Thursday, May 8, 2014

12th grade NAEP scores: Does the common core deserve the credit?

Sent to the Hartford Courant, May 7, 2014

It is a premature to give the "new academic standards" of the common core credit for Connecticut's good performance on the 12th grade NAEP reading test ("State Students Excel On 'Nation's Report Card'," May 7).

First, the improvement was not uniform: Grade 8 scores increased less than grade 12 scores, and grade 4 scores stayed the same as they were in 2009. The gap between high poverty (eligible for free and reduced lunch) and low poverty students remained nearly the same as it was in 2009.

Second, to show that the common core is the factor, we would have to compare states that are equivalent in all ways except implementation of the common core. This has not been done.

Thus far, no research has shown that tough standards and increased testing increase NAEP scores. Research has shown, however, that low levels of poverty and access to school and public libraries are associated with higher NAEP scores.

Stephen Krashen

Original article:,0,3768766.story?track=rss

More testing does not increase achievement: Nichols, Sharon L., Gene V. Glass, and David C. Berliner. 2006. “High-Stakes Testing and Student Achievement: Does Accountability Pressure Increase Student Learning?” Education Policy Archives 14 (1). <> (accessed October 14, 2013).

Impact of libraries on NAEP scores: McQuillan, J. (1998). The literacy crisis: False claims and real solutions. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Publishing Company.,
Krashen, S., Lee, S.Y. and McQuillan, J. 2012. Is the library important? Multivariate studies at the national and international level. Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 8(1): 26-36.

Lack of access to books in high poverty neighborhoods. Neuman, S., and D. Celano. 2001. Access to print in low-income and middle-income communities. Reading Research Quarterly 36(1): 8-26.

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