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News: Georgia on Par With Nation in NAEP Reading Scores


Georgia’s results on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show little significant change in students performing at or above the proficient level since 2013, the last time the test was administered. The percentage of Georgia students scoring at or above the NAEP proficiency level for fourth-grade reading stayed the same, while two of the other areas saw slight decreases: two percentage points in eighth-grade reading and one percentage point in eighth-grade mathematics. The decline in the percentage of Georgia students at or above the Proficient level (39 percent in 2013 to 35 percent in 2015) in fourth-grade mathematics was considered more significant. Similarly, the national NAEP results showed declines in all areas except fourth-grade reading.

Taking a broader look, since 2002 the percentage of Georgia students scoring at or above the NAEP proficiency level has increased in every area: by six points in fourth-grade reading, four points in eighth-grade reading, 18 points in fourth-grade mathematics, and nine points in eighth-grade mathematics.

“These results underscore the importance of strengthening our students’ foundational skills in reading and math,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “At the state level, we’re committed to supporting districts in that work by producing better resources for teachers, fully vetting any new standards and initiatives, and providing greater flexibility so schools have room to innovate.”

As expected, the NAEP results are in line with the statewide Georgia Milestones scores released in September. Those scores showed a lower percentage of students scoring as proficient, compared to the now-retired CRCT.

“We have been criticized for having a gap between proficiency on our state tests and proficiency on the National Assessment of Educational Progress,” Superintendent Woods said when the Milestones scores were released. “Many of these reports have appropriately stated that what we require of our students on state tests doesn’t come close to the standard on the NAEP. That is simply unacceptable. If we are going to address students’ needs, then we must be honest about how much they really know.”

 

Key Findings of the 2015 NAEP

Grade 4 Reading

  • The average reading scale score for students in Georgia was 222.  This was not significantly different from the score in 2013 (222) or the score in 2011 (221).
  • Georgia’s average score in 2015 (222) was not significantly different than that of the nation’s public schools (221).
  • The average reading scale score for White students in Georgia decreased one (1) point from 2013 (233) to 2015 (232).  The average scale score for Black students increased three (3) points from 2013 (209) to 2015 (212).  The average scale score for Hispanic students decreased two (2) points from 2013 (213) to 2015 (211).  Scale score changes for these race/ethnic groups were not statistically significant.
  • The average reading scale score for students who were eligible for the National School Lunch (NSL) Program was 211 in 2013 and 214 in 2015, a three (3) point increase.
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 68 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (67 percent) or 2011 (66 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic (68 percent) was the same as the percentage for the nation’s public schools (68 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 34 percent.  This was the same as the percentage for 2013 (34 percent), and two (2) points higher than 2011 (32 percent). There were no significant differences between these percentages.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient (34 percent) was not statistically different than the percentage for the nation’s public schools (35 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 7 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (9 percent) or 2011 (7 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 7 percent while the percentage for the nation’s public schools was 8 percent.

 

Grade 8 Reading

  • The average reading score for students in Georgia was 262. This was not significantly different from the score in 2013 (265) or 2011 (262).
  • Georgia’s average score (262) was not significantly different than that of the nation’s public schools (264).
  • The average reading scale score for White students in Georgia decreased one (1) point from 2013 (274) to 2015 (273).  The average scale score for Black students decreased four (4) points from 2013 (252) to 2015 (248).  The average scale score for Hispanic students decreased three (3) points from 2013 (260) to 2015 (257).  Scale score changes for these race/ethnic groups were not statistically significant.
  • The average reading scale score for students who were eligible for the National School Lunch (NSL) Program was 255 in 2013 and 253 in 2015, a two (2) point decrease.
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 73 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (75 percent) or 2011 (74 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic (73 percent) was not significantly different from the percentage for the nation’s public schools (75 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 30 percent.  This was lower than the percentage for 2013 (32 percent), and two (2) points higher than 2011 (28 percent). There were no significant differences between these percentages.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient (30 percent) was not significantly different than the percentage for the nation’s public schools (33 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 3 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (4 percent) or 2011 (2 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced (3 percent) was the same as the percentage for the nation’s public schools (3 percent).

 

Grade 4 Mathematics

  • The average mathematics scale score for students in Georgia was 236.  This was significantly different from the score in 2013 (240), but not from the score in 2011 (238).
  • Georgia’s average scale score in 2015 (236) was significantly different than that of the nation’s public schools (240).
  • The average mathematics scale score for White students in Georgia decreased five (5) points from 2013 (250) to 2015 (245).  The average scale score for Black students decreased two (2) points from 2013 (226) to 2015 (224).  The average scale score for Hispanic students decreased one (1) point from 2013 (235) to 2015 (234).  Scale score changes for these race/ethnic groups were not statistically significant.
  • The average mathematics scale score for students who were eligible for the National School Lunch (NSL) Program was 230 in 2013 and 228 in 2015, a two (2) point decrease.
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 78 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (81 percent) or 2011 (80 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic (78 percent) was significantly different than that of students in the nation’s public schools (81 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 35 percent.  This was significantly different from 2013 (39 percent), but was not significantly different from 2011 (37 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient (35 percent) was significantly different than that of students in the nation’s public schools (39 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 5 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (7 percent) or 2011 (6 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 5 percent while the percentage for the nation’s public schools was 7 percent.

 

Grade 8 Mathematics

  • The average mathematics scale score for students in Georgia was 279, and was not significantly different from that in 2013 (279) or 2011 (278).
  • Georgia’s average scale score (279) was significantly different than for the nation’s public schools (281).
  • The average mathematics scale score for White students in Georgia decreased one (1) point from 2013 (292) to 2015 (291).  The average scale score for Black students increased two (2) points from 2013 (262) to 2015 (264).  The average scale score for Hispanic students decreased six (6) points from 2013 (276) to 2015 (270).  Scale score changes for these race/ethnic groups were not statistically significant.
  • The average mathematics scale score for students who were eligible for the National School Lunch (NSL) Program in Georgia was unchanged at 267 from 2013 to 2015.
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 67 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (68 percent) or 2011 (68 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic (67 percent) was significantly different than the percentage for the nation’s public schools (70 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 28 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (29 percent) or 2011 (28 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient (28 percent) was significantly different than the percentage for the nation’s public schools (32 percent).
  • In 2015, the percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 7 percent.  This was not significantly different from 2013 (7 percent) or 2011 (6 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at Advanced was 7 percent while the percentage for the nation’s public schools was 8 percent.

To download the full reading and math reports, visit the Georgia Department of Education and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Media contacts

Matt Cardoza
GaDOE Communications Office
404-651-7358
mcardoza@gadoe.org

Lynn Peisner
Get Georgia Reading
lynn@gafcp.org