Arkansas Department of Education
The National Assessment of Educational Progress today released
results from fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math assessments conducted in early 2017. The assessment is administered every other year to a sample of fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders nationally.
Arkansas scores were lower than the national average, as has been typical for these test results. The state's scores did not show a statistically significant change as compared to 2015. Most students scored below the "proficient" level. A press release from the state's Department of Education noted that "Arkansas’ scores held steady." (That's a little better than this headline today in an Alabama newspaper
: "Alabama's national test scores still low, but not last").
The latest results once again highlighted the persistence of the racial achievement gap. The black-white gap in scores increased for Arkansas students in fourth-grade reading and math and eighth-grade math as compared with 2015 results (it remained significant for eighth-grade reading but narrowed).