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NAEP shows little to no gains for students across US

NAEP shows little to no gains for students across US

West Virginia fourth-grade students showed slight improvements in math and reading scores on the latest Nation's Report Card but remain below the national average.

The gap between high- and low-achieving students widened on a national math and science exam, a disparity that educators say is another sign that schools need to do more to lift the performance of their most challenged students. The government first administered the exam in the 1990s, and it tests fourth- and eighth-graders every other year.

Advanced represents superior performance beyond proficient.

For instance, Minnesota math scores are among the best in the USA with fourth-graders tied with MA for first place and eighth-graders in second place. Scores for the top quartile rose slightly in eighth-grade reading and math.

Nationally, only eighth-grade reading scores improved from 2015, the last time students took the NAEP. Louisiana's 4th graders made an average math score of 229 past year, compared with 234 in 2015 and 231 in 2013.

The 2017 results showed only tiny differences from 2015: a loss of 1 point in both subjects in fourth grade, and a gain of 1 point in both subjects in eighth grade.

Overall, the 2017 average reading score for the nation increased at 8th grade compared to 2015, but there were no score changes for reading at 4th grade, or mathematics at either grade. On an worldwide reading exam given to fourth-graders in 2016, USA performance slipped in the rankings, with the steepest decline posted by the bottom 25 percent of students.

"These scores show that the investment we've made in our teachers and students is paying off, and due to their hard work in the classroom, Tennessee remains in the very top tier of all states in overall growth", Gov. Bill Haslam said. Only 19 percent of black students and 22 percent of Hispanic and low-income students hit that mark.

The National Center for Education Statistics, within the Institute of Education Sciences, administers the assessment as part of its responsibilities to collect and analyze data related to education in the US and other nations. Some education leaders have staked their own reputations on NAEP results.

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The assessment results were released six months later than usual due to the time needed to adjust score comparisons. NCES, the federal agency that administers the tests, warns against it.

Most students did not reach the test's "proficient" benchmark, which is considered a high bar to clear. In both cases, white student scores dropped.

The exam is given to students across the country every two years.

Regardless, White stated to Carr that students may be dealing "with a variety of social indicators that may correspond with low levels of technology access or skill". While it's a useful tool to see how Connecticut's average student stacks up, it doesn't account for vast inequities within the state's 205 school districts.

Chad Aldis, of the Fordham Institute, a supporter of the Common Core, said OH hasn't fully made districts teach the new standards, particularly by giving them a "safe harbor" from any penalties during the transition. That means they don't necessarily indicate student achievement is any lower or higher this year than last time - the change might well be due to chance. Performance on state reading exams has also been virtually flat. None of the state improvements or drops were more than 6 points.

MI ranked 38th nationally in fourth-grade math, up from 42 in the nation in 2015.

Despite those moves, most of the changes in this year's scores don't have "statistical significance" from 2015.

The institute found that in 4th grade, only Tennessee experienced any gains in English testing between 2015 NAEP and 2017 NAEP after having used paper testing in 2016, and only Wyoming experienced a similar trend in math.


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