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Georgia whips up interest in federal NAEP test with help of "Watch Me" (Whip/Nae Nae) star

The state Department of Education turned to DeKalb recording sensation Silento to persuade Georgia students taking the NAEP test to try their best on it, even though it doesn’t count toward class grades.

A graduate of Redan High School, Silento, 19, is a rapper and songwriter who shot to fame with his debut single "Watch Me" (Whip/Nae Nae.) His real name is Ricky Lamar Hawk.

DOE deserves kudos for seeing the potential of "Nae, Nae" and "NAEP, NAEP," an idea advanced by the fact someone in the agency knew Silento's aunt.

A sampling of students from every state take the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is used to chart how well American schools are faring over time.

Paper-and-pencil assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading,science, writing, the arts, civics, economics,geography, U.S. history, and in Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL). However, this year NAEP will begin administering digitally based assessments (DBA) for mathematics, reading, and writing, with additional subjects added in 2018 and 2019.

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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.