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MEDIA: Comparing NAEP Headlines

Here's a look at how the mainstream media covered yesterday's release of the latest NAEP scores.  Well, the headlines at least:

The AP headline states the results simply (Kids make gains in reading and math).  What could be clearer?

28plane.600 Lots of folks - the Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, US News and EdWeek - focus their headlines on lagging secondary school students (Younger Students Show Gains in Math, Reading Skills, High-schoolers have made little progress, Younger Students Outshine High Schoolers in Reading, Math, Older Students Less Successful on Math NAEP).  Always playing the age card.

The Times focuses on the achievement gap and its political implications (‘No Child’ Law Is Not Closing a Racial Gap).  Saucy!

NB:  Looking beyond the headlines, there is some substantive disagreement.  Contrast the Times story immediately above with the AP's Libby Quaid, who writes: "The biggest gains came from low-achieving students. That probably is not an accident; the federal No Child Left Behind law and similar state laws have focused on improving the performance of minority and poor children, who struggle the most."


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