NAEP scores show AZ students are close to national average in reading and math
Scores from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as NAEP, have been released for the first time since before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Every two years, NAEP samples students from each state in fourth and eighth grades on math and reading. Based on the latest results, Arizona students are at, or close to, the national average in those subjects.
Reading scores from 2019 to 2022 held steady, but Arizona students declined in math. That’s in line with national trends, according to the Arizona Department of Education.
Monday's statement from the department said the scores “largely align” with recent data from statewide assessments and show “small but noticeable gains from last year” for most students, but they haven’t fully rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.
“Despite challenges during the pandemic, our families and educators worked together to accelerate student learning," Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said. "While we still have considerable work to do to grow math scores, it is encouraging to see our students close to the national average.”
NAEP data showed Arizona students are regionally competitive with students in bordering states Nevada, California and New Mexico.
NAEP does not provide district-level data in Arizona.
The Show spoke with Erin Hart, senior vice president and chief of policy and community impact at Education Forward Arizona, about what she makes of the data.
Hear Erin Hart with host Mark Brodie on The Show