News

National academic progress report is out - See how AZ students performed

As expected, the COVID pandemic had a significant impact on our nation’s children.  The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) recent report shows students' NAEP scores have decreased in math and reading competency.  Although Arizona students fared better overall than most states, their scores are still among the lowest in the country on student achievement. The NAEP assessment, administered in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, allows state-to-state comparison of academic performance. It was administered in 2019, and it shows how students performed before and after the COVID pandemic

Although scores in math have consistently increased since 1990, average mathematics scores for the nation in 2022 were lower by 5 points at the fourth-grade level and 8 points at the eighth-grade level.  Fortunately, they still remain higher than the baseline established in 1990, indicating that not all progress in math has been lost. The same cannot be said for reading competency.  Average reading scores nationally decreased by 3 points at both fourth- and eighth-grade levels -  wiping out ALL of the progress made since 1992. The good news is that Arizona’s children saw smaller declines than the national average in reading in both grades with under one-point decrease in reading scores.

Our state's good news should be tempered by the fact that only 31 percent of all children in Arizona scored at or above the proficient level in reading.  And students of color fared far worse on the reading assessment with Black students scoring 32 points and Hispanic students scoring 26 points lower than White students. Reading comprehension is connected to later success in school and higher school graduation rates.  Also, children who live in poverty are more likely to struggle with reading comprehension. Arizona has a long way to go to provide all children with the resources they need.  We must start now by addressing the looming spending limit (AEL) crisis facing Arizona’s public schools.

For more information on Arizona’s results please see the state profile here

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