Arizona fourth- and eighth-graders trail USA on math, reading scores

The 2017 scores show a continuing downward trend that began in 2015, according to The Washington Post.

Like 40 other states, Virginia's results were relatively flat, with the state's largest move coming from a 2-point gain in eighth-grade math. She said other assessments for the state, such as AZMerit, can provide more accurate and inclusive results.

Alabama's math scores have improved through the years but have never reached the national average and have always been significantly lower than national public school averages.

African American students in Wisconsin in both fourth and eighth grades underperformed students nationally.

For reading, the state faired a little lower, fourth graders earning a 223, or 25th in the nation.

The data highlights a number of public school districts across the country, including Milwaukee Public Schools.

Ohio's average scores went up three points, compared to 2015, but were two points lower than 2013.

MA is earning top marks again in reading and math.

Illinois' largest public school district saw a narrowing of the gap between students of color, who make up at least eight of 10 kids in CPS, and white students, in both grades and subjects.

Among all schools in 2016-17 that received a D or F, 92.9 percent had enrollments with at least 50 percent of students from low-income families. A proficient rating means students have shown "solid academic performance" and "demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter".

Students took the test between January and March 2017.

"Florida leaders, administrators, and, most importantly, teachers are to be commended for their continued efforts on behalf of students", U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said.

Eighth-graders rocked the exams. While it's a useful tool to see how Connecticut's average student stacks up, it doesn't account for vast inequities within the state's 205 school districts.

In reading, eighth-graders in public schools and in suburban schools increased their scores.

This is the first time students took the tests on tablets, rather than using pencils and paper.

Students in those same grades are also tested in science at regular intervals, and the 2015 results, released in 2016, showed Alabama students at or near the bottom of the pack. Wisconsin Hispanic students were also at or below the national averages.

White eighth-graders had a score of 282 in math, compared with 248 for black students, which was down from 255 in 2015, resulting in a gap of 33 points. Under the Read to Achieve program approved by lawmakers four years ago, students must be reading at grade level by the end of third grade in order to advance.

Through the years, wide gaps emerged between the percentage of students reaching proficiency on a state's standardized test and the percentage of students reaching proficiency on the NAEP.

Virginia outperformed the national average, and Maryland stood out in its fourth-grade reading scores but was otherwise on par with outcomes across the country. In reading, the same group has seen a 5-point increase since 1992.

The gaps between students of different backgrounds - long a sore spot for state policymakers and civil rights advocates - persist.

"There is still much work to be done to close achievement gaps and ensure that our young people are ready for success in college, careers and life", said Carissa Miller, executive director of the Council of Chief State School Officers. "As our population continues to diversify, we can not afford to leave large numbers of our students behind their peers and expect the Wisconsin economy to continue without disruption".

  • Julie Sanders