A survey of 18 urban Trial Urban School Districts by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) indicates that not much has changed despite No Child Left Behind and the millions of dollars spent to raise test scores in urban areas.
NAEP is often called the “nation’s report card” because it’s the only standardized test taken by all American students, who are not exactly reaching new heights of academic excellence. “The nation showed a one-point gain at grade 8 but no change in grade 4 from 2007,” the NAEP report noted. “Overall scores for fourth and eighth graders in most of these [urban] districts continue to lag behind their peers nationwide,” the NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment concluded.
In fact, only four urban school districts– including the District of Columbia – made small gains in reading despite the tremendous amount of financial resources spent to improve test scores.
However, a proposed contract with the D.C. Public Schools and the Washington Teachers Union includes a 21.6 pay hike, with provisions for privately-financed performance bonuses up to $30,000 a year, all of which will make them eligible for higher pensions when they retire.
Unionized public school teachers are one of the major groups of public sector employees whose over-the-top pension benefits are crashing state budgets from California to New Jersey. If I were them, I wouldn’t be showing this report card to angry taxpayers.