Education Trust News

U.S. Performance on International Tests Stalls; Large Achievement Gaps Remain

WASHINGTON (December 4, 2013) — The latest results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) show that U.S. students’ performance on international tests has stagnated, while other industrialized nations have overtaken the U.S. in reading, math, and science literacy.

Testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training

Michael Dannenberg, director of higher education and education finance policy at the Education Trust, testified about the importance of keeping the Pell Grant program strong for current and future generations of students before the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training. The Pell Grant program helps makes college accessible for millions of hardworking students despite skyrocketing college costs and policies that shift financial aid away from families that need it most. More low-income students going to college is good for our economy and they are choosing schools where they are more likely succeed. Read the full testimony here.

Higher Education Experts Call for Tax Reforms to Improve College Affordability, Access, and Completion

WASHINGTON (November 21, 2013)—Today, a consortium of higher education experts called on Congress to reform tax-based student aid to ensure it reaches the low- and modest-income families who most need it to access college.  With nearly $34 billion spent each year, this form of aid is more common than even Pell Grants, but action is needed to maximize its impact on college access and completion. 

Groups Tell Texas State Board of Education: Hold Firm on Rigorous Math for All Students

WASHINGTON (November 19, 2013) — The Education Trust, League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and National Council of the La Raza (NCLR) issued the following statement regarding the Texas State Board of Education’s proposed rules for high school graduation requirements.

“Texas leaders have long recognized the need for all high school graduates to have the knowledge and skills necessary for college and the careers that drive the state’s economy and pay a family-supporting wage. Texas students have risen to these high expectations; every year, more students from all backgrounds graduate from high school ready for college and the workplace.

The Texas State Board of Education should continue on this path by requiring that students complete Algebra II to earn any of the five diploma endorsements created by H.B. 5.

Message to The U.S. Department of Education: Stop Walking Away From Your Responsibilities to Our Nation's Neediest Students

WASHINGTON (November 14, 2013) — Kati Haycock, president of The Education Trust,  issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s guidelines released today, which allow states to renew their No Child Left Behind (NCLB) waivers using an oversimplified process that does not take into consideration performance for all groups of students or fair access to highly effective teachers.

Statement and Analysis From The Education Trust on the 2013 NAEP Reading and Mathematics Results

WASHINGTON (November 7, 2013) — Performance for the nation’s fourth and eighth-grade students in reading and mathematics has inched up since 2011, according to data released today from the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

This continues a decade-long trend of improvement, and today, performance for most groups of students is as high as it has ever been. This progress for students as a whole is coupled with some meaningful gap-closing. In eighth grade, for example, the gap separating Latino students from their white peers in math has narrowed by six points since 2003. For reading, it’s narrowed by seven points.

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Results

On October 24 and 25, over 600 educators, administrators, and advocates convened in Baltimore for the Education Trust National Conference, Ordinary People, Extraordinary Results: Working Together to Raise Achievement and Close Gaps. The meeting was jam-packed with inspiration for closing gaps in opportunity and achievement and information on what it takes to get this work done. While the conference is now over, the learning doesn’t have to be. Check out the presentations from some of our great, equity-focused concurrent sessions. 

California Legislation Curtails Public’s Ability to Get Data on Student Performance

Public information on the performance of students and student subgroups on standardized tests is a cornerstone for parents, teachers, and educational leaders who want to know whether achievement is rising and gaps are closing. But a piece of recent California legislation threatens to undermine the public’s ability to receive this critical information on student performance.

Assembly Bill 484, signed into law last month by California Gov. Jerry Brown, means neither parents nor teachers can access data on how children are performing on state assessments in English-language arts and mathematics. Similarly, the legislation blocks teachers’ ability to receive professional feedback on whether they are successfully teaching to the state’s new college- and career-ready standards.

Michigan Lawmakers Move State Forward on Common Core

Michigan House leaders approved a Senate resolution to restore funding to the statewide implementation of Common Core State Standards, reaffirming the state’s commitment to increasing academic rigor and preparing all students to succeed after high school. Other states debating whether to proceed with implementing college- and career-ready standards would do well to take a clue from Michigan and move forward — it’s what’s best for kids.