Urban NAEP Scores Again Show Test-Driven Education Fails to Aid Neediest Students

for immediate release, Thursday, December 1, 2005


Today's release of National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Trial Urban District Assessment results "shows once again that test-driven school 'reform' is failing to improve education for the nation's most needy children," according to Monty Neill, Ed.D., Executive Director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing.

NAEP reported that limited gains in grade four math in urban districts were not matched at grade eight. Reading scores were flat at both grades. There were no changes in score gaps between racial groups. A NAEP long-term study released last summer showed no improvements in grade 12 for any demographic group. State-level NAEP results released in
the fall found no gains in reading and the same modest gains in math as reported today for the urban districts.

"No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was falsely sold as a civil rights bill. The failure to narrow, let alone close, the achievement gap in our nation's major cities provides more evidence that the U.S. cannot test its way to equity," Neill explained. "Because of their historically low scores, urban schools feel the strongest pressure to focus on narrow test preparation rather than on real educational quality."

Dr. Neill concluded, "All three NAEP reports released in the last several months demonstrate that narrowing education to test coaching programs does not work. It is time for Congress to rethink NCLB as called for by 66 national civil rights, education and religious organizations in their 'Joint Organizational Statement.'"