(Updated April 28, 2016)
New 12th grade results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress for reading and math have just been released, and there isn’t any cheering going on. The cover web page summarizes the results this way:
“In comparison to 2013, the national average mathematics score in 2015 for twelfth-grade students was lower and the average reading score was not significantly different.
In comparison to the first year of the current trendline, 2005, the average mathematics score in 2015 did not significantly differ. In comparison to the initial reading assessment year, 1992, the 2015 average reading score was lower.”
There is a lot to look at here, and you can click the “Read more” link to get started.
We reported earlier on the rather disappointing results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) testing for Grades 4 and 8 last fall.
That included looking at:
- Kentucky’s overall progress on the NAEP over time,
- Does NAEP really show much improvement in achievement gaps in Louisville?,
- Drop in Kentucky’s Grade 8 education performance shown by more than NAEP,
- Ranking Kentucky’s whites on NAEP Math in 2015 and
- First Observations for Kentucky’s 2015 NAEP data.
However, all of those comments only referred to the results for Grades 4 and 8. Now, NAEP Grade 12 results are available, and while these are only available as nationwide average scores (there is no breakout for Kentucky), there still is some interesting material to consider.
First of all, nationwide, the NAEP reports that in reading and in math, only 37 percent of the nation’s 12th grade students scored at a level that currently is considered to be representative of readiness for college.
This is in line with numbers we have been getting from actual college readiness tests like the ACT. “The ACT Profile Report – State, Graduating Class 2015, Kentucky” from ACT, Inc., reported that among Kentucky’s 2015 high school graduates, public and private school combined, only 39 percent had adequate reading skills for college work (By the way, it looks like ACT pulled this report from the web so I had to use the online Wayback Machine to get you a link). Of course, some 12th graders the NAEP tested probably didn’t graduate, and the national student demographics vary sharply from those in Kentucky, so these numbers are not exactly comparable.
However, these numbers are WAY BELOW the percentages the Kentucky Department of Education reported as college and/or career ready (CCR). For example, the Kentucky School Report Card for 2014-15 says that 66.9 percent of our graduates were ready for college and/or careers. That figure now seems way out of line from what both the NAEP and the ACT show.
So, while we don’t have Kentucky 12th grade NAEP results, the overall national findings certainly don’t refute our concerns that Kentucky’s CCR rates are over-stated.
I’ll take a look at more 12th grade NAEP scoring information in a future blog.
UPDATE APRIL 28, 2016:
I just learned that the ACT recently redesigned their web site and they are having a lot of problems transferring their many annual reports for the nation and the states to the new site.
ACT, Inc. informs me that this is a web startup issue and ACT is not planning to delete access to this important historical education data. For now, you can access the reports here.