Washington, D.C. (Oct. 30, 2019) – The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller issued the following statement on the release of reading and mathematics test scores from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—also known as The Nation’s Report Card.
“States, districts and schools across America have worked hard over the last decade to raise the bar in classrooms with higher quality standards and aligned assessments to help all students succeed. With today’s results, we are encouraged by the growth in fourth grade math performance, which saw a 1 point increase nationally and seven states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity making gains. This includes increases for the 25th and 50th percentiles of students.
In eighth grade math, two states and the District of Columbia saw increases.
Across the board, the nation’s highest performing students have improved. Students nationally are performing better in reading and math today than in the early 1990s, though reading is clearly not increasing at the rate we would hope and this deserves special attention.
We recognize the urgency of improving outcomes for all students. Therefore, CCSSO will lead a summit of state chiefs joined by national experts, educators and other partners to examine what we know works and what must be done to improve literacy for all kids.
Mississippi and the District of Columbia -- the two states that saw growth in three of the four NAEP core categories -- have carved paths that have helped their students grow academically.
The District of Columbia was the only state to make gains in eighth grade reading. In the District of Columbia, which has focused on helping teachers continuously improve in their practice, African-American and Hispanic eighth graders since 2003 have completely closed a 12-point gap in math.
In Mississippi, the state’s students living in poverty are outperforming their peers nationally.
Student achievement in that state accelerated more rapidly since 2013, after the statewide implementation of the Literacy-Based Promotion Act, higher academic standards with aligned assessments and a strong accountability system, and a significant investment in professional development for educators.
Mississippi teaches foundational skills in reading and has focused on early literacy professional development for their K-3 educators, with a course contextualized with content, so science and social studies teachers also learn to teach literacy. That state has also invested in literacy in early childhood and Kindergarten readiness.
Today’s release of The Nation’s Report Card also confirms there is still much more we must do to serve students who are struggling and ensure our commitment to equitable education is fulfilled.
We must stay focused on supporting every student’s success and maintain the work states have been doing to raise the bar, so all students thrive academically and graduate prepared for college, careers and success in life.”
The Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, Bureau of Indian Education, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress, and the public.
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