Assessing the Nation’s Report Card

Assessing the Nation’s Report Card Challenges and Choices for NAEP

Chester E. Finn, Jr.
paper, 276 Pages
Pub. Date: May 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-725-1
Price: $35.00

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Pub. Date: May 2022
ISBN-13: 978-1-68253-726-8

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Assessing the Nation’s Report Card examines the history of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and outlines plans for improving and modernizing the organization.


If you want to know how ‘The Nation’s Report Card’ became the most reliable gauge of what and whether American children are learning, this book is a must read. Checker Finn knows the history better than anyone because he was present at NAEP’s founding and has been its most persistent and thoughtful advocate ever since. — Lamar Alexander, former US Secretary of Education

Finn’s vision of the future of NAEP is nuanced—balancing the technological possibilities of modern assessment with the many limits that now shape NAEP. This is a powerful book written by a master of exposition and analysis informed by a long personal history with ‘The Nation’s Report Card.’ — Mark Schneider, director, Institute of Education Sciences

Finn makes the very dense topic of NAEP easy and enjoyable to read while also preserving the critical place it holds for our country’s future. — David Driscoll, former Massachusetts Commissioner of Education and former chair of the National Assessment Governing Board

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About the Author

Chester E. Finn, Jr., is Distinguished Senior Fellow and President Emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.

For five decades, Finn has been in the forefront of the national debate about school reform, including such positions as Staff Assistant to the President of the United States; Special Assistant to the Governor of Massachusetts; Counsel to the US Ambassador to India; Research Associate at the Brookings Institution; and Legislative Director for Senator Daniel P. Moynihan. He’s been professor of education and public policy at Vanderbilt, assistant secretary for research and improvement at the US Department of Education, chairman of the National Assessment Governing Board, and senior fellow at both the Manhattan and Hudson Institutes. He also served on the Maryland State Board of Education and on that state’s Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education.

Finn is author or coauthor of hundreds of articles and more than twenty books, most recently Learning in the Fast Lane: The Past, Present & Future of Advanced Placement (Princeton, 2019) and How to Educate an American (Templeton, 2020). Previous Harvard Education Press books are Charter Schools at the Crossroads (2016, with Bruno Manno and Brandon Wright) and Failing Our Brightest Kids (2015, with Brandon Wright).

Table of Contents


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