America's Educational Report Card Is In, And the Results Are Concerning

Poor marks on The Nation’s Report Card | IN 60 SECONDS
Poor marks on The Nation’s Report Card | IN 60 SECONDS

The nation's 2017 NAEP results, often called “The Nation’s Report Card,” were just released. The results were not great. AEI's Nat Malkus reviews the data an...


The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is widely seen as the nation's report card on education. This test is the only exam that enables policymakers to compare results across state lines, demographics, and over time. For years, the NAEP has shown how American students have progressed over the years on basic test scores, and over the past two decades students have made steady gains. However, in the most recent test years, American students' progress has started to flatline.

In the video above, education scholar Nat Malkus discusses what exactly this means for American students.

The Nation's Report Card. Recently released 2017 NAEP results show that fourth and eighth graders' math and reading scores were mostly flat. That doesn't sound so bad, but after a peak in 2013, reading and math scores dipped in 2015... for the first time ever... after two decades of steady gains. The latest results confirmed that our progress has stalled.

More concerning that the overall plateauing of these scores is the drop in scores for America's poorest students.

The scores of the poorest performing students were lower this year than in 2015, and high performers' scores were even higher, meaning the gap between them is growing, leaving our most challenged students further behind.

The question that remains is why this is happening. In Malkus' opinion, anyone who uses these scores to tell us why performance is flat is probably just selling something. The NAEP results show American educators that something is amiss right now and requires a lot of hard work to fix; there is no one magic cure-all for this kind of situation.

What are your thoughts on these plateauing test scores? What can be done to improve our nation's educational results? Let us know your thoughts below!