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Fourth and Eighth Grade Students Outpace Most Other States in Math and Reading

Nov. 1, 2011

News Release

“Nation’s Report Card” shows Colorado fourth-grade and eighth-grade students outpace most other states in math and reading

Colorado public school students in grades four and eight perform higher than the national average on 2011 mathematics and reading assessments, according to results released today from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). For the complete results, visit http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/

In 2011 the percentage of Colorado students who performed at or higher than scores from the nation’s public schools was 55 percent for fourth-grade math and 53 percent in reading. Fifty-nine percent of eighth-graders in mathematics and 58 percent in reading performed at or higher than public schools nationwide.

In mathematics, Colorado fourth-grade students received an average scale score of 244. There were five states that outperformed Colorado fourth-grade students in scale score (Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Maryland), 16 states that were not significantly different than Colorado and 30 states scored significantly lower than Colorado. In reading, Colorado fourth-graders received an average scale score of 223. There were eight states that outperformed Colorado fourth grade students in scale score (Connecticut, Department of Defense Schools, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont), 24 states were not significantly different than Colorado and 19 states scored significantly lower than Colorado.

In mathematics, the average scale score for Colorado eighth-grade students was 292. There were only two states that outperformed Colorado eighth-graders in scale score (Massachusetts and Minnesota), 10 states that were not significantly different and 39 states scored significantly lower. The Colorado grade eight mathematics average scale score is significantly higher than the 2009 score of 287 and has significantly improved since the 2005 and 2003 administrations. Colorado is one of only thirteen states to significantly improve the grade eight mathematics scale score since the 2009 administration of the test.

In the 2011 NAEP reading, the average scale score for Colorado eighth-grade students was 271. There were only three states that outperformed Colorado eighth-graders in scale score (Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey), 19 states that were not significantly different and 29 states scored significantly lower. The Colorado grade eight reading average scale score is significantly higher than the 2009 score of 266.

Colorado met the new Inclusion Policy mandated by the Governing Board in grade four math that 85 percent or more of the selected English language learners and students with individualized education plans be included in the test. Colorado had a 99 percent inclusion rate for English language learners and a 90 percent inclusion rate of students with individualized education plans.

The 2011 NAEP reading and mathematics assessments were administered to a representative sample of fourth and eighth-graders at the national level and at the state level. In addition, eighth-graders were assessed at the state and national level in science. The science results are anticipated to be released sometime later in 2012.

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NAEP is the only federally mandated and nationally representative assessment of what young students know and can do in key subject areas. Commonly referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” it is used to provide a point of reference for comparisons between states and to provide an accurate and representative picture of student performance over time. NAEP provides national and state results in eight subject areas, including mathematics, reading, writing and science.

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