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NAEP Mega-States Report: More of the Same

Nation’s Report Card study reveals mega-states lagging national average despite modest gains

CER Press Release
Washington, D.C.
February 22, 2013

Less than 40 percent of our nation’s 4th and 8th graders are proficient in math and reading. A closer look at the 2011 results of the five states with the largest public school student populations reveals these mega-states generally do not perform better than the nation’s average, but there have been modest achievement gains.

The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) Mega-States report showcases student results in California, Florida, Illinois, New York and Texas. Collectively, these mega-states represent 40 percent of the nation’s public school students. This report analyzed math and reading scores from 1992 until 2011 and science scores over the last two tests. Four out of the five mega-states had scores higher than the U.S. average in at least one grade level and one subject. Only California performed worse than the nation’s average across the board.

Some states have had greater score gains since 1992 on the math and reading tests, but there’s still a long way to go in terms student comprehension and achievement. Florida showed the most gains in reading for 4th and 8th graders, with average score increases of 16 and eight, respectively, and tied for most gain on 4th grade math. Only Texas in 8th grade math had higher gains over time than Florida.

“This in-depth analysis of The Nation’s Report Card demonstrates the need for bold and aggressive change,” said Jeanne Allen, president of the Center for Education Reform. “Complacency and mediocrity over the past two decades has starved our nation’s students of their basic rights to knowledge. It is time to accelerate the pace of reform. Our children and economic future depend on it.”

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Read more on the state of American education here: The State of the Union – A Nation at Risk