Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 8, 2013

Kentucky students scoring high in reading

Mike James
The Independent

FRANKFORT — Fourth- and eighth-graders in Kentucky are scoring higher than the national average in reading, but eighth-graders scored slightly below the national average in math, according to the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress, called the Nation’s Report Card.

For both groups of students, average math scores were virtually unchanged from 2011.

The data were released this week by the National Center for Education Statistics.

However, eighth-grade math scores have risen significantly — 24 points — since 1990.

Kentucky’s 2013 reading scores on a grading scale of zero to 500 were 224 for fourth-graders and 270 for eighth-graders, compared to national averages of 221 and 264 respectively.

For math, Kentucky scores were 241 for fourth-graders and 281 for eighth-graders, while the national averages were 241 and 284.

Scores for both groups of Kentucky students have trended upward in both testing areas since 1998 for reading and 2000 for math.

Data show eight states with higher scores than Kentucky in fourth-grade reading and seven in eighth-grade reading. But 19 states scored higher in fourth-grade math and 29 in eighth-grade math.

The grading scale rates student performance as advanced, proficient, basic or below basic. In Kentucky, 72 percent of fourth-graders and 80 percent of eighth-graders scored basic or higher in reading, while in math, 83 percent of fourth-graders and 71 percent of eighth-graders scored basic or above.

For 2013 testing, the Kentucky Department of Education encouraged schools to include students who in some cases had been excluded in the past. Among them were students with disabilities and with limited English proficiency.

In Kentucky, exclusion rates for reading fell to 3 percent in fourth and eighth grades for reading, from 9 percent and 7 percent respectively in 2011, from 3 percent to 1 percent in fourth-grade math, and from 3 percent to 2 percent in eighth-grade math.

The assessment doesn’t report individual student scores or teacher or school data, which the directing National Center for Educational Statistics says is for confidentiality reasons.

Complete results can be found at the center’s website at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/.

MIKEā€ˆJAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or

(606) 326-2652.