Arkansas was the only state that experienced significant increases in Grade 12 reading and math test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. National scores remained constant.CORRECTION FROM EDUCATION DEPARTMENT:
Scores that were released today show Arkansas’ reading score was 285 out of a possible 500. Although lower than the nation’s score of 287, this was a statistically significant increase from four years ago, when the state’s score was 280. Arkansas also saw statistically significant increases in the below basic, at or above basic, and at or above proficient categories.
Students showed statistically significant gains in math, an increase from a score of 146 in 2009 to 150 in 2013. Increases also were noted in the below basic and at or above basic categories.
"We are very pleased to see Arkansas’ scores increase in 2013,” Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell said. “There is always room for improvement; however, the achievement gap is closing in several categories.”
Kimbrell attributes the increases to teachers’ dedication and commitment to student learning. More rigorous standards, teachers' high expectations, accountability and a culture of data use by schools also contributed to the growth.
The U.S. Department of Education conducts the national assessment every four years. Arkansas is one of 11 states that piloted the Grade 12 assessment in 2009. Thirteen states assessed in 2013. A total of 44,900 students nationwide assessed in math, with 2,400 Arkansas students tested. A total of 44,300 students nationwide assessed in reading, with 2,400 students from Arkansas.
Arkansas was one of two states that saw statistically significant increases in Grade 12 math and reading test scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Connecticut is the other state that saw significant increases in math and reading scores.