Season 6, Episode 2

NAEP: What you’ve always wanted to know, with Chester Finn, Jr.

In this episode, we dive deep into the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the national report card. Chester Finn, Jr., author of the new book Assessing the Nation’s Report Card: Challenges and Choices for NAEP, joins Susan to discuss the NAEP assessment. Together, they unpack how it works, what it is and isn’t, and what benefits and opportunities it provides as the achievement gap continues to grow.

Meet our guest(s):

Chester Finn, Jr.

Scholar, educator and public servant Chester Finn, Jr. has devoted his career to improving education in the United States. A native of Ohio, he holds an undergraduate degree in U.S. history, a master’s degree in social studies teaching, and a doctorate in education policy, all from Harvard University. He is now distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus at Fordham University, and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. Finn was Fordham’s president from 1997 to 2014, after many earlier roles in education, academia, and government. From 1999 until 2002, he was the John M. Olin Fellow at the Manhattan Institute and at Hudson Institute.

Meet our host, Susan Lambert

Susan Lambert is the Chief Academic Officer of Elementary Humanities at Amplify, and the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast. Her career has been focused on creating high-quality learning environments using evidence-based practices. Susan is a mom of four, a grandma of four, a world traveler, and a collector of stories.

As the host of Science of Reading: The Podcast, Susan explores the increasing body of scientific research around how reading is best taught. As a former classroom teacher, administrator, and curriculum developer, Susan is dedicated to turning theory into best practices that educators can put right to use in the classroom, and to showcasing national models of reading instruction excellence.


“For this to work, we need both great teachers and great curricula.” —Chester Finn, Jr.
“The single most important thing NAEP cannot do [is that] it cannot in any definitive way explain why scores are what they are or are rising or falling.” —Chester Finn, Jr.

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