There is a newBest Evidence in Brief and this time I want to pick this meta-study from this great newsletter:
A study co-authored by Johns Hopkins professor Jonathan Plucker has found that age-based curriculum in the U.S. leaves millions of students unchallenged.
The study, which was published online by the Institute for Education Policy at our own Johns Hopkins School of Education, investigates the number of students that perform above grade level. The authors looked at both nationwide and state-specific testing data, including the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
The research uncovered the following conclusions:
- Very large percentages of students are performing above grade level. According to the report, five different data sets from five distinct assessment administrations provide consistent evidence that many students perform above grade level.
- Large percentages of students are performing well above grade level. Using MAP data, the researchers estimate that 8-10% of Grade 4 students perform at the Grade 8 level in reading/English/language arts, with 2-5% scoring at similar levels in math. Relying specifically on the MAP data, one out of every ten fifth graders is performing at the high school level in reading, and nearly one child in 40 at this age is performing at the high school level in math.
According to the report, the evidence suggests that between 15% and 45% of students enter the late-elementary classroom each fall already performing at least one year ahead of expectations. The authors say, “Clearly, either something is wrong with how grade-level performance is determined, or the K-12 educational system should be providing a different educational environment to meet the learning needs of many American students. Our findings suggest that a great many students could benefit from whole-grade or single-subject acceleration.”