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Education Trust Releases Analysis of 12th Grade NAEP Results

Over a quarter of U.S. high school seniors lack basic reading skills and over forty percent lack basic mathematical skills. Additionally, close to half of seniors scored below the basic level in science. These are findings from The Education Trust's analysis of 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results from 2005, released last Thursday.
Over a quarter of U.S. high school seniors lack basic reading skills and over forty percent lack basic mathematical skills.  Additionally, close to half of seniors scored below the basic level in science.  These are findings from The Education Trust's analysis of 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results from 2005, released last Thursday.  "These low levels of high school achievement would be easier to bear if the trend line was moving upward, as it is for our younger students, sadly, though, this is not the case" said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust in her statement to the press.

The analysis also found that there are large gaps in achievement among students who complete the same courses.  Even though more students are enrolling in challenging courses, course names are often misleading, and the curriculum, rigor, and teacher quality vary dramatically. This is especially true for students from low-income and minority households. Using Illinois teacher quality data, the researchers demonstrated that students who only went through Algebra II, but received instruction from teachers of average quality were more likely to be ready for college than students who went all the way through Calculus in schools with the lowest teacher quality.  Eighty-four percent of high minority schools in Illinois are in the bottom quartile for teacher quality.

The Education Trust remarks that these sobering findings are a stark reminder that there is a significant need for increased support of our nation's high schools.  Students are doing what is being asked of them by taking harder courses and improving their grades.  However, they frequently are not being given a sufficient opportunity to learn in these courses. Low-income and minority students need to have access to high quality, highly effective teachers.  The courses must have standards and assessments which ensure that all students are held to uniformly high standards.

The full analysis is available on The Education Trust website at http://www2.edtrust.org/EdTrust/Press+Room/NAEP+Grade+12.htm

Published Monday, Feb. 26, 2007

Education Trust Releases Analysis of 12th Grade NAEP Results

Over a quarter of U.S. high school seniors lack basic reading skills and over forty percent lack basic mathematical skills.  Additionally, close to half of seniors scored below the basic level in science.  These are findings from The Education Trust's analysis of 12th grade National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results from 2005, released last Thursday.  "These low levels of high school achievement would be easier to bear if the trend line was moving upward, as it is for our younger students, sadly, though, this is not the case" said Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust in her statement to the press.

The analysis also found that there are large gaps in achievement among students who complete the same courses.  Even though more students are enrolling in challenging courses, course names are often misleading, and the curriculum, rigor, and teacher quality vary dramatically. This is especially true for students from low-income and minority households. Using Illinois teacher quality data, the researchers demonstrated that students who only went through Algebra II, but received instruction from teachers of average quality were more likely to be ready for college than students who went all the way through Calculus in schools with the lowest teacher quality.  Eighty-four percent of high minority schools in Illinois are in the bottom quartile for teacher quality.

The Education Trust remarks that these sobering findings are a stark reminder that there is a significant need for increased support of our nation's high schools.  Students are doing what is being asked of them by taking harder courses and improving their grades.  However, they frequently are not being given a sufficient opportunity to learn in these courses. Low-income and minority students need to have access to high quality, highly effective teachers.  The courses must have standards and assessments which ensure that all students are held to uniformly high standards.

The full analysis is available on The Education Trust website at http://www2.edtrust.org/EdTrust/Press+Room/NAEP+Grade+12.htm

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