The NAEP and Concern About Our National Report Card

We give ourselves an overall grade of “It’s Complicated” as Mike and Dan dig into the results of the 2019 NAEP exams, aka our “National Report Card.”

The news isn’t great on the Reading front with 2019 US Reading Scores dropping 1 point on 4th Grade Reading and 3 points on 8th Grade Reading versus 2017 scores. US Mathematics Scores for 2019 were flatter with 4th Grade Mathematics scores up 1 point and 8th Grade Mathematics scores down 1 point versus 2017 scores.

This launches us into a discussion of what inferences we can and cannot make based on these results, and we caution against gravitating to the more provocative and clickbaity angles on the story. We also return to earlier conversations we’ve had about growth versus proficiency and charter schools / school choice to see where they are and are not related to the results of the most recent NAEP exams.


We conclude by shifting the focus to the types of reading interventions that might turn around this short term dip while remembering that the overall trend has been positive since the NAEP was first introduced in the early 1990s.

Hope you enjoy!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments