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Inside the Classroom

Pennsylvania students outperform peers in national reading, math exams

Jamie Martines
| Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 1:45 p.m.

The Nation's Report Card is in, and it shows that Pennsylvania students outperformed the national average for proficiency in math and reading on the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

The NAEP exams in math and reading are given to fourth and eighth graders every two years. The test is administered by the U.S. Department of Education. It does not impact students' classroom grades or ability to graduate; rather, it is intended to provide a snapshot of how students across the nation perform in various subject areas.

Similar to national averages, there wasn't much change in Pennsylvania scores from 2015.

Results show that more Pennsylvania students scored proficient across grades and subject areas compared to their peers in other states.

In math, 44 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient compared to 40 percent of fourth-graders nationwide. In reading, 40 percent of Pennsylvania fourth-graders scored proficient compared to 35 percent of fourth-graders nationwide.

The state's eight-graders also outperformed national averages, with 38 percent of students scoring proficient in math, compared to 33 percent of students nationwide. In reading, 40 percent of Pennsylvania eighth graders scored proficient compared to 35 percent nationwide.

In math, 44 percent of fourth-graders scored proficient compared to 40 percent of fourth-graders nationwide. There were 22 states that scored in the same range as Pennsylvania, including neighboring Ohio and Maryland. There were 7 states plus Department of Defense schools that performed better.

Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Department of Defense schools consistently ranked among states with the most students in both grade levels scoring proficient on the exams.

In reading, 40 percent of Pennsylvania fourth-graders scored proficient compared to 35 percent of fourth-graders nationwide, with 25 other states scoring in the same range. Three other states plus Department of Defense schools performed better.

The state's eight-graders also outperformed national averages, with 38 percent of students scoring proficient in math, compared to 33 percent of students nationwide. Four other states plus Department of Defense schools scored higher, and 22 other states scored in the same range.

In reading, 40 percent of Pennsylvania eighth graders scored proficient compared to 35 percent nationwide. Five other states plus Department of Defense schools scored higher, and 21 other states scored in the same range.

Jamie Martines is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at jmartines@tribweb.com, 724-850-2867 or on Twitter @Jamie_Martines.

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