AUSTIN – Texas fourth and eighth grade students taking the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics posted scores higher than the national average, according to results released today by the federal government in The Nation’s Report Card.
In fourth-grade mathematics, Texas ranked 11th nationally, up from 27th in 2013. The Texas fourth-grade math score (244) not only exceeded the national average (240), but also reflected a new high exceeding the score (242) posted by Texas fourth graders in 2005, 2007 and 2013. Scores for white, African-American and Hispanic students also exceeded scores by their national counterparts in NAEP fourth-grade mathematics, with Texas African-American students second only to those by African-American students in Department of Defense schools.
“Math scores for our Texas fourth graders increased at a time when scores on the national level declined,” noted Commissioner of Education Michael Williams. “Only through effective professional development support for our educators that, in turn, leads to strong instruction in our classrooms, can we sustain our state’s success on the national level.”
In eighth-grade mathematics, Texas ranked 23rd nationally, down from 16th in 2013. The Texas eighth-grade math score (284) exceeded the national average (281). However, the Texas eighth-grade math scores declined from 2013, mirroring a national trend. Scores for white, African-American and Hispanic students also exceeded scores posted by their counterparts in NAEP eighth-grade mathematics.
EIGHTH GRADE MATHEMATICS
On the national level, scores for fourth grade reading remained stable from 2013 while scores for eighth grade students declined. Reading scores for Texas students followed that latter trend. The Texas fourth-grade reading score (218) fell just below the national average (221). Despite the decline, Texas’ national ranking moved up to 40th (a jump from 41st in 2013). Among specific student populations, scores for white (235) and Hispanic (210) students exceeded scores posted by their white (232) and Hispanic (208) counterparts across the country.
The Texas eighth-grade reading score (261) also fell just three points below the national average (264). Texas ranked 39th nationally, down from 38th in 2013. Scores for white (274) and African-American (251) students exceeded scores posted by their white (273) and African-American (247) counterparts across the country.
“In an era of smart phone texting and 140-character communication, this national report confirms that all states are facing the same challenges in seeking ways to strengthen reading at every grade level,” said Commissioner Williams. “Under Gov. Abbott’s leadership, Texas is already a step ahead with the return of valuable literacy and math academies as well as other support for our teachers.”
NAEP is administered over a six-week period. For 2015, the assessment period was from Jan. 26 through March 6. Approximately 279,000 fourth-graders and 278,000 eighth graders across the country participated in NAEP assessments in mathematics and reading. For mathematics, 5,700 Texas fourth graders in 480 schools and 5,800 Texas eighth graders in 380 schools participated. For reading, 5,600 Texas fourth graders and 5,700 eighth graders participated.
NAEP is a congressionally mandated project administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, located within the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. It is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students in the United States know and can do in various subjects. Since 1969, NAEP has provided a common measure of student achievement across the country.
Complete 2015 results of The Nation’s Report Card (including snapshot reports for each state in mathematics and reading) are available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.