State NAEP Scores Continue to Exceed National Average

Additional work is needed to close gaps between groups of students.

OLYMPIA — April 11, 2018 — Yesterday, the National Center for Education Statistics released results for the 2017 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). Washington’s fourth and eighth graders exceeded the national average in both reading and math.

In math, Washington students finished with an average score of 242 in fourth grade and 289 in eighth grade. The national average was 239 (fourth grade) and 281 (eighth grade). In eighth grade, three states scored statistically higher than Washington.

In reading, Washington students finished with an average score of 223 in fourth grade and 272 in eighth grade (the national averages were 221 and 266, respectively). In eighth grade, only one state — Massachusetts — scored statistically higher than Washington.

Compared to 2015, fourth grade scores in both math and reading in 2017 were not statistically different. In eighth grade, reading was higher than in 2015 but math was statistically equal.

“Washington students continue to outperform most other states on the NAEP test,” said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “This is a testament to the incredible educators in our state and how hard they work.”

Reykdal noted the results illuminated some issues the state already knows. Gaps in performance between groups of students continue. “Much of our agency work going forward will focus on closing these and other gaps,” he said.

“In March, we released our new School Improvement Framework. The Framework gives parents, families, and educators a deep look into how schools are performing,” he continued. “It also holds schools accountable for the improved education of every single student. The NAEP results show us how much work we need to do.”

About NAEP

NAEP is a program of the U.S. Department of Education. Commonly called “The Nation’s Report Card,” it is the only test that assesses students in all states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. NAEP allows comparisons of the performance of a sample of students in Washington with performance of students nationally. Assessments are conducted periodically in math, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.

Not all students participate in the tests. But the relatively small sample of students taking the assessments is statistically representative of the student population of Washington.

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