In its zeal to portray Kentucky’s public education system in the best possible light, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence has issued a 2012 update to its on-going “Top 20 by 2020” reports.
But, Prichard still doesn’t get this right. Prichard simply ignores advice, readily available in all federal National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) report cards since 2005, that comparison of NAEP scores from state to state should consider differing student demographics and exclusion rates.
Furthermore, I just can cheer about Kentucky’s latest available NAEP proficiency rates, shown here along with the earliest available rate and year.
On average, only around one in three students in Kentucky’s public schools scores proficient on the NAEP. That’s nothing to crow about after more than 22 years of education reform.
Based on some of the data in this graph, I would project it taking an awfully long time before we see the proficiency rates we need. For example, in Grade 8 reading, the oldest to newest data trend shows improvement of less than half a point per year. To get to an 80 percent reading proficiency level will take us nearly another century! Maybe Prichard thinks that’s fine, but I don’t.
In the next post, I’ll show you what happens when you look at the NAEP data the way the people who run this program recommend doing.