The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education

The 2012 Brown Center Report on American Education distills the results of studies to examine the state of education in the United States. In particular, the report focuses on education policy, student learning measures, trends on achievement test scores and education reform outcomes. 

Highlights from three of the studies featured in the report are:

  • Predicting the Effect of the Common Core State Standards on Student Achievement: The Common Core will have little to no effect on student achievement. The quality or rigor of state standards has been unrelated to state NAEP scores, Loveless finds. Moreover, most of the variation in NAEP scores lies within states, not between them.  Whatever impact standards alone can have on reducing within-state differences should have already been felt by the standards that all states have had since 2003.
  • Measuring Achievement Gaps on NAEP: The Main NAEP consistently reports larger SES achievement gaps than the Long Term Trend NAEP. The study examines gaps between students who qualify for free and reduced lunch and those who do not; black and white students; Hispanic and white students; and English language learners and students who are not English language learners.

  • Misinterpreting International Test Scores:  Educators & policymakers often misinterpret International Test Scores in three ways:  1) Dubious Conclusions of Causality, 2) The Problem With Rankings, and 3) The A+ Country Fallacy. The errors are usually committed by advocates of a particular policy position who selectively use data to support an argument, argues Loveless.

Tom Loveless discusses the report in this video: