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State Testing Data and Student Achievement » Reports on Trends in State Tests

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State Test Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 5: Progress Lags in High School, Especially for Advanced Achievers

Author(s): Jennifer McMurrer and Nancy Kober
Published: October 5, 2011

This report examines testing data from 40 states and the District of Columbia from 2002 through 2009 and finds that while high school scores on state English language arts and math tests rose in most states, smaller proportions of states made gains in high school compared with 4th and 8th grades. State testing data also show a lack of progress and widening gaps between various groups of high school students at the advanced level in many states.

A supplemental appendix with listings of where states fall within the various analyses for this study is available as well as one-page profiles of state-specific performance trends at the advanced achievement levels for nine states. 

View Annual Report

State Test Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 4: Is Achievement Improving and Are Gaps Narrowing for Title I Students?

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Jennifer McMurrer, Malini R. Silva
Published: August 9, 2011

This report compares achievement trends since 2002 (or a more recent year in some states) on state reading and math tests for Title I students and students not participating in Title I. The largest of the federal aid programs for K-12 schools, Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 supports extra instructional services for low-performing students in low-income schools and for all students in the highest-poverty schools. Generally, achievement on state reading and math tests has improved in recent years for students participating in the Title I program in most of the 19 states with comparable data. Further, gaps between Title I participants and non-participants have also narrowed more often than they have widened since 2002, although trends were more positive at grades 8 and high school than at grade 4.

A one-page profile of state-specific performance trends for Title I and non-Title I students is available for each of the 19 states included in the study.

View 2008-2009 State Profiles

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State Test Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 3: Student Achievement at 8th Grade

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky
Published: April 5, 2011

This report, which provides a detailed look at student performance on 8th grade state reading and math tests, tracks testing data by student race, ethnicity, income, and gender from as early as 2002 through 2009. State test results are analyzed when three or more years of comparable data are available, and student performance at the basic, proficient, and advanced achievement levels are included in the analysis. The main finding is that, contrary to popular wisdom, there have generally been upward trends in state reading and math test scores at 8th grade. The progress is more noteworthy in math, where every state with sufficient data made gains in the percentage of 8th grade students reaching the advanced level and all but one of these states showed gains at the proficient level. In most of the states, however, gaps have widened between lower- and higher-achieving subgroups of 8th graders at the advanced level in math.

Also available are 50 state profiles with detailed student achievement data and tables showing the performance of various student groups on state tests.

View 2008-09 State Profiles

View Report

Can Boys Succeed in Later Life If They Can’t Read As Well As Girls?

Author(s): Jack Jennings
Published: March 17, 2011

In his March, 2011 blog post for The Huffington Post, CEP president and CEO Jack Jennings asks the question, “Can Boys Succeed Later in Life if They Can’t Read as Well as Girls?” Jennings notes troubling statistics that illustrate lower performance of boys compared to girls, including performance on state reading tests, and graduation rates from both high school and college. He says that the good news is that the recent national focus on improvement in math achievement for women has paid off, but that the bad news is that men are falling behind in the workforce, most likely because of their educational deficiencies.

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State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 2: Slow and Uneven Progress in Narrowing Gaps

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky
Published: December 14, 2010

This report provides a detailed look at student performance on state tests and examines whether state-level results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) confirm the trends found on state tests. The report tracks data for all states and the District of Columbia in math and reading for grades 4, 8, and high school by student race, ethnicity, income, and gender from as early as 2002 through 2009, where three or more years of comparable data are available.  Also available are 50 state profiles with detailed student achievement data and tables showing the performance of various student groups on 2009 state tests.  Finally, also posted here are short video clips of CEP’s President and CEO Jack Jennings explaining the main findings of this study.

The Appendix Tables provides state-by-state tables showing the 2009 percentages proficient, mean test scores, and achievement gaps in reading and math for all major subgroups in the states with sufficient data.

View 2008-09 State Profiles

View the comments by CEP President Jack Jennings, as he shares his viewpoints on the report and what it means for education reform here. Preview:

Jennings, Achievement Gap 1 from Spotlight on Vimeo.

View all CEP videos about State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 2: Slow and Uneven Progress in Narrowing Gaps.

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State Test Score Trends Through 2008-09, Part 1: Rising Scores on State Tests and NAEP

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky and Victor Chudowsky
Published: September 15, 2010

This report compares state math and reading proficiency scores in grades 4 and 8 to National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) basic scores for the period of 2005 to 2009. The study found that scores on state tests and NAEP have increased in most states with sufficient data. Also included with the report are profiles for the 23 states that are included in the research because they did not have breaks in their testing data for the years studied.

View 2008-09 State Profiles

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A Call to Action to Raise Achievement for African American Students

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, and Shelby Dietz
Published: June 30, 2010

These three reports, "A Call to Action to Raise Achievement for African American Students", "Improving Achievement for the Growing Latino Population Is Critical to the Nation’s Future", and "Policy Implications of Trends for Asian American Students" examine the performance of these students on state reading and math tests used for accountability under NCLB. The reports examine trends since 2002 in the percentages of students in each of the ethnic/racial group studied that reached the proficient level on state tests, the achievement gaps between each of the three subgroups and white students, and the performance of these students on 2008 state tests. The reports also explore possible policy implications for the achievement trends.

