'Nation's Report Card' Shows Louisiana Students Slipping

Apr 11, 2018

Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as "The National's Report Card," show Louisiana student achievement dropping over the last two years. Every two years, the U.S. Department of Education tests a nationally representative group of fourth and eighth grade students in math and reading.

Fourth Graders Lose Gains

Results from 2017 show Louisiana fourth-graders lost ground on both reading and math since the last test. Their scores were already below the national average in 2015, but they fell further. In fact, the state had the second-largest drop in the country in fourth-grade math.

A smaller percentage of students were proficient. In math, 27 percent of fourth students tested proficient, down from 30 percent in 2015. In reading, 26 percent tested proficient, down from 29 -percent in 2015.

[Here's where you can view the state profile to drill down into the data on your own.]

Eighth Graders Hold Steady, Below The National Average

Average eighth grade scores didn't change significantly in reading or math, but they remain well below the national average. In math, 19 percent of eighth-graders tested proficient, up from 18 percent in 2015. In reading, 25 percent tested proficient, up from 23 percent in 2015.

A screenshot from the 2017 NAEP results shows Louisiana eighth grade students remained below the national average in math.
Credit NAEP

In an emailed statement, State Superintendent John White said the Nation's Report Card is "one measure among many different measures," but that it's a reminder the state has a "long way yet to go." He also pointed to "long-term trends" showing Louisiana on the rise on "every measure of educational achievement."

The state department of Education has touted increases in the graduation rate, average ACT score and the number of students scoring at the "mastery" level on state standardized tests.

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