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NEWS RELEASES 2013-14

NEWS RELEASES 2013-14 :: NOVEMBER 7, 2013

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FOURTH AND EIGHTH GRADE NAEP SCORES HOLD STEADY IN 2013

North Carolina fourth and eighth grade students' performance on the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) held steady according to The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). The NCES found that North Carolina students are continuing to perform at or above the national average on NAEP's mathematics and reading assessments.

State Superintendent June Atkinson said she has always appreciated receiving the NAEP scores and finding out how students in North Carolina are performing in comparison to their peers in other states. "It is encouraging to hear that our scores held steady since the last administration in 2011, but I'm really interested in seeing these results in 2015. The content standards we are now using in our classrooms and the state assessments students are taking are significantly more rigorous than in the past. I expect that our state's more challenging standards will result in heightened student learning and stronger performance on national assessments in the future," Atkinson said.

Today's NAEP results show a comparable percent of proficient students to the new state accountability results. In prior years, the percentage of students deemed proficient on the NAEP was usually much lower than the percentage of students scoring proficient on the state accountability assessments. With changes to the state's content standards and accountability model, the state performance measures are more closely aligned to North Carolina's NAEP results.

North Carolina's reading scores show fourth grade students earning an average score of 222 while the nation is at 221. At eighth grade, North Carolina's average score is 265 and the nation's is 266. In reading, North Carolina's fourth and eighth graders' average scores are not considered to be statistically different from the national average scores, according to NCES.

North Carolina's average fourth grade reading score was higher than 18 other states/jurisdictions lower than 14 others and in the same performance category as 19 others. Eighth grade scores placed North Carolina lower than 23 other states/jurisdictions, higher than nine others and the same as 19 others.

In mathematics, North Carolina's fourth graders received an average score of 245 while the nation is at 241. For eighth graders, the average mathematics score is 286 and the nation's is 284. In mathematics, North Carolina's fourth grade average score is statistically higher than the nation. North Carolina's eighth graders' average score is not considered to be statistically different from the national average score.

Compared to other states, North Carolina's average fourth grade mathematics score was higher than 26 other states/jurisdictions, lower than five others and in the same performance category as 20 others. Eighth grade mathematics scores placed North Carolina lower than 15 other states/jurisdictions, higher than 21 others and the same as 15 others.

In addition to providing the average scores for each grade and subject, the NAEP performance also is reported by the percentage of students scoring at or above three achievement levels: Basic, Proficient and Advanced. Students who do not reach the Basic level are considered Below Basic. The NAEP proficiency levels are set at a very rigorous level, and the Proficient level is defined as mastery over the challenging subject matter.

In fourth grade reading, North Carolina has 31 percent of students scoring at Below Basic, 34 percent at Basic, 27 percent at Proficient and eight percent at the Advanced level. Nationally, those percentages are 33, 33, 26 and eight percent respectively.

For eighth grade reading, North Carolina has 24 percent of students scoring at Below Basic, 43 percent at Basic, 29 percent at Proficient and four percent at the Advanced level. Nationally, those percentages are 23, 42, 31 and four respectively.

In fourth grade mathematics, North Carolina has 13 percent of students scoring at Below Basic, 42 percent at Basic, 37 percent at Proficient and eight percent at the Advanced level. Nationally, those percentages are 18, 41, 34 and eight respectively.

For eighth grade mathematics, North Carolina has 25 percent of students scoring at Below Basic, 39 percent at Basic, 27 percent at Proficient and nine percent at the Advanced level. Nationally, those percentages are 27, 39, 26 and eight respectively.

NAEP is given in reading and mathematics every other year. The NAEP assesses reading in both literary (fiction, literacy nonfiction, and poetry) and informational texts (exposition, argumentation and persuasive texts, and procedural texts and documents). The assessments are given to a representative sample of North Carolina students selected by the NCES.

The NAEP assesses mathematics in five content areas: number properties and operations; measurement; geometry; data analysis, statistics and probability; and algebra.

NAEP results for the nation reflect the performance of students attending public schools (including charter schools), private schools, the Department of Defense schools and Bureau of Indian Education schools. Only national- and state-level data are available because the NAEP is only given to a sample of students in each state. Individual student scores are not provided. The NAEP assessments are conducted in reading, mathematics, science, writing, civics, economics, geography, U.S. history and the arts. Reading and mathematics are assessed every two years with state-level results reported.

Comparisons between North Carolina students' performance and the nation are made using public school scores only.


2013 NAEP NC Fourth Grade Reading Snapshot
(pdf, 2.5mb)

2013 NAEP NC Eighth Grade Reading Snapshot
(pdf, 2.4mb)

2013 NAEP NC Fourth Grade Mathematics Snapshot
(pdf, 2.3mb)

2013 NAEP NC Eighth Grade Mathematics Snapshot
(pdf, 2.4mb)

2013 Frequently Asked Questions
(pdf, 119kb)

2013 NAEP Fourth and Eighth Grades Reading Sample Questions
(doc, 114kb)

2013 NAEP Fourth and Eighth Grades Mathematics Sample Questions
(doc, 114kb)

About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 107 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.


For more information:
NCDPI Communications and Information, 919.807.3450.