There are disturbing indications that there could be some interesting problems brewing for the validity of scores from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), especially for state level results.
According to a Chalkbeat article, Louisiana Superintendent John White, as is usual with state education leaders, has already gotten an advanced look at the results.
So, a letter he recently wrote about possible issues with NAEP going to digital testing in 2017 takes on added urgency as more than speculation. The fact that the Council of Chief State School Officers also seems to have some concerns is even more interesting.
So, April 10, the scheduled public release day for 2017 NAEP math and reading results, is also going to be very interesting.
However, the days that follow when independent experts start to weigh in on the NAEP could be much more so.
Certainly, the possibility White raises that NAEP might have performed differently for different states could be a real concern. Could the comparability of NAEP data between states and across years have been compromised?
Before the dust settles, there might be a NAEP story here similar to the one I contributed to in 1999 when Kentucky posted a big jump in NAEP Grade 4 Reading scores only to later have that questioned due to an even more impressive increase in the exclusion of students with learning disabilities that all the NAEP folks missed completely.
In any event, based on the fact that White seems to be already informed by insider information, I plan to be careful about jumping on the NAEP results right away on April 10.