Reporting raw NAEP scores obscures a deeper narrative. New research finds a way to account for differences in student demographics among the states.
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States are increasingly at the center of education policymaking in the United States. This report provides a systematic framework for assessing how much student achievement varies across observationally similar states and the extent to which changes in state performance on the NAEP are accounted for by changes in the demographics of the state. I find that similar students vary significantly in their test
Data show students without internet or computer access are already behind academically.
Student performance in the nation’s capital has risen so dramatically that many are asking whether improvement in school quality is actually behind the higher scores.
Students' receipt of free- and reduced-price lunch is a weak indicator of student poverty.
High school achievement results have stagnated, even as elementary and middle school achievement has risen significantly since the 1990s. Student-level data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) strongly suggest that stagnant high school achievement is a real phenomenon. This result is consistent across different versions of NAEP and does not appear to result from changes in who is taking
Many US education reform efforts focus on student performance in large, urban school districts. The National Assessment of Educational Progress’s Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) program provides data on student achievement in these districts, but differences in student characteristics complicate comparisons of district performance. I use student-level data to adjust TUDA scores for a rich set of
Urban school districts regularly find themselves at the center of education reform efforts because of large gaps in academic performance between students based on income, race, and ethnicity. Since 2002, the National Center for Education Statistics has tracked the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores of select urban school districts through the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA). But
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act has compelled states to design school accountability systems based on annual student assessments. The effect of this Federal legislation on the distribution of student achievement is a highly controversial but centrally important question. This study presents evidence on whether NCLB has influenced student achievement based on an analysis of state-level panel data on student
School-level achievement results drive high-stakes decisions but are often a reflection of the students a school serves, rather than the quality of the school itself. In this report, we assess whether publicly available data on school test scores and student characteristics can be used to generate high-quality measures of schools’ effects on student achievement. We find that adjusting for student demographics
Public schools in DC have gained ground on national tests over the past 15 years, but much of that gain is due to the changing demographic composition of DC’s student body. Parents’ income and education are primary determinants of student performance, and as the income and education of DC residents has improved, so have incoming students’ scores. Comparing NAEP scores over time without accounting for incoming class scores is mere
Investments in education that unlock the potential of children of color and low-income children growing up in the Great Lakes states will increase workforce capacity and boost economic prosperity. This brief recommends evidence-based strategies that state and local leaders can pursue to close achievement gaps in K–12 education and enhance opportunities for children of color and low-income children, by focusing
To help analysts craft next year’s state budgets, and to help reporters explain them and the public understand them, we compiled the Urban Institute’s and the Tax Policy Center’s best state-focused research in one place. The research in this compendium will help analysts better evaluate agency requests, make recommendations, and respond to questions from their governors and legislatures.
This report describes the results of the model refining phase of the Robust and Equitable Measures to Inspire Quality Schools (REMIQS) project. The project seeks to inspire high schools to generate positive long-term outcomes for historically underserved students. In this phase, we develop a multistate model to identify the best-performing schools in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Virginia. We find that a
Matthew M. Chingos directs the Center on Education Data and Policy at the Urban Institute. He leads a team of scholars who undertake policy-relevant research on issues from prekindergarten through postsecondary education and create tools such as Urban’s Education Data Portal. Chingos is coauthor of Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt and Crossing the Finish Line: Completing College at America’s Public Universities. He has
Focusing on "where we've been, where we are, and where we're going," the authors examine minority women's and White women's progress in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) over the past decade. Starting from an exploration of participation and achievement data, the authors move on to cover the theories behind SMET gender differences, including those based on testing, biology, social-
In this project, researchers developed and piloted key components of a multi-year evaluation to assess the impact of standards-based reform at the local level on both schools and students. After summarizing the literature on evaluation of systemic standards-based reform, staff developed a conceptual framework and methodologies for a national evaluation of standards-based reform at the state and district levels.
In this testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP), Megan Gallagher states that evidence is limited on the benefits of OSP on student achievement and that while the D.C. school system continues to improve and offer expanded school choices, it isn’t clear that OSP has benefitted the D.C. school system
States' ability to plan and implement programs that serve children and families depends in part on reliable data, yet gathering these data is an expensive proposition. This brief reviews efforts by the federal government to provide state- and local-level data on children, outlines possible future directions for data gathering activities, and identifies factors that may limit or reverse progress in data
The report provides a one-stop resource for anyone needing access to state- and local-level estimates of child and youth well-being. Areas covered include health, education, economics and demographics, crime and juvenile justice, and child welfare. Information provided for each source includes an overview of the source content as well as how to access the related publications, surveys, and databases containing
The 13th annual Fact Book is a comprehensive data source for indicators of child well-being in the District of Columbia. Over 50 data indicators are tracked over time. The Fact Book is organized this year to reflect the six citywide goals for children and youth in the District of Columbia. The six citywide goals are: children are ready for school; children and youth succeed in school; children and youth are
Recent policy reports claim the United States is falling behind other nations in science and math education and graduating insufficient numbers of scientists and engineers. Review of the evidence and analysis of actual graduation rates and workforce needs does not find support for these claims. U.S. student performance rankings are comparable to other leading nations and colleges graduate far more scientists and
Every year, the Urban Institute produces hundreds of reports, briefs, webcasts, and blog posts. In this publication, Urban’s State and Local Finance Initiative brings together the latest evidence-based research, data, and solutions with direct relevance for analysts crafting and deliberating over state budgets. Topics include: Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, criminal justice and corrections, education,
This paper analyzes the challenges and opportunities posed by today's education reform debate for the early education and language learning of immigrant, limited English proficient, and English language learner students 3 to 8 years old. Because of the close connections between the preschool and early elementary years, the paper addresses children who attend early childhood and kindergarten-through-3rd-grade
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