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NCLB Outrages

Flatline NAEP Scores Show Failures of Test-Driven School Reform; NCLB Has Not Improved Academic Performance

NAEP Results

National Center for Fair & Open Testing

for further information:
Dr. Monty Neill (617) 864-4810
Bob Schaeffer (239) 395-6773

"The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading and
math scores show that high-stakes, punitive testing does not produce
meaningful improvements in student achievement, contrary to the promises
made by proponents of No Child Left Behind," said Monty Neill, Ed.D.,
co-director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest),
in response to today's release of the 2005 NAEP report.

NAEP Reading scores were essentially unchanged from 2002 to 2005 at
grade 4 and declined markedly at grade 8. Math scores did not increase
at a significantly faster rate than in the 1990s, well before most
high-stakes exams for elementary and middle school were put in place.

The NAEP 2003-2005 data covers the period when the Bush Administration
and Congress imposed testing with severe sanctions as a requirement for
states to receive federal funding.

While reading scores for Blacks and Hispanics rose in the 1990s at grade
four, they have been flat since 2000. At grade eight, they have been
flat since 1998. The math gains these groups made in the 1990s have
tapered off.

"The drill and kill curriculum that accompanies high-stakes,
one-size-fits-all testing programs undermines rather than improves the
quality of education," explained Dr. Neill. ""Intensified testing has
especially hurt education for low-income, African American and Latino
students, reinforcing the hard bigotry of inequality and segregation.
Once again, independent data demonstrate that the nation cannot test its
way to educational quality. It's time to abandon the failed
test-and-punish quick fix and get on with the hard work of identifying
the real causes of student learning problems, then addressing them
effectively. Congress should follow the lead of the more than 60
national education, civil rights and religious organizations that have
come together to call for an overall of this damaging federal law."

The multi-organizational statement calling for an overhaul of “No Child
Left Behind” and other assessment reform materials are available at

— Press Release
Fair Test


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