Your point is well taken...and now for the irony...(Politico.. Morning Edition this day)

TRANSITIONING FROM TEXTBOOKS: Education Secretary Arne Duncan today will urge schools and districts to ditch the traditional textbooks and try openly licensed digital educational resources instead. He'll make his remarks at the Open Education Symposium in D.C. He'll also talk about federal efforts to ensure all students have access to such resources. Duncan starts speaking at 3:30 p.m. ET at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. 

Norman Stahl
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-----Original Message-----
From: Leu, Donald <[log in to unmask]>
To: flowercjs <[log in to unmask]>
Cc: members <[log in to unmask]>; LRNASST-L <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thu, Oct 29, 2015 12:06 pm
Subject: NAEP Concerns

Thanks, Norm!  It continues to amaze, perplex, and astonish me that our supposed “national gold standard” assessment of reading still fails to include an evaluation of students’ ability to read online, including online research and comprehension.  

The current NAEP assessment is especially problematic since recent work appears to show a separate achievement gap for online reading based on income inequality.  This gap is separate and independent of the offline reading achievement gap (about 1.2 SD units) and appears to represent at least one additional year of schooling, or more, at the 7th grade level. (See   In an online age of reading, the achievement gap measured by NAEP significantly under represents the nature of the challenge.   I have been waiting 15 years to see NAEP include online reading.  It looks like we will need to wait another 15 years.  Sigh.

There is another issue, as well.  It is likely that the first attempts to include online reading in NAEP will consist of scenario-based, multiple choice items that represent separate, not connected, aspects of higher-level online reading tasks.  This, of course, makes it much easier to score.  Recent work suggests that this approach is about 10% less reliable than a performance based assessment of online research and comprehension.  Moreover, scenario based assessments provide higher scores and suffer from other psychometric issues compared to performance based assessments. (See  It is likely we will have to suffer these less psychometrically sound approaches, at least initially, before we get, I hope, to sounder assessment formats.  Double sigh.


Donald J. Leu
John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology
Director, The New Literacies Research Lab 
University of Connecticut
249 Glenbrook Road
Storrs, CT  06269-2033
Office:  860.486.0202   
Cell:  860.680.3752      

"Every  one of us is given the gift of life, and what a strange gift it is.  
If it is preserved jealously and selfishly, it impoverishes and
saddens. But if it is spent for others, it enriches and beautifies."
-- Geraldine  Ferraro. 
Acceptance speech at the 1984 Democratic Party National  Convention.

On Oct 28, 2015, at 7:09 AM, Norman Stahl <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

NCES Releases the 2015 Nation's Report Card for Mathematics and Reading for grades 4 and 8

<Image.gif>The National Center for Education Statistics has released The Nation’s Report Card: 2015 Mathematics and Reading. Performance results are reported for the nation overall, for states and jurisdictions, and for 21 districts participating in the Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA).The findings are available online at the Nation’s Report Card website. 

The results from the 2015 assessment are compared to those from previous years to describe change in fourth and eigth-grade students’ performance in mathematics and reading over time. Performance results are presented as NAEP scale scores
and as percentages of students at the Basic, Proficient, and Advanced achievement levels. The report also includes information about the performance of different student groups, as well as performance gaps by gender and race/ethnicity. NAEP results date back to the early 1990s. 

Results for the nation reflect the performance of students attending public schools, private schools, Bureau of Indian Education schools, and Department of Defense schools. Results for states and districts reflect the performance of students in public schools only and are reported along with the results for public school students in the nation. Charter schools are included in the public school samples at the state level. For the Tribal Urban District Assessment, charter schools are included only if they contribute to the district’s Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) reported to the U.S. Department of Education.  

Students who took the mathematics assessment responded to questions designed to measure their understanding of mathematics in the areas of: number properties and operations, measurement, geometry, algebra, data analysis, statistics, and probability. Students, who took the reading assessment, responded to questions designed to measure their reading comprehension across two types of texts: literary and informational. 

Norman Stahl
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