“327 + 414…. I’m not scared.”

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Dear Families:

On February 27th, fifty of our fourth grade students will participate in the NAEP.  This is the first time that  our school has been selected to be a part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students know and can do in reading, writing, math and science. It is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. This exam is different from the state tests because it is a common measure of achievement across the country. The results are released as The Nation’s Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public.

The information collected is used for statistical purposes only.  While the assessment is voluntary, NAEP depends on student participation to help policymakers improve education.  Results of the test are never reported for individual students.  This exam is quite different from the state exam.  It is not a high stakes exam. Its purpose is to determine patterns in student performance and not to rank or compare individual children within a school district.  

At our forums on testing, we have often talked about the differences between state exams and this federal test.  Our point has not been that all tests are bad, but rather that the state tests are administered for problematic reasons, resulting in problematic teaching as a way of producing high scores without much reflection on what children should be learning in elementary school.  Be on the lookout for our annual testing forums. These will be taking place in March.

There is no need to study in preparation for the NAEP.  Soon, we will send another letter home to the parents of the children who have been randomly selected to take this test.  We encourage you not to opt your child out, but to support this process.

It is our hope that one day, the NAEP will be the only form of standardized testing deemed worthy of educational funds.  Let’s applaud the NAEP’s goal by allowing our children to participate in this assessment process. Please send me an email or call if you would like to know more. 

All for now,


Quote of the Week:

Third grade teacher, Katherine, said to her students, “Last problem: 327 + 414.” Lexi Moore wrote the problem in her notebook and said, “327 + 414…. I’m not scared.”


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