Dover, Del.–July 10, 2003Earlier today, the results of the 2002 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Writing tests were released nationally.Nearly 8,000 Delaware students took part in the NAEP Writing assessments in grades 4 and 8 between January and March 2002.Today’s report identifies that Delaware eighth grade students demonstrated significant gains in average writing scores compared to 1998.Today’s results rank Delaware first in the nation for average score gain.
Delaware grade 4 and grade 8 writing scores are among the highest in the nation. Delaware trails only Department of Defense Schools,Connecticut and Vermont in grade 8; Connecticut and Massachusetts in grade 4. Equally important,Delaware writing scores improved its position relative to the neighboring states,meaning that Delaware graduates are competitive with neighboring state graduates for college admission and employment after high school.
In the fourth grade, Delaware students on average scored 163 on the NAEP writing test, bettering the national average of 153.At the same time, the eighth grade students on average scored 159 compared to the nation’s score of 152.Compared to 1998, Delaware’s eighth graders improved 14 points in average score. There was no 4th grade NAEP Writing Assessment in 1998.Governor Ruth Ann Minner was very pleased when she learned of the test results.“Today’s NAEP results in writing clearly demonstrate that our students are becoming stronger writers and our writing instruction is working.”
This year’s NAEP writing results also show the following trends:Grade 4
- The percentage of fourth grade students scoring at or above “Proficient” level was 35% in 2002, compared to the national average of 27%.(A 4th grade NAEP Writing Assessment was not administered in 1998.)
- The average NAEP writing scores of white, black, Hispanic, and economically disadvantaged students were higher than the national average.
- Delaware eighth grade students scored higher than 38 states participating in the 2002 assessment,with significant gained noted for all student reporting groups (boys/girls, race/ethnic, economically disadvantaged)in average scale score and percent of students scoring at or above the proficient range.
“Today’s release of the NAEP scores, and the performance of our students in grades 4 and 8 is terrific news,”said Valerie A. Woodruff, Delaware’s Secretary of Education. “NAEP Writing results provide us with some useful external feedback about writing instruction and professional development for teachers over the last five years.What we see in NAEP 2002 Writing is an indication that we may finally be seeing sustainable growth in student writing skills,thanks to persistent teacher efforts.” Added Woodruff, “This is a result of a focused effort on the part of our educators and much credit can be given to the Delaware Writing project.”
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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