Tom Loveless

Blog Posts


What to Look for in the 2017 NAEP Results

What to Look for in the 2017 NAEP Results

Scores from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) will be released in the coming weeks. NAEP is often referred to as “the nation’s report card,” providing a reliably accurate estimate of national academic achievement every two years. Fourth and eighth graders took NAEP assessments in reading, mathematics, and writing in early 2017. Scores will be reported for the nation and the 50 states, along with 24 urban districts.[1]

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Common Core's Major Political Challenges for the Remainder of 2016

Common Core's Major Political Challenges for the Remainder of 2016

The 2016 Brown Center Report (BCR), which was published last week, presented a study of Common Core State Standards (CCSS).   In this post, I’d like to elaborate on a topic touched upon but deserving further attention: what to expect in Common Core’s immediate political future. I discuss four key challenges that CCSS will face between now and the end of the year.

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No, the Sky Is Not Falling: Interpreting the Latest SAT Scores

No, the Sky Is Not Falling: Interpreting the Latest SAT Scores

Earlier this month, the College Board released SAT scores for the high school graduating class of 2015. Both math and reading scores declined from 2014, continuing a steady downward trend that has been in place for the past decade. Pundits of contrasting political stripes seized on the scores to bolster their political agendas. Michael Petrilli of the Fordham Foundation argued that falling SAT scores show that high schools need more reform, presumably those his organization supports, in particular, charter schools and accountability.* For Carol Burris of the Network for Public Education, the declining scores were evidence of the failure of polices her organization opposes, namely, Common Core, No Child Left Behind, and accountability.

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CNN's Misleading Story on Homework

CNN's Misleading Story on Homework

Last week, CNN ran a back-to-school story on homework with the headline, “Kids Have Three Times Too Much Homework, Study Finds; What’s the Cost?” Homework is an important topic, especially for parents, but unfortunately, CNN’s story misleads rather than informs. The headline suggests American parents should be alarmed because their kids have too much homework. Should they? No, CNN has ignored the best evidence on that question, which suggests the opposite. The story relies on the results of one recent study of homework—a study that is limited in what it can tell us, mostly because of its research design. But CNN even gets its main findings wrong. The study suggests most students have too little homework, not too much.

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Implementing Common Core: The Problem of Instructional Time

Implementing Common Core: The Problem of Instructional Time

This is part two of my analysis of instruction and Common Core’s implementation.  I dubbed the three-part examination of instruction “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.”  Having discussed “the “good” in part one, I now turn to “the bad.”  One particular aspect of the Common Core math standards—the treatment of standard algorithms in whole number arithmetic—will lead some teachers to waste instructional time.

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