The new NAEP history scores are no great shakes (although I don’t pay very much attention to 12th-grade scores) but they’re also hardly as awful as they’re being played. And shouldn’t we be happy that African-American and Hispanic kids are making progress even if the gaps do remain frustratingly stubborn?
Instead, the results are being turned into some sort of referendum on No Child Left Behind (even though history teaching was problematic long before 2001 and the results don’t really support that claim anyway). Most amazing, it’s almost as if people are cheering and hoping for bad news. In fact, the very folks who used to complain that the media only focused on the bad news about public schools are now the very ones declaring everything is bad news! Yesterday’s scores could have been a lot better, sure, but there were some rays of hope in there, too.