At today's monthly State Board of Education meeting in Dover, Secretary of Education Valerie A. Woodruff released the results of the 2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reading tests administered to students in grades 4 and 8 during January-March of 2002. The results show significant gains in average reading scores demonstrating that Delaware students have become stronger readers over the past four years. In the fourth grade, Delaware students on average scored 224 on the NAEP Reading test while the rest of the nation scored at 217. This is a significant improvement from the 1998 reading assessment when Delaware fourth graders scored 207 against a national average of 213. Delaware’s eighth graders showed significant improvement as well. In 2002, the average score was 267 compared to the nation’s score of 263. Compared to 1998, Delaware’s eighth graders improved 13 points in average score. Today’s results ranks Delaware fourth in the nation for average score gain.
Governor Ruth Ann Minner was very pleased with the test results. “Today’s NAEP results are yet another indication of the success of our ongoing education reform efforts. The state reforms initiated by the legislature, the business community and Delaware’s Department of Education have raised both expectations and achievement for all of our students.” Added Governor Minner, “I strongly believe that standards-based classroom instruction, student and school accountability, focused teacher professional development, and school-based reading support through reading specialists and the reading cadre are responsible for stronger reading skills of our students.”
This year’s NAEP results also show the following trends:
- Delaware ranked first in the nation among all participating states in 2002 for posting the largest rate of improvement from 1998 in reading scores for both grades 4 and 8.
- The percentage of fourth grade students scoring at or above the “Proficient” level, which equates to “Exceeds The Standard” on the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP), increased from 22% (1998) to 35% (2002). Eighth grade students in this category also increased (23% in 1998 to 33% in 2002).
- In grade 4, 71% of Delaware students scored at or above the “Basic” level compared to 62% for the nation, which equates to “Meets the Standard” or “Exceeds the Standard” on the DSTP. This included 35% at the “Proficient” range and 8% at the “Advanced” range. The “Advanced” level of NAEP equates to “Distinguished” on the DSTP.
- In grade 8, 81% of Delaware students scored at or above the “Basic” range compared to 74% for the nation. This included 33% at the “Proficient” range and 2% at the “Advanced” range.
- The average fourth grade scale scores of both males and females were higher than in 1992, 1994 and in 1998. The average eighth grade scores of both males and females were higher than in 1998.
- The average fourth grade scale scores of white, black and Hispanic students were higher in 2002 than in 1998, while in grade 8, white and black student scores were higher than in 1998. The difference in average scores for eighth grade Hispanic students was not found to be significant.
“Today’s release of the NAEP scores, and the performance of our students in grades 4 and 8 is wonderful news,” said Valerie A. Woodruff, Delaware’s Secretary of Education. “Clearly, our students have made significant gains in the past four years.” Added Secretary Woodruff, “I commend all Delaware teachers and administrators for the wonderful work they have done to help our students achieve the kind of academic success we are seeing in these scores.”
The NAEP Reading test has been administered in 1992, 1994, 1998, 2000 and 2002. Delaware did not participate in the NAEP reading assessment in 2000. “Delaware students who participated in the eighth grade NAEP reading assessment in 2002 were many of the same students who had participated as fourth graders on the NAEP tests four years earlier in 1998,” stated Michael Stetter, Ed.D., NAEP State Coordinator. Added Stetter, “Their stronger reading performances, relative to 8th grade students in other states, suggest that theses students have improved as readers during their upper elementary and middle school years.”
Even more encouraging are the strong reading scores posted by Delaware fourth graders on NAEP 2002. “This group of fourth graders started school in 1998 as Delaware educational reform was beginning,” said Secretary Woodruff. “Their elementary school experience has mirrored the transition to standards-based learning. The performance of Delaware’s fourth graders on the 2002 NAEP and compared to fourth graders in the Northeast and throughout the nation speaks volumes about their academic success both in school and after graduation.”
Additional information about the National Assessment of Educational Progress and Delaware NAEP scores are available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/profile.asp?state=DE.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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