On Nation’s 2019 Report Card, Texas 4th Graders Improve in Math and Reading


Scores for 8th graders declined, mirroring changes for the nation as a whole

AUSTIN (Oct. 30, 2019) – Texas 4th graders taking the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics improved from two years ago, outpacing the national average yet again. Statewide performance in 4th grade reading was also up slightly. 

For 8th grade students, mathematics scores declined slightly, dropping below the national average for the first time since 2003. 8th grade reading scores showed the largest decline, mirroring a large decline across the nation. 
Statewide reading performance in 4th and 8th grade remains well below the national average.

NAEP is a random sample test of reading and mathematics in 4th and 8th grade overseen by the U.S. Department of Education and conducted every two years in every state. 

Nationally, scores for 4th grade mathematics have been relatively flat since 2007. However, Texas’ 4th grade students have consistently outperformed the national average for more than a decade, continuing the trend with a statistically higher average in 2019. Texas African American, Hispanic, and Anglo students performed in the top 10 nationally in 4th grade math, with African American students ranking first among their peers in all states.

National mathematics scores for 8th grade have been flat since 2015, with Texas mathematics scores declining over the same period.

“We should be proud of the performance of our 4th grade students in mathematics, especially the leading position of our African American students. We still have work to do so our 4th grade achievements in mathematics extend through 8th grade and beyond. In reading, our students have great promise, but our system has much room for improvement,” Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath said.

“This year, the Governor, Lt. Governor, Speaker, and Legislature laid the groundwork for the system to make those needed improvements with the passage of HB 3. This includes a significant expansion of reading academies for teachers and principals, a focus on the science of teaching reading, improved phonics curriculum in the early grades, and a major investment in quality Pre-K, which will all support significant improvements for our students.”

To learn more about this year’s NAEP, and to see the results for Texas and other states, click here.