Ohio's NAEP results no surprise

The 2011 NAEP results for reading and mathematics were
released yesterday - see here
for our DC colleague Mike Petrilli’s take on it. Nationally, fourth-grade
reading scores remained the same from 2009, while eighth graders achieved a
small increase in reading performance. Students from around the country
continued the upward trend in math, with increases in both the fourth and
eighth grade. Ohio’s state-specific results were more of the same, mostly stagnant
performance compared to past years.

Chart 1 below shows that reading results for fourth and
eighth graders in the Buckeye State haven’t budget for the last decade or so.  In 2011, 27 percent of fourth-grade students
scored at the proficient level or higher, unchanged from 2009. Only 7 percent
of fourth graders scored at advanced proficiency, down from the 9 percent that
did so in 2009. Breaking down the data by racial subgroups, only 13 percent of
Black students were proficient on the fourth-grade assessment, and 1 percent
scored at an advanced level.



The results from the eighth-grade reading assessment paint a
very similar story. The percent of students proficient in eighth-grade reading
has remained virtually unchanged since 2002, with only 33 percent of students
scoring at or above the proficient level in 2011. The achievement gap between
Black and White students, as well as White and Hispanic students has not narrowed
since 2009.

It is disappointing to see a continuing weakness in reading,
but Ohio’s math results are slightly more encouraging. Chart 2 below shows Ohio’s
fourth- and eighth-grade math scores over time. While the percent of fourth-grade
students proficient in math didn’t change from 2009 (38 percent), eighth graders
eked out a small gain. In 2009, 28 percent of eighth graders scored at the
proficient level, and in 2011 Ohio saw an increase of 3 percentage points, with
31 percent proficient of students now proficient in eighth-grade math. Ohio was
one of only a handful of states to see an increase in eighth-grade math