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  • Welcome to today's briefing to release the results of the Nation's Report Card, U.S. History 2010.

  • I am David Gordon, Superintendent of Schools of the Sacramento County Office of Education

  • and member of the National Assessment Governing Board.

  • The Governing Board is an independent, bipartisan board that sets policy for the

  • National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called "NAEP."

  • The assessment results are reported to the country as the Nation' s Report Card.

  • The governing board is pleased to host today's event.

  • As most of you know,

  • NAEP is the only ongoing nationally representative assessment of student per performance in the United States,

  • so today's results are both of importance and interest.

  • Before we begin the data presentation, Juan, our webinar producer, will address the logistics

  • and mechanics for using WebEx.

  • But first I'd like to run through our agenda.

  • After Juan makes sure we are all WebEx savvy, Dr. Jack Buckley,

  • Commissioner of National Center for Education Statistics, will present the National NAEP 2010

  • U.S. History results for grades 4, 8 and 12.

  • Then governing board member, Dr. Steven Paine, will offer his perspective on the results.

  • Steven is the former West Virginia School Superintendent,

  • who is now Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development at CTB McGraw Hill,

  • and he also used to be a Social Studies teacher, with one of his subjects being U S History.

  • Finally, we are pleased to welcome internationally recognized education expert Dr. Diane Ravitch.

  • Diane wears many hats.

  • She's Research Professor of Education at New York University, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution,

  • a prolific author, blogger, and speaker, and education historian,

  • and I might add, a former member of our governing board.

  • She will share her response to the history results.

  • We will conclude with time for questions during the webinar and off air at its completion.

  • Before we start, I wanted to let you know that you can take part in a new interactive element of today's webinar.

  • During the webinar, please look to the Chat and Polling panels at the right of your WebEx viewer.

  • There we will display questions from previous NAEP History assessments at grades 4, 8, and 12,

  • and provide instant polling results.

  • Responses are anonymous, so test your history knowledge against other webinar participants.

  • And now, Juan, please share with us what attendee need to know.

  • All righty.

  • Ladies and gentlemen, again, we want to make today's webinar interactive,

  • and we want you to submit your questions.

  • You'll notice on the right side of your screen the Q&A panel.

  • To submit your questions, just simply type in the white box, type your question in and then hit "Send."

  • Make sure that on the dropdown that you select "All panelists."

  • Be sure to include your full name and organizational affiliation with your question.

  • And again, as mentioned, if you experience any technical difficulties, please refer to your confirmation e-mail

  • or call (866) 779-3239.

  • Okay.

  • And back to you.

  • Let us begin.

  • It's my pleasure to introduce Dr. Jack Buckley.

  • Jack is the Commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.

  • On leave from his position as a professor of Applied Statistics at NYU, he is known for his research on school choice,

  • particularly charter schools, and on statistical methods for public policy.

  • Jack, thank you for being here.

  • We're all looking forward to hearing the results.

  • Well thank you, Dave, and happy Flag Day to everyone.

  • Good morning.

  • I'm here today to release the results of the 2010 U.S. History assessment,

  • our first History assessment since 2006.

  • The assessment measures how well students know the specific facts of American History,

  • how well they evaluate historical evidence, and how well they understand change and continuity over time.

  • The assessment was administered in early 2010.

  • We have national results for grades 4, 8, and 12.

  • 7,000 4th graders and approximately 12,000 8th and 12th graders took the assessment.

  • Overall results are based on the performance of both public and private school students.

  • At grades 4 and 12,

  • participation rate standards for separate reporting results for private schools students were not met,

  • so we only have separate private school results for grade 8 for 2010.

  • We present student performance in two ways; average scale scores with a single zero to 500 scale for all three grades;

  • and separate achievement levels for each grade.

  • The NAEP achievement levels, basic, proficient, and advanced, are set by the National Assessment Governing Board,

  • which sets policy for NAEP.

  • NAEP scale scores tells what students know and can do,

  • while the NAEP achievement levels provide standards for what students should know and be able to do.

  • For both scale scores and achievement level performance,

  • we will be making comparisons back to previous assessments in 1994, 2001, and 2006.

  • When making these comparisons we must remember that all NAEP results

  • are based on samples from the overall population of students.

  • This means that there is a margin of error associated with every score and percentage.

  • When discussing changes in student performance, either increases or decreases,

  • we only discuss those that are statistically significant; that is, those that are larger than the margin of error.

  • In the tables and figure that follow, an asterisk is used to indicate statistically significant differences,

  • comparing scores from previous assessments to those in 2010.

  • The U.S. History assessment identifies four major themes in American History.

  • At each grade, a specified percentage of questions or items deals with each theme.

  • We have enough items for each theme to allow us to measure student performance on each theme separately.

  • The first theme is Changing Continuity in American Democracy from Colonial Times to the Present,

  • focusing on ideas, institutions, events, key figures and controversies.

  • The second theme is Culture, the gathering and interactions of peoples, cultures and ideas in American society.

  • The third theme is Technology, economic and technological changes

  • and their relationship to society, ideas, and the environment.