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Improving Achievement for the Growing Latino Population Is Critical to the Nation’s Future

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, and Shelby Dietz
Published: June 30, 2010

These three reports, "A Call to Action to Raise Achievement for African American Students", "Improving Achievement for the Growing Latino Population Is Critical to the Nation’s Future", and "Policy Implications of Trends for Asian American Students", examine the performance of these students on state reading and math tests used for accountability under NCLB. The reports examine trends since 2002 in the percentages of students in each of the ethnic/racial group studied that reached the proficient level on state tests, the achievement gaps between each of the three subgroups and white students, and the performance of these students on 2008 state tests. The reports also explore possible policy implications for the achievement trends. 

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Policy Implications of Trends for Asian American Students

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, and Shelby Dietz
Published: June 30, 2010

These three reports, "A Call to Action to Raise Achievement for African American Students", "Improving Achievement for the Growing Latino Population Is Critical to the Nation’s Future", and "Policy Implications of Trends for Asian American Students", examine the performance of these students on state reading and math tests used for accountability under NCLB. The reports examine trends since 2002 in the percentages of students in each of the ethnic/racial group studied that reached the proficient level on state tests, the achievement gaps between each of the three subgroups and white students, and the performance of these students on 2008 state tests. The reports also explore possible policy implications for the achievement trends. 

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State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 6: Has Progress Been Made in Raising Achievement for English Language Learners?

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky and Victor Chudowsky
Published: April 7, 2010

This report examines the performance of English language learners on state reading and math tests, and discusses the issues surrounding the classification and testing of these students.

View 2007-08 State Profiles and Worksheets 

View Report

State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 5: Are There Differences in Achievement Between Boys and Girls?

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky and Victor Chudowsky
Published: March 17, 2010

Using data from state reading and mathematics tests, this report takes an in-depth look at the performance of male and female students. The study includes a national snapshot of 2008 achievement differences in both subjects at grades 4, 8, and in high school. 

View 2007-08 State Profiles and Worksheets 

View Report

State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 4: Has Progress Been Made in Raising Achievement for Students with Disabilities?

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, and Nancy Kober
Published: November 16, 2009

Using data from state reading and mathematics tests, this report takes an in-depth look at the performance of students with disabilities and highlights the problems with the testing data for these students.

(Updated April 6, 2010)

View 2007-08 State Profiles and Worksheets 

View Report

State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 3: Are Achievement Gaps Closing and Is Achievement Rising for All?

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, and Nancy Kober
Published: October 1, 2009

This report examines testing data from all 50 states to determine if achievement gaps between subgroups of students are narrowing. The report also looks at the achievement trends of subgroups of students at the elementary school level.

View 2007-08 State Profiles and Worksheets 

View Report

CEP on Pennsylvania Test Results

Author(s): CEP
Published: August 19, 2009

On August 19, 2009, Jack Jennings, President of CEP, participated in an event at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to discuss the gains made in the state’s test scores since 2002. The press release appears below with links to the first 2009 CEP state test scores report, and the Pennsylvania profile used for that report.

View "State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08: Part 1 of Report

View Report

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 

View Report

State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 1: Is the Emphasis on Proficiency Shortchanging Higher- and Lower-Achieving Students

Author(s): Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky, and Nancy Kober
Published: June 17, 2009

This report is the first in a series of reports describing results from CEP's third annual analysis of state testing data. The report provides an update on student performance at the proficient level of achievement, and for the first time, includes data about student performance at the advanced and basic levels. Also included are profiles for each state, which show trends in reading and math for basic, proficient, and advanced levels in elementary, middle, and high school. The study provides an in-depth look at the full range of student performance in order to better understand whether the No Child Left Behind Act's focus on proficiency has caused teachers to shortchange students at either end of the academic spectrum. **updated July 15, 2009

(Errata outlining the specific changes from the June 17th version of the report are available upon request. Please call or e-mail us at 202-822-8065 or cep-dc@cep-dc.org.)

View 2007-08 State Profiles and Worksheets

View Report

Has Student Achievement Increased Since 2002? State Test Score Trends Through 2006–07

Author(s): Nancy Kober, Naomi Chudowsky, Victor Chudowsky
Published: June 24, 2008

Using testing data from all 50 states, this study addresses two key questions: has student achievement increased and have achievement gaps narrowed since the No Child Left Behind Act was enacted in 2002. A comparison is also made between state test results and results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

View 2006-7 State Profiles and Worksheets

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Behind the Numbers: Interviews in 22 States about Achievement Data and the No Child Left Behind Act Policies

Author(s): Lisa E. Kroger, Hilary L. Campbell, Arthur A. Thacker, D.E. "Sunny" Becker, and Lauress L. Wise
Published: October 15, 2007

This report describes findings from a series of interviews with education leaders in 22 states. These interviews were conducted with the intent of providing a context for better understanding the achievement trends identified in CEP's June 2007 report, Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind? Several key findings that emerged from the interviews: (1) there is limited research-based evidence that corroborates or explains achievement trends or monitors instructional impact; (2) many states have made changes in their testing systems since NCLB took effect in 2002, often in ways that have caused "breaks" in the compatibility of test data and made it invalid to track trends over several years; (3) many states are actively pursuing additional changes in their assessment systems that will continue to affect the comparability of test data in the future, and many states indicated that they intend to increase the amount of test data available to the public; and (4) almost half of the states interviewed emphasized the need for federal technical assistance (and often funding) to help states and school districts develop the capacity to collect and analyze the complex assessment and other data required by NCLB.

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Answering the Question That Matters Most: Has Student Achievement Increased Since No Child Left Behind?

Author(s): CEP
Published: May 31, 2007

Using testing data from all 50 states, this study addresses two key questions in the debate surrounding the No Child Left Behind Act: has student achievement increased and have achievement gaps narrowed since NCLB was enacted in 2002?

View 2005-6 State Profiles and Worksheets 
 

View Report
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