Nebraska students score among the best on national reading and math tests
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Fourth and eighth graders in Nebraska scored higher than the national average and higher than many other states in 2022 on national math and reading tests.
No other state scored higher than Nebraska in fourth-grade math and only one scored higher in eighth-grade math, according to the Nebraska Department of Education.
Only three states outscored Nebraska in fourth-grade reading and seven states scored higher in eighth-grade reading.
“While the pandemic has clearly disrupted teaching and learning in our state, these scores are a testament to the dedication and perseverance of Nebraska’s educators from the beginning of the pandemic to today,” Commissioner Matthew Blomstedt said. “Schools committed to providing as much in-person learning as possible during the 2020-21 school year and have led the nation in the continued safe return to a new normal.”
The National Assessment of Educational Progress Tests students’ comprehension and ability of subjects learned in school.
In 2022, more than 7,500 students across Nebraska participated in the exams.
Nebraska’s average math score is 242 for fourth grade, seven points higher than the national average of 235, and 279 for eighth grade, six points higher than the national average of 273.
Nebraska’s average reading score is 219 for fourth grade, three points higher than the national average of 216, and 259 for eighth grade, the same as the national average.
The State’s Board of Education included a state budget request for increased funding for early literacy in the biennial budget request in September.
The Board included early literacy funding in the past two biennium budget requests and has been focused on early literacy since 2016 when the Board adopted the strategic plan.
The following are among other key findings from this year’s Nebraska NAEP math and reading assessment data:
- Due to COVID-19, NAEP testing was pushed back one year, the last results were pre-pandemic from 2019.
- Scores were down in all four tests nationally and locally. While Nebraska scores showed declines, they weren’t as large as most states and students continued to score at or above the national average in each test.
- English learners saw significant drops in scores in 2022. EL students scored 16 points lower in fourth-grade reading, 10 points in fourth-grade math and 13 points in eighth-grade reading than in the 2019 assessment. EL students were unchanged in eighth-grade math.
- Black students in Nebraska scored 30 points below white students in fourth-grade math, 37 points lower in eighth-grade math, 34 points lower in fourth-grade reading and 30 points lower in eighth-grade reading.
- The gap in score averages was similar for Hispanic students with a difference of 25 points in fourth-grade math, 27 points in eighth-grade math, and 24 points in fourth-grade reading and 22 points in eighth-grade reading compared to white students.