We need to reinvent our Ed. System, NAEP Results Show (Opinion)

For the editor:

The recent release of the National Assessment of Educational Progress illustrates what we already know: there is no doubt that many students have experienced trauma and unfinished learning over the past three school years (“Digging Deeper Into the Stark Declines on NAEP: 5 Things to Know,” September 2, 2022). Many students need personalized approaches and additional supports. But instead of focusing on catching up, let’s take the opportunity to rethink how our education system works.

In fact, 91% of parents are calling for reinventing education to better meet student needs, according to a May 2021 survey of public school parents.. It’s time to modernize education to better recognize the learning and skills development that has happened during the pandemic.

What if we completely reimagined the way we assess student progress? The evaluation must be meaningful. This should allow students to show what they know and demonstrate their mastery, tell them in real time how they are progressing and what they need to do next, and give them the support they need to do so.

Unfortunately, the 2022 data from Learning Heroes show a disconnect between perception and reality of student progress – around 92% of parents and guardians say their child is at or above grade level in reading and math. But the most recent results from the NAEP show that less than a third of students are proficient.

None of this is new. Children have always been in different places in terms of progress in acquiring knowledge and skills. But we need to redesign learning experiences to be more student-centered and relevant to families and communities. Our education systems simply haven’t learned to personalize learning to meet these needs and create competency-based pathways.

Let’s use this time to reimagine what our education system can look like to be more personalized, equitable and just for all learners to prepare them for a thriving future and lifelong learning.

Susan Patrick
President and CEO
Aurora Institute
Arlington, Virginia.

Comments are closed.