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West Virginia NAEP Scores Show Positive Improvement in Reading

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October 28, 2015

Charleston, W.Va. - West Virginia students who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in 2015 showed improvement in the area of reading according to data released today by the National Center for Educational Statistics.

West Virginia was the only state in the country to see an increase in eighth grade reading with the average scale score increasing from 257 in 2013 to 260 in 2015. West Virginia now ranks 42nd in the country for eighth grade reading scores. In addition, West Virginia’s rank in fourth grade reading increased from 46th in 2013 to 40th in 2015 when considering those students who scored at or above the proficiency level.

NAEP, also referred to as The Nation’s Report Card, tests a representative sample of students statewide by distributing assessment questions in math and ELA content areas among groups of test takers who take different versions of the test. In West Virginia, approximately 2,300 fourth graders and 2,100 eighth graders were tested between January and March 2015. The sampling represents 11 percent of all fourth graders and 10 percent of all eighth graders. The assessment is administered every other year.

“I applaud our reading score increases and believe our students are moving in the right direction,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “Because our standards are now fully cemented and continue to be delivered with high quality by our dedicated teachers, I believe we will have a much clearer gauge of how students are performing on future assessments.”

Scores in math show there is still work to be done. The percent of students at or above the proficiency level in math decreased from 35 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2015 for fourth graders. However, West Virginia’s national ranking remained consistent at 43rd. Similarly, percentages of students in eighth grade who scored at or above the proficiency level decreased from 24 percent in 2013 to 21 percent in 2015. West Virginia’s decline was consistent with national results as scores decreased by two percentage points in both fourth and eighth grade for those students at or above the proficiency level. The national decline in math scores was the first decline since the assessment was first administered in 1990.

“I want to use these results as a guide for the areas where our students need to improve,” Martirano said. “Today’s release confirms what we already know – there is still work to be done to ensure our young people graduate high school prepared for college and the 21st century world of work. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to providing high levels of rigor and ultimately increasing student achievement.”

The Nation’s Report card is one measure of how are students are performing in mathematics and ELA in the fourth and eighth grades. Results provide useful information on how students are performing within and across states. The assessment serves as a common measure of student achievement nationally.

Complete NAEP information can be found by visiting: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.

For more information, contact Kristin Anderson at the WVDE Communications Office at (304) 558-2699 or kristin.anderson@k12.wv.us.

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