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NAEP reveals mixed scores in North Carolina

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) — also known as “The Nation’s Report Card” — has released its 2015 scores for students across the nation, and results for North Carolina students are mixed.

In 4th grade math and reading, students performed better than the average score for students nationally. In eighth-grade math, they did about the same, and in eighth-grade reading, their scores were lower. 

“A recent national report found that North Carolina was one of only a few states in the nation with standards and assessments that are closely aligned with the rigor of the NAEP.  Thanks to this alignment, NAEP is a useful national barometer that can help us identify where we need to strengthen instruction and make improvements,” said State Superintendent Dr. June Atkinson in a press release from the Department of Public Instruction. “We need to take a closer look at 8th grade math and reading in North Carolina while at the same time, we can be very proud of the significant boost in 4th grade reading scores and the fact that 4th grade math scores were above the national average.”

 In 4th grade math, the average score for North Carolina students was 244, compared to 240 for students nationally. This score wasn’t much different from 2013, but was 14 points higher than 2000. 

In 8th grade math, North Carolina students scored 281 on average, which is the same as students nationally. The score was five points lower than North Carolina students performed on average in 2013, but five points higher than in 2000. 

In 4th grade reading, North Carolina students got a 226 on average, which is five points higher than the national average, four points higher than North Carolina achieved in 2013 and 13 points higher than in 1998.

In 8th grade reading, North Carolina students scored an average of 261, which is 3 points lower than the national average and 4 points lower than North Carolina students scored in 2013. North Carolina students achieved about the same score in 1998. 

According to its website, NAEP is the largest nationally representativ​e and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. 

Alex Granados

Alex Granados was the senior reporter for EducationNC from December 2014-March 2023.