June 17, 2009
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On the Center on Education Policy's Report,
‘State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 1'
Student test scores on state math and reading tests are rising, according to the Center on Education Policy's report, "State Test Score Trends Through 2007-08, Part 1."
WASHINGTON—This study shows that the hard work of teachers, students and parents is paying off with improved student achievement in math and reading.
The Center on Education Policy tackled the difficult and important task of tracking the data in all states, giving state policymakers the opportunity to review their students' progress. However, if states adopted common standards, better assessments and appropriate proficiency targets, such comparisons would be more meaningful. More important, students and teachers would have a cohesive education system with standards guiding the development of curricula, assessments, professional development, textbooks and other resources.
While the overall news is positive, there are areas of concern. Gains in high schools were not as large as those in earlier grades. We should use the data to help better prepare students for high school and for the transition to college and the workforce. In addition, the results in this report are not broken down by race, ethnicity or family income, so it's possible that some subgroups of students are not making strong gains. The AFT looks forward to future reports from the Center on Education Policy and other sources to help inform our efforts to ensure that every student has the opportunity to fulfill his or her potential.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.