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Florida Scores On National Test Improve, But Eighth Graders Still Trail National Average

Breakthrough Miami

Florida student scores improved on a key national standardized test, including some of the largest eighth grade reading and math gains in the country.

But Florida eighth graders still trail the national average in math, according to results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as The Nation’s Report Card.

Florida eighth graders scored an average of 281, on a 500-point scale, in math and 266 in reading. The national average was 284 in math and 266 in reading.

In 2011, Florida eighth graders scored an average of 278 in math and 262 in reading.

Florida fourth graders scored an average of 242 in math and 227 on the reading exam. In 2011, Florida fourth graders scored 240 in math and 225 in reading.

Florida’s fourth grade gains were not considered statistically significant

The national fourth grade average was 241 in math and 221 in reading.

The math and reading exams are given to a sample of fourth and eighth grade students across the country and is considered the gold standard exam for comparing student performance across state lines. NAEP releases results every two years.

Nationally, student reading and math scores improved in both fourth and eighth grade. Those results were encouraging after several years of stagnant scores. But the results show U.S. students still trail students in other countries.

“While fourth and eighth grade achievement in math and reading has edged upward nationally since 2011, the increases are generally modest,” U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement. “Even with the modest increase in math and reading achievement on the 2013 NAEP, U.S. students are still well behind their peers in top-performing nations.

Duncan also noted that while minority student scores improved, the difference in scores between white students and black and Hispanic students — known as the achievement gap — remained the same.

Experts caution against attributing changes in NAEP scores to particular policy choices.

Check out state-by-state results below. Or, go to the NAEP website and use their new data tools to dig deeper.

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