Slate ran an interesting article today
with a thesis that low scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) are indicative of nothing. Why? The 17 year-olds who scored so poorly (and earned so much press for doing so) had no reason to try on the thing. They're seniors who have already been filling in bubbles for over a decade and now there's yet another test and it doesn't have any bearing on their future.
Slate education writer Alexandra Starr guesses that you'd skip it -- or at least not try very hard -- too. (Thanks to Joanne Jacobs
for the link.)