Wisconsin results steady on NAEP math and reading
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Wisconsin’s overall mathematics and reading results at grades four and eight remained stable for the 2015 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), while the nation’s scores dropped in mathematics and across both subjects at grade 8. State scores were statistically above the national average in both grades for mathematics and for eighth-grade reading.
In reading, fourth-grade students had an average score of 223; not statistically different than the national average of 221. Eighth-graders had an average reading score of 270, which was considered higher than the average score of 264 for public school students nationally. There was a positive upward movement at both grade levels in reading. Grade-level scores for state students in both mathematics and reading were considered statistically the same as state scores on the 2013 NAEP. State mathematics results from 2015 were the the same as 2013 in eighth grade and down slightly in fourth grade, while both grades were higher than for 2003 NAEP mathematics results.
In Wisconsin, about 9,600 public school students took paper and pencil exams in mathematics and reading between January and March of 2015 for NAEP, also known as “The Nation’s Report Card.” Nationwide, approximately 533,100 students took the exams. Wisconsin’s fourth-graders had an average score of 243 in mathematics, compared to the national score of 240. For eighth grade mathematics, Wisconsin students had a scale score of 289, which was considered statistically higher than the national average score of 281.
“Scores from NAEP provide a look at how Wisconsin is doing over time and in comparison to other states,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “While we are making progress, gaps remain for too many students.”
Results by race and ethnicity showed Asian and Hispanic students making numeric gains in fourth-grade mathematics, and Asian students in eighth-grade mathematics. Hispanic and white students had score increases in fourth-grade reading, and black and white students had reading gains at eighth grade. For 2015, Wisconsin achievement gains, as well as gaps between students of color and their peers, were statistically unchanged from the 2013 administration of NAEP. Nationwide, Wisconsin’s achievement gap between black and white students was second from the bottom for math and reading at both grade levels.
“Closing and eliminating student achievement gaps between races requires the steady attention to building relationships and using teaching and school improvement strategies that work,” Evers said. “We must remain focused on efforts to improve achievement for all students so they graduate ready for college and careers.
Wisconsin’s overall results in mathematics were higher than 26 states at fourth grade, not statistically different than 19 states, and lower than six states. For eighth-grade mathematics, Wisconsin’s overall results were higher than 34 states, not statistically different than 13 states, and lower than four states. In reading, overall state results in fourth grade had Wisconsin students scoring higher than 16 states, not statistically different than 23 states, and lower than 12 states. For eighth-grade reading Wisconsin’s results were higher than 23 states, not statistically different than 23 states, and lower than five states. Overall rankings for Wisconsin results compared to other states were up at both grade levels and in both mathematics and reading. Several states experienced significant declines in NAEP results.