A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

National education assessment shows KY stalls in 4th, 8th grade math and declines in reading

Kentucky students have lost ground in fourth-grade reading, according to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress released last week. The percent of students meeting or exceeding NAEP proficiency standards has declined from 40 percent in 2015 to 38percent in 2017 to 35% in 2019, and the drop from 2015 to 2019 is statistically significant. Results for eighth-grade reading and fourth and eighth-grade math did not show significant change.

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In response, Prichard Committee Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey stated, “These NAEP results provide further evidence that Kentucky’s educational progress has stalled, with the 4th grade reading results suggesting we are moving backward in critical areas. We must stop the decline and return to a place of progress in educational outcomes.”

Disaggregated results for student groups add to the concerns. Looking at four-year changes, white students, students without disabilities, and students not eligible for free or reduced-price meals saw significant drops in fourth-grade reading results. No other groups had significant changes over four years on any of the four tested subjects.

Looking just at two-year changes, Asian/Pacific Islander students had a significant decline in fourth-grade reading, and no other groups had significant changes over two years in any of the four tested subjects.

Blom Ramsey urged, “As a state, we must ensure that our schools have the resources necessary to provide rigorous and supportive learning environments for each and every student – including high-quality teaching and access to curricula that promotes the development of problem-solving, teamwork, communication, and artistic expression.”

From Prichard Committee

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