Dover, Del.–November 13, 2003 Results of the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Mathematics and Reading tests administered from January through March of this year were released earlier today.Nearly 11,000 public school students in grades 4 and 8 took part in the NAEP assessments in Delaware.
This year’s average scale score for Delaware fourth-grade students in mathematics soared to 236, compared to the national public school average of 234. This score is 21 points higher than Delaware’s 1996 average scale score of 215,and is the second highest score gain in the country. Only South Carolina had a larger average scale score gain (23) in this subject and grade. The national public school average increase was 12 points.
Eighth-grade mathematics also showed significant improvement. Delaware students obtained an average scale score of 277, a ten-point difference from 1996. The national public school average scale score was 276. Today’s math score places Delaware tied for sixth for average score gain in the country.The national public school average increase was six points.
“These results confirm that Delaware continues to be on the path of continuous improvement in our schools,thanks to the work going on in our schools and classrooms,” said Governor Ruth Ann Minner. “Our districts have aligned the curriculum to the math standards in the elementary grades and that is clearly paying off with higher test scores. There is still work to be done in the middle school grades, but these results show that it is worth the effort.”
In reading, the average scale score for Delaware’s fourth-grade students was 224,which is significantly higher than the national public school average of 216.This year’s results remain unchanged compared to the 2002 NAEP results that produced a 17-point increase from 1998 scores.Also, this year’s 224 score is the fourth highest average scale score in the country,with only eight other states equal to or higher than Delaware’s score. The national public school average increase was four points.
In eighth grade reading, students scored 265, a two-point decrease from the 2002 assessment.However, in comparison to the 1998 assessment, this still equates to an 11-point increase, which ranks first in the U.S.The national public school average increase was one point.
“I am pleased that the dramatic NAEP reading gains from last year were confirmed with this year’s test results,”said Secretary of Education’s Valerie A. Woodruff. Added Secretary Woodruff,“Today’s reading score results parallel the reading gains noted on the 2002 DSTP.”
NAEP assesses mathematics in five content areas: number sense, properties, and operations; measurement; geometry and spatial sense;data analysis, statistics and probability; and algebra and functions. The NAEP mathematics scale ranges from 0 to 500.NAEP reading is assessed in two contexts: reading for literary experience and to gain information.The NAEP reading scale also ranges from 0 to 500.
Other trends noted in this year’s results:Grade 4 Math
- The percentage of fourth-grade grade students who performed at or above the NAEP “Proficient” level was 31 percent in 2003.This was almost double the 16 percent of Delaware fourth-grade graders who were “Proficient” in 1996.
- Performance gaps narrowed between scores of white/black students.The gap between the economically disadvantaged and their peers also narrowed.The gap was eliminated between male/female average scores.
- The percentage of students who performed at or above the NAEP “Proficient” level was 26 percent in 2003. This percentage was greater than that in 1996 (19 percent).
- The average NAEP math scores increased for most groups (males, females, blacks, economically disadvantaged), thus performance gaps remained but did not show an increase.
- The percentage of fourth-grade grade students who performed at or above the NAEP “Proficient” level was 33 percent in 2003.This was not significantly different from 2002 (35 percent), and was greater than in 1992 (24 percent).
- The performance gap narrowed for the economically disadvantaged, other gaps showed no significant difference.
- The percentage of students who performed at or above the NAEP “Proficient” level was 31 percent in 2003.This percentage was not significantly different than from 2002 (33 percent), and was greater than in 1998 (23 percent).
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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