Scores from the so-called nation’s report card – also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress – were released this week, and test performance from Hoosier students dropped slightly in reading.
Reading and math scores for students in Indiana have hovered just above the national average, but in 2019, reading scores fell nationally, and in Indiana.
The scores show about 37 percent of Hoosier students at proficiency, almost identical rates to how many students passed both English Language Arts and Math on the new state test, ILEARN. After ILEARN results came out, officials included moving toward more rigorous national standards as a reason for the drop compared to the former test, ISTEP.
Ebony Walton from the National Center For Education Statistics says proficient doesn’t necessarily mean on grade level, and each state defines it differently.
“Indiana may have set their proficient bar similar to that of NAEP but many states don’t,” Walton says.
Walton says the national drop in 8th grade reading scores is unprecedented on the test. At the same time, there have been gains in math.
“But we have seen cases where many states, most of the states, saw improvements in one of our assessments in two years,” she says.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick said in a statement, the scores don’t provide a total reflection of student achievement, and scores have improved for different groups, like special needs students, students of color and English learners.