School Choice Experiments in Urban Education
Equally dark results are emerging from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), long known to provide the best overall estimate of the cognitive skills being acquired by the nation's young. A report issued by Paul Barton and Richard Coley (1998), researchers at Educational Testing Service (ETS), the respected firm that administers NAEP, focuses on what students are learning in school, as distinct from the educational impacts of a student's family life. ETS researchers noted that the test scores of 9-year-old students have been increasing the last two decades, but they pointed out that these scores are shaped by everything that happens to children between the day a child is conceived and the day of the fourth-grade test. The clear gains among fourth-graders, especially more prosperous and well-educated African Americans, can be attributed not only to what has happened in the first few years of
relations are reported; and finally, the effects on students remaining in public schools are considered.