Kentucky has tied with New Jersey for fifth place in the improvement of its students’ performance in the assessments of reading, mathematics and science since 1992, according to a report from Harvard University.
The report, “Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance,” was produced by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance and was presented in Education Next — the program’s journal.
It was designed to determine the extent of the United States’ progress toward closure of the international education gap and offers estimates of gains from 1995 to 2009 for the U.S. and 48 other countries, according to the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE).
Based on results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in fourth- and eighth-grade reading, math and science, Kentucky had an increase of 2.7 percent (as an average of the standard deviation) from 1992 to 2011, which ranked Kentucky fifth among 41 states that participated in NAEP during the same time period.
Bluegrass Institute Education Analyst Richard Innes questioned the validity of the report.
“There are a couple of issues with that report that I see … they are simplistically comparing overall scores from all students in Kentucky to the overall test scores of students in other states,” Innes said. “You cannot do that with the NAEP anymore and get valid results because the demographics of the students in many other states have changed dramatically with the influx of Hispanics from down south, and also an increase in other minorities in the mix.”
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