The 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), or “Nation’s Report Card,” was released today by the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP is the only national standardized assessment that measures math and reading proficiency for students in all 50 states. It is administered every other year to fourth and eighth grade students. Montana’s scores are based on 301 schools which were chosen to participate and participation rates for students varied between 91 percent and 100 percent depending on the category.

In grade four for Montana, there is no statistical change between 2017 and 2019 in the math and reading categories with composites of 241 and 222 respectively (on a 500-point scale). Those scores are down from highs of 244 in math and 227 in reading in 2007. The national averages for 2019 are 240 in reading and 219 in math.

In grade eight for Montana, there are slight decreases from 2017 in both the math and reading categories. The composite for math is 284, down from 286 in 2017 and a high of 293 in 2011. The composite for reading is 265, down from 267 in 2017 and a high of 273 in 2011. The national averages for 2019 are 281 in math and 262 for reading.

National averages are slightly down in 2019 in all categories except 4th-grade math which saw a slight increase. In grade four, only 10 states performed better than Montana in math and only five states performed better in reading. In grade eight, only seven states performed better than Montana in math and only six states performed better in reading.

“In Montana, we are blessed to have some of the best students, parents, teachers, and schools in the country,” State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen said Wednesday. “However, the Nation’s Report Card, along with state and local assessments, show that we have room to improve academic outcomes for all Montana students. The Office of Public Instruction is committed to supporting local communities in preparing their students for success in careers and college. We must begin this work early, with an emphasis on middle school and transitions.”

For additional information, data, and reports, please visit the NAEP website. To learn more about assessments in Montana, visit the OPI’s website.

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