Education news. In context.
Are Children Learning
Future of Schools
Future of Teaching
Future of Work
In the Classroom
Movers and Shakers
Sorting the Students
The Other 60 Percent
Who Is in Charge
Find a Job
Republish Our Stories
Code of Ethics
Our news partners
Work with Us
April 27, 2018
Parents in one Aurora high school are visiting classes and giving teachers feedback
The goal is to involve parents in helping close the school's largest achievement gap.
year in review
December 21, 2017
How Colorado schools tried to close academic gaps in 2017
Denver Public Schools, which has among the biggest gaps in Colorado, made several changes.
December 15, 2017
I’m a black male teen in Aurora, and I see how the ‘achievement gap’ forms
A senior at Aurora's Rangeview High School describes how many teachers have stereotyped him about drugs, hip-hop and more — influencing how he thinks about school.
October 12, 2017
Why it’s difficult to understand how well Colorado’s English learners are performing compared to their peers
Identification and suppression rules make it difficult to gauge how Colorado English learners are performing compared to their peers.
October 5, 2017
Why this large Colorado school district isn’t focused on its achievement gaps
Aurora Superintendent Rico Munn said his concern isn’t about closing gaps, but improving outcomes for all students.
August 25, 2017
Here’s a closer look at how students performed on Colorado’s 2017 tests — in nine graphics
The gaps are real, and they aren't getting any smaller.
September 21, 2016
Denver students of color not making as much progress on state tests as white peers
“Already we are asking ourselves lots of very hard questions," DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg said.
November 11, 2013
In Shelby County Schools, pride about NAEP results, concerns about gaps
Students at Ford Road Elementary School, in Shelby County Schools' Innovation Zone, walk down the hallway on Thursday. The school's test scores have gone up dramatically since it entered the I-Zone. Last Thursday, as state politicians and educators celebrated the state's performance on the NAEP, or National Assessment of Educational Progress, 6th graders at Colonial Middle School, an arts-focused school, were discussing data day, a regular part of the school's cycle during which students in the middle school graph and track their performance in all of their classes. "We can keep up with our grades," said Ariel Amos, one of the students. "The graphs help." Each student has a folder with a chart for each course; high scores were colored in with green colored pencil, while lower scores were colored in with yellow or red. That focus on data and accountability was one of the policy emphases state officials cited to explain Tennessee students' growth on on the 4th and 8th grade math and reading tests: Scores went up more than in any other state in the country this year. While NAEP scores aren't broken down by school or by district, educators in Shelby County schools said they'd seen improvements in many local schools that lined up with the increase in NAEP results. "NAEP is a good measuring stick to compare Tennessee to other states," said Antonio Burt, the principal at Ford Road Elementary School. "Tennessee has put emphasis on Common Core and teacher work. By Tennessee starting early and being proactive, now you're seeing dividends."
November 7, 2013
Tennessee students lead the nation in growth on NAEP
Tennessee students made some of the largest gains in the country in this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the so-called "nation's report card." Tennessee is "one of the few bright spots" in the NAEP data this year, said Erik Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. Most states' scores increased by just one point in 4th and 8th grade math and 4th grade reading and by three points on 8th grade reading between 2011 and 2013. But scores for both 4th and 8th grade students in Tennessee jumped between 4 and 7 points in each of the tested subjects. “It's hard to move the needle on all four grades and subjects unless you're really doing something,” said Jack Buckley, the commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers NAEP. In Tennessee, as elected officials planned press conferences today celebrating the increased scores that were released this morning, educators debated what, exactly, may have caused the growth. Both the District of Columbia and Tennessee schools have been home to dramatic reforms in teacher compensation and evaluation in recent years, and were among the early adopters of policies that tie teacher pay and evaluations to student test scores. But similar policies are in place around the country now. National Assessment A national representative sample of 342,000 8th graders and 377,000 4th graders took the reading and math tests early this year. More data from the 2013 tests, including national scores for 12th graders in reading and math, will be released in the coming months. Individual schools' and students' scores on NAEP are not publicized. While each state has its own standardized test, each of which has changed over time, the NAEP remains relatively constant and is designed to allow for comparisons to be made between states and over time. State and education leaders use the data to compare where states fall academically and how different groups of students fare within their states. The data are also frequently used to make claims about national education progress compared to other countries, with some experts saying, for instance, that low NAEP scores are a threat to national security. On the 2013 test, Tennessee students made the largest gains in the country in 4th and 8th grade reading. Tennessee 4th and 8th graders' math test score gains outpaced every state except for the District of Columbia. Tennessee, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools were the only jurisdictions that saw increases in both tested subjects in both tested grades. (See chart below for more detail.) Tennessee leads the nation in growth, but big disparities remain | Infographics Referendum on Reforms?
In your inbox.
How I Teach