By the twelfth grade, a student who performs poorly academically may have sealed his place in the economy and in society.
Tragically, 12 years earlier—actually, on day one of the first grade—that socioeconomic outcome will already be predictable, as noted in Storyboard 29.
● The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) was mandated by Congress in 1969 to test students in the fourth, eighth and twelfth grades—generally 9-, 13- and 17-year-olds. That said, let's take a quick look at the percentage of U.S. twelfth-graders—blacks, whites and all others averaged in—failing to reach even the lowest level of proficiency on the NAEP tests: 47% in science, nearly that bad in math, worse in history and so on.
● A high school senior getting "A's" his senior year may be shocked upon failing to achieve even the lowest level of proficiency when tested by NAEP . . . and shocked again when getting "F's" as a college freshman. In five out of the seven tests given by NAEP, blacks graduating from high school score four years behind whites—FIVE YEARS BEHIND IN MATH.
● Thus comes the 2001 No Child Left Behind Act, a testing tool intended to bring standards-based testing to every state. But can a testing tool such as the NCLB, a federally imposed statue, recast such results as the NAEP data above? Not without an enabling partner such as the GMnavy.go model—not a chance.
● Unless teamed with an "enabling partner," NCLB will have near-zero impact on the annual SAT college-entrance exam, for instance, even though annual 10-, 20- and 30-point gains are needed in order for the SAT average to climb to a competitive level. Out of a possible 800, the SAT math average struggles just above 500. The ACT average (see the subtopic "Excitement" in the "Mentors' and volunteers' door) is similarly poor. Although the NAEP disaster tells its own story, there is also the tragedy of our international ranking . . .
● In the latest round of PISA testing, the Program for International Student Assessment, America's 15-year-olds scored 24th among the 29 participating industrialized nations.
● And our gifted students? Bad news again. Per National Science Foundation-backed Stanford University research, our gifted students similarly lag behind their foreign counterparts.
As if focusing on one student at a time, the GMnavy.go model will target our nation's young people, whether students with top GPAs or the estimated 3,000* who drop out of high school each school day.
*Culling from scattered and conflicting data—an NBC report, for example, using the figure 2,500 dropouts per school day, the Alliance for Excellent Education putting the number at 7,000—GMnavy.go uses the 3,000 per-day figure.