Via Dana Goldstein, the latest NAEP reading numbers confirm that our 9 year olds keep getting smarter:
These gains, unfortunately, tend to phase out as the kids get older. There are a variety of ways you can interpret this, but one takeaway I have is that it shows that even though early childhood education is important, people who want to tell you it’s the whole ball game are probably wrong. Already we can see that better-educated 9 year-olds doesn’t automatically product better-educated 17 year-olds. Is it likely that producing better-educated 4 year olds instead would deliver magic? Instead I think we see that quality matters all up and down the leader. We could use better-prepared 3 and 4 year-olds, but we also need to work on getting our high schools better so they’re not just giving back these hard-won gains from the early years.