The shadow cast by NAEP

Following the October 24th release of “The Nation’s Report Card” by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), it’s no surprise that the rhetoric of education reform is once again on the rise. In reality, the tide of assault on public education had only receded a little in the quiet between “Race To The Top” and COVID. 

Now, on the heels of the pandemic, if you choose to believe it’s actually over, NAEP has provided important data that should be no surprise to anyone but is likely to be used to steer us even further away from the real reforms needed if better educational outcomes are desired.

Take, for example, the words of  U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona when talking to reporters about the NAEP results. “Appalling and unacceptable,” he said. Also, “This is a moment of truth for education,” and “How we respond to this will determine not only our recovery but, our nation’s standing in the world.”

“Our nation’s standing in the world.” My lord, you couldn’t write it more silly and lacking in substance, and this guy is the head edu-honcho for the entire country? Implicating public education in the threat to or erosion of our nation’s standing in the world indicates either ignorance or willful deflection from the stuff that actually does make us look bad to the rest of the world. 

We have been going about education reform all wrong and so-called leaders in education,  are largely to blame. The misguided assault on this human endeavor should end and we should engage in real education reform.

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