  • And the final theme is World Role, which focuses on the changing ideas, institutions,

  • and ideologies that affect American foreign relations.

  • The questions on the NAEP assessment measure these four historical themes across eight time periods of U.S. History.

  • While these periods are largely sequential, there is some overlap to allow for concentration on a single broad topic.

  • For example, the fifth period, Crisis of the Union, devoted to the Civil War, overlaps with the period

  • before and after the war, allowing for questions that relate to the causes of the war, the war itself,

  • and the reconstruction that followed.

  • Now we'll look at results of the 2010 assessment in detail, beginning with grade 4.

  • Fourth-grade students had an average score of 214 on a 500-point scale in 2010,

  • which was higher than their average score of 205 in 1994,

  • but not significantly different from their score of 211 in 2006.

  • Breaking in the scores by percentile, we see increases from lower-performing students of 22 and 12 points since 1994,

  • and increases of 6 and 4 points for students performing at the 50th and 75th percentiles.

  • When we compare student performance to 2006, we see only one statistically significant increase for students,

  • this at the 50th percentile.

  • This bar chart shows the percents of grade 4 students at the three achievement levels for the past four assessments,

  • plus the percentage who scored below basic.

  • The bar for 1994 at the top shows the percentage of students below basic at 36%, with 47% at basic,

  • 15% at proficient, and 2% at advanced.

  • The percentile chart on the previous slide showed increasing scores among lower-performing students

  • when comparing 2010 to the assessments before 2006.

  • We see that reflected here,

  • as the percentage of students for performing below basic fell from 36% in 1994 to 27% in 2010.

  • We also see the increase in scores at the 75th percentile,

  • reflected in the increase in the percentage of students at proficient during the same time period.

  • This next slide presents a lot of information,

  • showing the percentages of students at the three achievement levels by race ethnicity.

  • We see declines in the percentages of students scoring below basic for

  • white, black, Hispanic, and Asian or Pacific Islander students when comparing 2010 to 1994.

  • Only white students showed an increase in the percentage at proficient.

  • Our sample for American Indian and Alaskan Native students

  • was not large enough to provide reliable results in either 1994 or 2001.

  • Although it isn't shown here, when we compared 2006 to 2010,

  • we see no significant changes in the percentage of these students at any of the achievement levels.

  • Since 1994 the gaps in scores for white students as compared to black students

  • and for white students compared to Hispanic students have narrowed at grade 4.

  • This graph shows the scores for white students in U.S. History increasing from 214 in 1994, to 224 in 2010.

  • When we bring in the scores for black students, we see that their scores have increased as well, from 176 to 198.

  • The effect of this larger increase for black students was to narrow the gap from 38 points to 26.

  • We see a similar pattern when we bring in the results for white and Hispanic students.

  • The 23-point increase for Hispanic students from 1994 to 2010 was larger than the 9-point increase for white students,

  • reducing the gap to 26 points.

  • In 2010, male fourth graders scored 215 on the U.S. History assessment, as shown by the blue bar at the top,

  • while female fourth graders scored 213, shown by the orange bar;

  • however, this two-point difference was not statistically significant.

  • When we examine scores by the individual history themes, however,

  • male students did score higher than female students by a statistically significant margin in two cases;

  • Change in Continuity in American Democracy and World Role.

  • In the Culture and Technology themes the differences were not statistically significant.

  • NAEP reports results according to student eligibility for the National School Lunch Program.

  • This gives us three groups, ranked according to family income level; those students eligible for free lunches,

  • those eligible for reduced price lunches,

  • and those whose family income is to high to make them eligible in this program.

  • Because of changes in the availability of data, we are only showing comparisons back to 2006.

  • As the graph shows, scores varied according to student family income level,

  • with lower income students having lower scores.

  • Grade 4 students who were eligible for free lunch

  • and those who are with not eligible showed increases from 2006 to 2010.

  • This drawing, which dates from 1849 and shows a Sioux Indian camp,

  • was used in the question on the grade 4 U.S. History assessment.

  • Students were asked to describe three ways the Sioux used natural resources to meet their needs based on the picture.

  • The answers shown here received a complete rating.

  • In the answer the student noted that the Sioux used wood for fire, animal skins for housing,

  • and wood for making barrels.

  • 23% of students received a complete rating on this question, while 36% received a partial,

  • meaning that they supplied one or two descriptions from the picture.

  • Next we'll look at grade 8 results.

  • At grade 8, scores were higher than they had been in any previous assessment, rising from 259 in 1994, to 266 in 2010.

  • Comparing 1994 to 2010, we also see increases at all five percentile levels.

  • In comparing 2006 to 2010, we see increases for the lower- and middle-performing students.

  • This bar graph, again, shows the achievement level results over time for grade 8.

  • On the previous slide, we saw that the scores improved for both low- and high-performing students from 1994 to 2010.

  • This improvement is, again, reflected here in the declining percentages of students scoring below basic

  • and the increased percentages of students at basic and proficient.

  • When we look at the white/black score gap at grade 8,

  • we see that the 23-point gap in 2010 was narrower<