Today, the National Assessment of Education Progress, or NAEP, scores were released. What some call “the nation’s report card” often starts a debate about what NAEP results tell us about how the country’s schools and districts are performing. Like most metrics about schools, education consumers want to dive in, know more, compare themselves to others, and see if the data reflects their own observations.
At NWEA, we have a long history with education data and interpreting results in context. While we’ve come to anticipate NAEP results as an indicator of student academic achievement, we shouldn’t base our perceptions of education in America, or in individual states or cities, so heavily on this one data point. The concerns I hear from education leaders center on making sure we use multiple measures of student learning to inform our opinions on how our schools, districts, and states are doing.
NWEA has been a strong advocate on the importance of student growth data as a better representation of education progress in the country. To support this, we’ve developed and maintain one of the largest repositories of student growth data in the nation. NWEA researchers and researchers throughout America use the data to evaluate education approaches. Teachers, parents, schools, and districts need and deserve a range of data to truly understand if their students are learning and to make better informed decisions.
To learn more about our growth database, or the other work of the NWEA Research team, check out some recent blogs about NWEA research:
NWEA research gets local and national attention
NWEA researchers share prize for social-emotional learning measurement
Meet 3 NWEA research scientists testing new tools in the field