Indiana Fourth and Eighth Grade Students Earn Math Scores Above the National Average

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana fourth and eighth grade students outperformed their peers nationwide in math and earned similar scores as their peers nationwide in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The assessment – also known as the Nation’s Report Card – provides a snapshot of how Indiana’s students are performing compared to other students across the nation. In both 2019 and 2022, scores in math and reading have declined nationally and in Indiana. This year in reading, 33 percent of Indiana fourth graders and 31 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficiency, while in math 40 percent of Indiana fourth graders and 30 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficiency. Results for Indiana can be found here, with additional information on NAEP available here.

“Much like we’re seeing with our Indiana-specific assessments, we know that students’ learning was significantly impacted by the pandemic,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “In response, educators, communities and families are now coming together like never before to help students accelerate their learning. These results reinforce the importance of continuing to aggressively pursue innovative solutions to help our students overcome these challenges and pursue pathways for success.”

NAEP math and reading tests historically have been administered every two years, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was last administered in 2019. The tests measure reading comprehension, math knowledge and students’ ability to apply their knowledge in problem solving. Statewide, nearly 7,000 public school students participated in NAEP testing in 2022, which serves as a representative sample of all students statewide.

Students in only three jurisdictions – Wyoming and the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity (DODEA) in fourth grade, and Massachusetts and the DODEA in eighth grade – earned scores significantly higher statistically than Indiana’s students in math. While at or above the national average statistically, Indiana’s fourth grade reading scores have been declining since 2015, necessitating earlier intervention and remediation.

Statewide, NAEP results reinforce that overall proficiency for specific student populations – including Black students, Hispanic students, and students who receive free or reduced price meals – remains low in both reading and math and requires intentional, targeted support. 

To aid academic stabilization and recovery, the Indiana Department of Education is leading initiatives to support schools, educators, students and families including:

  • The state’s largest ever investment in literacy, a combined investment of up to $111 million that will support early literacy development using proven teaching techniques aligned with the science of reading. Instructional coaches will continue to deploy to schools throughout Indiana providing targeted support for educators, so they can help students build their reading skills;
  • The launch of Indiana Learns, a statewide grant program that provides qualifying families with up to $1,000 to spend on math and English/language arts high-dosage tutoring and approved out-of-school academic programs for students;
  • A partnership with Schoolhouse.world to remove financial barriers to tutoring opportunities;
  • An initiative to provide extra support to schools in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction through a focus on instructional coaching for educators;
  • The Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed performance dashboard;
  • A first-of-its-kind partnership with Get Your Teach On, providing educators with interactive professional development and support; and
  • The Indiana Learning Lab to provide educators and families with expanded online resources, including in literacy, STEM, digital, special education and English learner instruction.

About NAEP
Also known as The Nation’s Report Card, NAEP has provided meaningful results to improve education policy and practice since 1969. Results are available for the nation, states, and 27 urban districts.

NAEP is a congressionally mandated program that is overseen and administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.

About Brian Scott

I play on the radio from 7 am -1 pm weekdays on 98.9 FM WYRZ and WYRZ.org. Follow me on twitter @WYRZBrianScott or e-mail me at brian@wyrz.org.

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