Retired teacher Guy Brandenburg went to the National Press Club to observe the official release of the NAEP scores for 2017, released one year after the tests were offered in every state to samples of students.

His judgment: NAEP 2017 demonstrates the failure of what has been called “Reform” since the signing of NCLB in 2002 and the hiring of Michelle Rhee as autocratic chancellor of D.C.

”In the morning session, presenters acknowledged that for the nation as a whole, reading scores are flat – essentially unchanged — after 25 years of various types of ‘reforms’. Panelists tried to explain why, and seemed to me to give just about diametrically-opposed solutions to the problem. The introductory presenter (whom we saw on tape), essentially blamed us adults for not letting kids see us read often and deeply enough, and said that if we just wish harder, the results will come. (not quite a direct quote, but close)

“I did a quick appraisal of how Washington DC’s scores have improved (or not) before and after mayoral control, which was imposed shortly after students took the 2007 NAEP. You may recall that Michelle Rhee was imposed as DC’s first education Chancellor. She and her henchwoman, Kaya Henderson (who succeeded Rhee) predicted, in writing, all sorts of miraculous gains that would come if they were free to fire teachers en masse and subject them to rigorous numerical control via IMPACT and VAM.

“None of it came to pass.

“With today’s data it is even clearer than ever. I found 16 separate subcategories of students for which I could easily find data. Of them, improvements were better BEFORE mayoral control for 12 of them, and in only 4 was the improvement slightly better AFTER mayoral control.

“That’s a three-to-one vote against mayoral control and the whole educational Reformster movement.

“In other cities and jurisdictions, it’s more of the same. The imposition of Common Core curriculum, along with SBAC and PARCC testing and the like, has in fact made the gaps between high-achievers and low-achievers wider than ever.”

This is what failure looks like. Watch the excuses come pouring out.