Commentary: Let’s Talk Dropouts and Student Attendance

We have seen the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) grab headlines in recent days. Pundits are quick to proclaim that the sky is falling, but the truth is the scores have been consistent and relatively flat since 1970, particularly in reading. Not every student in a state takes NAEP, only a random sample of students – every two years. There is no individual data. I agree with historian Diane Ravitch, a big takeaway on NAEP is “that virtual learning is a fourth-rate substitute for a real teacher and interaction with peers.”

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