October 30, 2019
CARSON CITY Nev. – Nevada fourth grade math students and English Learners (EL) both made significant progress according to National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results released today.
- Nevada’s fourth grade math students improved their scores four points from 2017, which is a significant improvement according to NAEP.
- English learners (ELs) scored 11 points higher than in 2017 and the percentage of EL students at or above the basic level rose from 41 percent to 58 percent.
“I am encouraged by the growth demonstrated by our fourth grade students in mathematics and for some student groups, including students who are English learners. We will strive to continue this trajectory and see all students rise above basic proficiency,” said Jhone Ebert, Superintendent of Public Instruction. “It is clear that the hard work of our educators and students is paying off and helping Nevada continue to improve on the national stage.”
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) administered the 2019 NAEP. Every two years a sample of students in fourth and eighth grade are assessed on what they know and are able to do in mathematics and reading. Nearly 13,000 students from 224 schools throughout Nevada (reflective of the state’s population) were selected to participate in this digital assessment.
NAEP reports student performance as an average scale score, as percentile scores for lower-, middle-, and high-performing students, and as percentages of students performing at or above basic and proficient achievement levels. Students performing at the basic level demonstrate a partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work and students performing at the proficient level demonstrate solid academic performance and competency over challenging subject matter. These achievement levels are set by the National Assessment Governing Board.
The percentage of fourth graders who scored at or above the basic level in math increased by four points to 77 percent, which is considered statistically significant by NAEP. The percentage of fourth graders who scored at or above the proficient level increased from 31 to 34 percent.
Fourth grade White and Hispanic students scored significantly higher than the 2017 cohort. White students improved by six score points and Hispanic students improved by five points.
The percentage of White students performing at or above the proficient level is significantly higher, rising by four percentage points to nine percent.
Students who are eligible for free/reduced-priced school lunch, an indicator of low family income, scored significantly higher than in 2017 by four points.
Fourth grade students performing at or above the basic level in reading rose from 61 to 64 percent, and students performing at or above the proficient level remained at 31 percent.
- Hispanic students scored significantly higher than the 2017 cohort by seven points and the percentage of students at or above the basic level rose from 51 percent to 58 percent.
- Students who are eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch scored significantly higher by five points than in 2017.
- Students who are English language learners scored significantly higher by 18 points and the percentage of students at or above the basic level rose from 20 percent to 39 percent.
- Current eighth grade students performed consistently with the 2017 cohort in both math and reading, with scores of 274 and 258 respectively. These scores are at the basic level and are one-to-two points lower than in 2017, but considered statistically similar. The percentage of eighth grade students performing at or above the basic level is 62 percent in math and 69 percent in reading, while the percentage of students performing at or above the proficient level is 26 percent in math and 29 percent in reading.
There are score gaps between student groups that are consistent with the results in 2017:
- Black students in fourth and eighth grades performed 26-to-32 points lower on math and reading than White students.
- Hispanic students in fourth and eighth grades performed 17-to-20 points lower on math and reading than White students.
- Male students in fourth and eighth grades performed six-to-nine points lower on reading than female students.
- Students in fourth and eighth grades who are eligible for free/reduced-priced school lunch performed 21-to-25 points lower on math and reading than students who are not eligible.
“NAEP results give us a snapshot of education and equity in our state,” Ebert said. “It is clear that we have achievement gap and that these gaps need to be addressed now.”