Student Performance on NAEP Indicates PA Outperforming National Averages

HARRISBURG, Pa. – State Education Secretary Pedro A. Rivera announced yesterday that student performance on the recently released National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) shows that Pennsylvania students are performing better than their peers on the standardized assessment.

NAEP is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and produces the “nation’s report card” to provide the public with information about the academic achievement of elementary and secondary students across the country.

NAEP results are based on representative sample of students in grades four and eight, measuring subject matter achievement in reading and math. Federal law requires that states receiving Title 1 funds must participate in NAEP’s reading and math assessments, however individual student participation is voluntary.

In Pennsylvania, approximately 16,575 students in 263 schools took the NAEP last year.

Among the findings in the report was that Pennsylvania outperformed the nation in the percentage of students scoring proficient in all four categories.

Percentages of students scoring proficient:

Grade 4 Reading: U.S. 35 percent; PA 42 percent
Grade 4 Math: U.S. 39 percent; PA 45 percent
Grade 8 Reading: U.S. 32 percent; PA 40 percent
Grade 8 Math: U.S. 32 percent; PA 37 percent

The percentage of Pennsylvania students scoring proficient increased in grade four reading and math. Pennsylvania, like other states, saw a decline in grade eight math.

“The NAEP results released by the U.S. Department of Education show that the commonwealth’s students have remained steady in academic achievement among their peers; outperforming the national average and several states,” Rivera said. “While standardized tests are only one measure of success, these results show the hard work of Pennsylvania’s teachers and students is improving proficiency.”

Rivera noted that the NAEP data reflects what the Department has said in regards to changes in student performance on the 2015 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) when fewer students scored proficient or advanced.

“The NAEP results show that Pennsylvania’s performance relative to other states hasn’t wavered,” Rivera said. “The change in PSSA scores was a result of a new assessment, not an indication that student learning had changed.”

Rivera emphasized that while standardized tests can provide useful information for educators, stakeholders, parents, and policymakers about the commonwealth’s students and schools, he and Governor Wolf are currently engaged in a public dialogue to explore ways to more holistically assess student achievement and school performance.

For more details about how Pennsylvania performed on the 2015 NAEP, visit: under Assessment and Accountability.

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