The Nation’s Report Card

The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (which is considered to be the Nation’s Report Card) came out this month and the results are mixed at best.  

I’ve summarized the results so that they can be reviewed quickly if you’re so inclined.  I’ll warn you, though. If you have children, you may find these results to be somewhat sobering.  

Overall, what are the results?

Overall, scores dropped this year in most categories when compared to scores achieved in 2013.  Math scores dropped for both 4th and 8th graders, and reading scores dropped for 8th graders.   Only reading scores for 4th graders remained the same as in 2013.  

A quick summary of the results can be found here.  

Perhaps more interesting, though, is the actual percentage of students who performed well on the test.  According to the NAEP website, ”students performing at or above proficient demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter”.  

So when looking at the report card in terms of who performed at or above proficient, only 36% of 4th graders and 34% of 8th graders were proficient in reading in 2015.  

Similarly, only 40% of 4th graders and 33% of 8th graders were proficient in mathematics this year.  

How does your state compare to the nation?

If you want to know how your state compares in 4th grade test scores for math, click here. And if you want to know how your state compares in 8th grade test scores for math, click here

Are you interested in reading scores? To understand how your state compares in 4th grade test scores for reading, click here.  And for the 8th grade comparison, click here.   

What do the tests measure anyway? 

The NAEP math assessment measures students ability in problem solving, with the specifics of the test explained here.  There reading assessment measures reading comprehensions, and is further explained here.  

Do the results vary with student demographics? 

The test results have been parsed to understand the effects of race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, type of school (public versus private), and other factors on the results.  To review the mathematics results as parsed by those factors, click here for 4th grade results and here for 8th grade results.  

Similarly, to review the reading test scores as parsed by student group, click here for 4th grade scores and here for 8th grade scores.  

What is the NAEP? 

The NAEP was first administered in 1969, and it “is the largest continuing and nationally representative assessment of what our nation’s students know and can do in subjects such as mathematics, reading, science, and writing”.  

How many students are tested?

According to the website, “the results from the 2015 mathematics and reading assessments are based on representative samples of approximately 279,000 fourth-graders and 273,000 eighth-graders”.