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Arizona students’ NAEP scores remain stable as nation sees historic declines (+ Infographic)


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  • Charles Tack/Arizona Department of Education

NAEP

Today, the National Center for Education Statistics released fourth and eighth grade math and reading results from the 2015 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The NAEP assessment, or Nation’s Report Card, is a common yardstick that tests what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.

Arizona students' NAEP scores remain stable as nation sees historic declines (+ Infographic) NAEPScores for Arizona students did not change significantly in any of the subject/grade level combinations tested, while national scores dipped in both fourth and eighth grade math and in eighth grade reading.

“It is a testament to the hard work of Arizona teachers and students that NAEP scores have remained stable given the many significant changes to our state’s education system in recent years,” said Diane Douglas, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Our schools should absolutely be commended for the steadiness seen in these results.

“However, we cannot ignore the fact that nationally NAEP scores showed significant declines for the first time since the test began in the early 1990s. As a state, we must ask ourselves if this downward trend is related to the disruption caused by the one-size-fits-all education ‘improvements’ many states across the country have adopted. Are changes like national standards and common assessments really the answer, or are they part of the problem?”

Arizona is now statistically similar to the national average in both grade 8 reading and math, which was not the case in 2013. Arizona students also maintained the progress seen in the 2013 fourth grade math results and have made slight (though not statistically significant) gains in both grade 4 reading and math and grade 8 reading.

Arizona Compared to Other States

In 2015, fourth grade math students in Arizona scored higher than seven other states or jurisdictions, lower than 25 and were not statistically different than 19. Arizona’s eighth grade math scores were higher than 16 other states or jurisdictions, lower than 13 and statistically the same as 22.

Arizona’s reading scores for 2015 in fourth grade were higher than one state/jurisdiction, lower than 36 and not significantly different than 14. Eighth grade showed Arizona higher than nine states/jurisdictions, lower than 28 and not significantly different than 14.

2013 vs. 2015 Scores

4th Grade Math Arizona National
2013 240 241
2015 238 240

 

8th Grade Math Arizona National
2013 280 284
2015 283 281

 

4th Grade Reading Arizona National
2013 213 221
2015 215 221

 

8th Grade Reading Arizona National
2013 260 266
2015 263 264


Arizona Proficiency Rates

  • The percentage of Arizona students who performed at or above proficiency in fourth grade math was 38 percent. Those who performed at or above basic level was 79 percent.
  • The percentage of Arizona students who performed at or above proficiency in eighth grade math was 35 percent. Those who performed at or above basic level was 72 percent.
  • The percentage of Arizona students who performed at or above proficiency in fourth grade reading was 30 percent. Those who performed at or above basic level was 62 percent.
  • The percentage of Arizona students who performed at or above proficiency in eighth grade reading was 31 percent. Those who performed at or above basic level was 74 percent.

Arizona Demographic Breakdowns Average Scale Scores

4th Grade Math White Hispanic Native American Black
2013 251 232 222 230
2015 251 229 220 231

 

8th Grade Math White Hispanic Native American Black
2013 294 269 259 266
2015 297 273 260 269

 

4th Grade Reading White Hispanic Native American Black
2013 228 202 186 206
2015 229 204 191 217

 

8th Grade Reading White Hispanic Native American Black
2013 272 252 241 248
2015 276 254 244 249

 

(All grade levels and subject assessments are on different scales)
The full report of the 2015 NAEP Mathematics and Reading Results is available at www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard.

For more information, please contact: Charles Tack at Charles.Tack@azed.gov or 602-542-5072.