Georgia eighth-graders are improving in reading and math

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The results of the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress show Georgia’s students are improving in eighth grade reading and math, and holding steady in fourth grade math. There was a slight (two-point) decrease in fourth-grade reading. Georgia is above the national average in eighth-grade reading, and nearing the national average in the other three subject areas.

“There is more work to be done, but as we continue our efforts to strengthen foundational instruction, provide developmentally appropriate formative assessments for early literacy and numeracy, and invest in reading and literacy, I’m confident we’ll see Georgia continuing to move in the right direction.”

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods

The National Assessment of Educational Progres, or the “Nation’s Report Card,” is a nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. The test is administered every two years to a sample of fourth and eighth graders, from a sample of schools across each state. Below are some highlights from Georgia’s results.

Eighth Grade Math

  • Georgia’s eighth-grade students recorded an average scale score of 281 in math, compared to a national average of 282. Georgia eighth graders’ average score in 2015 was 279.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 68 percent in 2017, compared to a national average of 70 percent. 67 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Basic level in 2015.
  • The percentage of Georgia students who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 31 percent in 2017, compared to a national average of 34 percent. 28 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level in 2015.

Eighth Grade Reading

  • In reading, Georgia’s eighth-grade students recorded an average scale score of 266, compared to a national average of 265. Georgia eight-graders’ average score in 2015 was 262.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 76 percent in 2017, compared to a national average of 76 percent. 73 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Basic level in 2015.
  • The percentage of Georgia students who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 35 percent in 2017, compared to the national average of 36. 30 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level in 2015.

 Fourth Grade Math

  • Georgia’s fourth-grade students recorded an average scale score of 236 in math, compared to a national average of 239. There was no change from Georgia fourth-graders’ average score in 2015. 
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 77 percent in 2017, compared to a national average of 79 percent. 78 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Basic level in 2015.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 35 in 2017, compared to a national average of 40 percent. This was the same as the percentage in 2015.

Fourth Grade Reading

  • In reading, Georgia’s fourth-grade students recorded an average scale score of 220, compared to a national average of 221. Georgia fourth-graders’ average score was 222 in 2015.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 66 percent in 2017, compared to a national average of 68 percent. 68 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Basic level in 2015.
  • The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 35 percent in 2017, compared to a national average of 37 percent. 34 percent of Georgia students performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level in 2015.

In some areas, there was a significant decrease in the average scale score for students with disabilities. Improving outcomes and opportunities, and removing barriers, for students with disabilities is a top priority in Georgia. In response to these decreases, the Georgia Department of Education is taking the following steps:

  • Identifying universal screeners for literacy and numeracy to act as an early warning system and help identify and support the academic needs of all students, specifically students with disabilities 
  • Providing co-teaching training focused on literacy and numeracy instruction and supporting students with disabilities and English Learners at the classroom level
  • Providing Universal Design for Learning training to ensure students with disabilities have access to high-quality, personalized literacy and numeracy instruction
  • Collaborating with other state agencies to create a seamless plan to coordinate early, literacy-focused interventions for young children with disabilities

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