Columbia – Today, results from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Reading and Math were released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The release is also known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” as it is the only assessment that allows comparisons of public education achievement across states.
Results for South Carolina students show a significant decrease in performance for fourth graders in both reading and math. South Carolina’s 4th grade reading performance, as measured from 2015 to 2017, was the second largest decline in the nation. Performance was flat from 2015 to 2017 for South Carolina 8th grade students.
The NAEP administration began in 2003 and is a requirement for states who receive Title I federal funding. All states currently participate in the Reading and Math assessments, testing a representative sample of students in mathematics and reading at grades 4 and 8 every two years. Science, once a required tested area, is now an optional offering for states. Results are reported out at the state level, not at the school or student level. This year’s assessments were digitally-based and delivered to students on tablets, routers, and mobile connectivity provided by NCES.
According to EOC Chairman Neil Robinson, the results of NAEP, often referred to as the “gold standard,” are designed to be used by teachers, principals, parents, policymakers, and researchers to assess progress and develop ways to improve education in the United States.
“The release today emphasizes the importance of putting value on the education of the young people we serve in schools every day,” stated Robinson. “The states who improved, including Florida who led the nation, point to the importance of strong accountability and a continued focus on strong teaching and learning.”
Melanie Barton, EOC Executive Director stated that the staff was reviewing the historical trends for South Carolina and neighboring states and emphasized that a new accountability system this fall would provide an opportunity for the state to refocus. Schools have not received ratings for three years.
In 2005, results on NAEP showed significant improvements made by South Carolina students. South Carolina made the largest gains nationally in 8th grade math, 4th grade science, and 8th grade science. Fourth grade math showed the second largest jump nationally, and SC ranked 28th nationally.
“As we dig into the data, we see that when the accountability system was strong in South Carolina, we were one of the fastest improving systems in the country. Now, we are losing ground to states whom we have previously outperformed,” Barton stated.
Robinson concluded the responsibility to reverse course lies with all of us.
“To ensure our students success and our state’s economic future, we must all own this issue; ‘we’ includes the EOC members, the SC Department of Education, educators, policymakers, school board members, community leaders, businesses, parents, and students,” stated Robinson. “We must ask ourselves what system of learning and measures of progress we need to put in place to move our students and our state forward.”
|Assessment||2015 SC National Ranking||SC Outperformed these States in 2015||2017 SC National Ranking||SC Outperformed these States in 2017|
|4th Grade Reading||39th||Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Arizona, Hawaii, Mississippi, Alaska, California, and New Mexico||47th||Louisiana, New Mexico, and Alaska|
|4th Grade Math||39th||Alaska, Georgia, Michigan, Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, California, Alabama, and New Mexico||43rd||Oregon, Alabama, California, Nevada, Alaska, New Mexico, and Louisiana|
|8th Grade Reading||42nd||West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Nevada, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mississippi||44th||West Virginia, Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Mexico|
|8th Grade Math||42nd||Arkansas, California, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Alabama||44th||Arkansas, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Mexico, Alabama, and Louisiana|
Ranks defined the number of states whose performance is better or the same as SC.
|Average Scale Scores||Average Scale Scores|
|4th Grade Math (Public Schools)||8th Grade Math (Public Schools)|
|Average Scale Scores||Average Scale Scores|
|4th Grade Reading (Public Schools)||8th Grade Reading (Public Schools)|
The SC Education Oversight Committee is an independent, non-partisan group made up of 18 educators, business persons, and elected leaders. Created in 1998, the committee is dedicated to reporting facts, measuring change, and promoting progress within South Carolina’s education system.