Baesler: Initiatives In Place to Help NAEP Results

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Dale Wetzel, Public Information Specialist
Office 701-328-2247
Cell: 701-400-8557
Email: dewetzel@nd.gov

Baesler: Initiatives In Place to Help NAEP Results

BISMARCK, N.D., April 10, 2018 – State Superintendent Kirsten Baesler said North Dakota’s scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress show the need for continued state emphasis on early learning and reading programs.

The NAEP, which is known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” is administered every two years to fourth- and eighth-grade students in the 50 states. The assessment’s results were released Tuesday. North Dakota’s average scores in reading and math showed little change from 2015.

Here is a table of average North Dakota NAEP math and reading scores for 2015 and 2017, and how they compare nationally:
 
  2017
4th Grade
 
2015
4th Grade
 
2017
8th Grade
 
2015
8th Grade
 
ND Math 244 245 288 288
National Math 239 240 283 281
ND Reading
 
222 225 265 267
National Reading  222 221 267 264
 
In fourth- and eighth-grade mathematics, North Dakota students scored higher than the national average, the NAEP data says. In fourth- and eighth-grade reading, the scores of North Dakota students were “not significantly different” from the national average, the NAEP analysis says.

North Dakota test data can be found on the NAEP’s website here: https://bit.ly/2GL3c0B

North Dakota’s score trends on the NAEP, as well as the North Dakota State Assessment and other exams, have been flat, Baesler said. Several state projects are under way to improve those results, including more emphasis on early childhood education; North Dakota’s Choice Ready initiative, which gives local school districts the ability to tailor programs to reach their educational goals; and a Striving Readers program, in which 17 North Dakota school districts will apply for a share of $28.8 million in grants to finance comprehensive, K-12 programs for improving reading skills.

At Baesler’s urging, the Legislature has begun a grant program to help low-income parents pay for early childhood education expenses. Since 2015, lawmakers have set aside $4.5 million for grants, which benefit 4-year-olds who live in households that qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.

“We’ve put many things in place to help our students become better readers, and better at math,” Baesler said.

“We really need to understand that we all own this. We understand that we’ve all played a role in getting us where we are today, and we all need to play a role to help our students be more successful in both reading and math,” Baesler continued. “Not just for the sake of better test scores, but for the sake of their future success.”
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