Jon McChesney from San Diego, CA asked:
- Hello Dr. Carr.
Thank you for fielding questions today.
In past NCES releases, such as the recent private school and charter school studies, NCES has performed "secondary analyses" in an attempt to make apples-to-apples comparisons between cohorts. At the time of those releases Commissioner Mark Schneider commented that NCES would discontinue such studies, and, if I understood the implication correctly, the research community would pick up where NCES had left off.
Obviously the characteristics and challenges of each participating TUDA district are varied. Do you believe NAEP has value in terms of comparing, weighing, and evaluating these characteristics, or educational inputs? Or do you consider NAEP to be an isolated snapshot?
Dr. Peggy G. Carr 's response:
- Dear John,
Commissioner Schneider was referring to reports using a particular analysis methodology. NCES anticipates research using a variety of analytic techniques from the active community of NAEP researchers. I do believe that NAEP has tremendous value in facilitating comparisons of student performance across districts. In fact, NAEP is the only common measure these districts share. However, NAEP is a cross-sectional survey, and the data are not appropriate bases for causal inference--we can't answer "why" questions. NAEP data and results can provoke insights and inquiries within and across districts. More in-depth studies investigating inputs and characteristics of the differences and similarities, weaknesses and strengths, often follow a release of NAEP results.