson County don’t do much better than blacks in large cities in the country, scoring 13 percent proficient in reading compared to the nationwide big city average for eighth grade blacks of 11 percent.
The bottom line is the NAEP Snapshots are incomplete and can be seriously misleading. Coming from the National Center for Education Statistics, that is a real disappointment.
You can bet that Jefferson County Public Schools will rush to use this misleading data to make all sorts of claims about performance that just won’t be so.
Don’t be misled.