Little change in Wisconsin’s NAEP scores

From the Department of Public Instruction

Reading and mathematics results for the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, remained steady in Wisconsin compared to prior years, with fourth-graders overall at the national average and eighth-graders just above the national average for both subjects. 

Average scale scores for 2017 fourth-grade reading in Wisconsin were 220, a decline that is statistically significant when compared to the 2015 average score of 223. The state’s 2017 reading results for fourth grade are statistically the same as the national average scale score of 221. For eighth-grade reading, state students had an average score of 269, which is above the national average of 265.

In mathematics, the average scale score in fourth grade was 240 for Wisconsin compared to 239 nationally. At eighth grade the average mathematics scale score was 288, which is above the national average of 282. Gaps in achievement are apparent across racial and ethnic groups and for students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and students learning English and their peers. 

“Wisconsin’s NAEP results, and those of the past decade plus, show how desperate the need is for us to work together to close opportunity gaps for our kids,” said State Superintendent Tony Evers. “As our population continues to diversify, we cannot afford to leave large numbers of our students behind their peers and expect the Wisconsin economy to continue without disruption.” 

Administered last spring to approximately 3,300 fourth-grade students and 3,100 eighth-grade students in Wisconsin public schools, NAEP is largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Nationally, about 143,400 students were tested in grade four reading and 137,200 in grade 8. The national sample was approximately 144,000 for fourth-grade mathematics and 140,200 for eighth grade. This was the first year NAEP fully transitioned to digitally based assessments. The NAEP reading and mathematics scales range from zero to 500. 

Read more (opens pdf of complete DPI news release).