Today, the U.S. Department of Education released results from the 2017 round of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Given every two years, this assessment is administered in all 50 states to a random sample of fourth and eighth grade students in reading and math. Known as the Nation’s Report Card, NAEP captures student achievement trends over time and allows for comparisons across states.
“Solid math and reading skills are the foundation for pursuing post-secondary education, succeeding in the workforce, and participating in a vibrant democracy,” said Chad L. Aldis, Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. “As a rigorous, external checkup on achievement, NAEP unfortunately continues to indicate that too many Ohio students struggle in these critical subject areas.”
Results released today indicate that just two in five Ohio students meet NAEP’s proficiency benchmark. In fourth grade reading, 39% of students reached proficiency or above; in fourth grade math, 41%; in eighth grade reading, 39%; and in eighth grade math, 40%. (Note: NAEP’s proficiency standard is higher than Ohio’s proficiency mark on state exams.) Following a national pattern of mostly flat NAEP scores, Ohio’s 2017 average NAEP scores were statistically unchanged relative to 2015.
“While Ohio continues to rank in the top half of states on achievement, the state can’t afford to remain stuck in neutral,” continued Aldis. “Over the past few years, Ohio policy makers have wavered on result-driven accountability. The NAEP data indicate an urgent need to refocus on strong accountability for outcomes in math and reading, pursue bold reforms that can allow schools to focus first and foremost on student learning, and ensure that all students have the necessary supports for success.”