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Oklahoma scores reflect national trend on Nation's Report Card for 2019


November 3, 2019


OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma's results from the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation's Report Card, are in line with national trends. Results were released Oct. 30 by the National Assessment Governing Board.

Across tests for fourth and eighth grades in reading and math, Oklahoma saw an increase in scores in eighth-grade math. From 2017 to 2019, Oklahoma's eighth-grade math scores showed a one-to-two point gain in all percentiles. National scores were flat or showed a one-to-two point drop.

"We are encouraged to see improvement in eighth-grade math scores after strengthening our academic standards," said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. "Oklahoma students can compete academically with other students in the nation, but we have more ground to gain."

In August, a NAEP mapping study showed that Oklahoma has made significant strides in expectations for student academic proficiency in reading and mathematics. Oklahoma was among the top states in strong expectations for eighth-grade mathematics.

"The bar is higher now, and our state has set the stage for considerable improvement," Hofmeister said. "The latest NAEP results indicate challenges across the nation, and we are not immune. Lifting student achievement won't happen automatically. It will take a new approach. It's going to take all Oklahomans to keep momentum building for education and the future our kids deserve."

In eighth-grade reading, Oklahoma mirrored the three-point national decline. While the nation's fourth-grade reading score declined by three points, Oklahoma's fourth-grade reading score dropped by only one point. Oklahoma's fourth-grade math score remained flat.

The 2019-20 school year marks the first time the Reading Sufficiency Act (RSA) has received full funding of $150 per student. RSA gives kindergarten through third-grade students the academic and literacy foundation necessary for success in later grades.

"Our kids do not have to be struggling readers. Extensive research shows us how the brain learns to read, and many classrooms across Oklahoma and the nation are still teaching reading strategies that have been discredited and could even make it harder for students to learn to read," Hofmeister said. "In Oklahoma, we are encouraging teachers to be well-informed on the science of reading, and we stand ready to have open and honest conversations about what we can do moving forward.

"However, the conversation must be about more than just early literacy if we are serious about lifting academic outcomes for all students. It is imperative that we thoroughly teach our new academic standards, strategically invest in mentoring new teachers and support kids with deep learning challenges. There are no shortcuts to success. We must never underestimate the transformative power of prepared teachers and quality instruction in lifting student outcomes. Our kids need every opportunity and every day possible."

Federal law requires that states receiving Title I funding participate in the NAEP reading and math assessments every two years. NAEP chooses samples of students representative of the state's student population. Approximately 8,900 Oklahoma students attending 250 sites in about 190 districts were tested between January and March.


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