Lisa Snell on Stagnating High School Test Scores


Jiuck / Foter

Since 1970, K-12 education spending in the United States has tripled in inflation-adjusted dollars, writes Lisa Snell, director of education policy at the Reason Foundation. However, the just-released results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, otherwise known as the "Nation's Report Card" shows no score improvements for high school seniors in reading and math since 2009 and little progress over the last decade. These results offer depressing and ongoing evidence of stagnation, confirming findings from the NAEP long-term trend analysis of high school seniors scores in reading, math, and science, which has been showing flat lines since the early 1970s.

But while we've seen little change in school performance for our pubic high school seniors, despite soaring education costs in traditional public schools, writes Snell, school choice and competition show promise to improve outcomes for students by allowing families to find the schools and education services that best match their needs.