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State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 2: Is There a Plateau Effect in Test Scores?

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky and Victor Chudowsky
Published: July 21, 2009

Many in the research and policy worlds have taken for granted the existence of a phenomenon known as the "plateau effect," wherein test scores rise in the early years of a test-based accountability system and then level off. Drawing from our database of reading and math test results from all 50 states going back as far as 1999, we looked for evidence of a plateau effect in 55 trend lines from 16 states with six to ten years of consistent test data. This report outlines those findings.

View 2007-08 State Profiles and Worksheets 

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Full Report (PDF format, 205 KB)

Media Advisory (PDF format, 24.5 KB)