INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice President and CEO Robert Enlow issued the following statement on today’s release of 2017 NAEP scores, often referred to as “the nation’s report card.”
“Testing, testing, testing. That’s what grabs headlines in the K-12 space, and I think we can all agree that today’s NAEP results are disappointing, especially for lower-performing students in schools that continue to receive more resources but have not yielded much in the way of real results. Despite decades of increased funding, these students are far too often left behind in the traditional system, and we need to make sure they have more opportunity to succeed—and that those opportunities are available from the outset of their academic lives.
“That being said, when you drill down, there is some good news in today’s NAEP release. States like Florida and Indiana, which have robust school choice programs in place, are making small gains. We can’t definitively say why they’re making those gains, but these are states with robust public, private and charter school choice, and students there are improving their skills.
“One thing we do know from our research is that parents are less interested in these data than policymakers, researchers and think tank wonks. They want to know their kids are safe and surrounded by quality teachers in an environment that reflects their values at home. Testing is part of how families choose, but it should be used as a benchmarking tool, not to whip educators and schools with results that reflect a snapshot in time.”