According to the latest NAEP scores:
66% of our 4th graders and 66% of our 8th graders are below proficiency in Reading.
60% of our 4th graders and 65% of our 8th graders are below proficiency in Math.
73% of our 8th graders and 73% of our 12th graders are below proficiency in Writing.
Whether through NAEP, state, or local assessments, when we look at the data we have about how our children are doing in our schools, we have to ask:
What does it mean that most of our children are chronically improficient* in the skills most critically important for success in school?
In future posts, I plan to explore what this says about our schools, assessment systems, and leadership priorities (with the realization that most of our children are improficient in the areas we think most important to their success). But for this post, I want to focus on the children: What does it say about our children’s experience of being in school?
What does it feel like – how does it feel, to be chronically, day after day, week after week, month after month, and for a great many children, year after year – not good enough? Not good enough at something that they know is important, that they know is causing them to fall behind, that they can’t seem to get good enough at achieving, and that they can’t hide because their family, friends, and peers know about it too? What is the effect of chronically feeling ‘not good enough’ about your learning?