For Release: September 25, 2007
New Jersey Fourth-Graders Among Top Readers in the Nation
Fourth-graders in New Jersey are among the best readers in the nation, according to a study released today by the National Center for Educational Statistics.
The results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests show New Jersey students trailing only Massachusetts in fourth-grade reading results and tied with three other states – Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire.
The jump in the statewide scale score from 223 in 2005 to 231 in 2007 is the second-highest increase in the nation, behind only Alabama. Fourth-graders’ scores increased across the board in seven out of the eight major demographic groups tested earlier this year.
“The findings of this study exemplify our commitment to improving educational attainment in our elementary schools,” said Gov. Jon S. Corzine. “We equate our increases to sound preschool and early childhood education programs in New Jersey. They are providing our youngest students with a solid foundation of basic fundamentals, and the efforts are achieving positive results.
“This is the news we’ve been waiting for,” said Commissioner of Education Lucille E. Davy. “For the past six years, the department has stressed early childhood literacy and that hard work – and, in particular, the hard work of teachers and their young students – has produced results worth celebrating today.”
The news in fourth-grade math results is equally telling, DOE officials said. New Jersey fourth-grade math students fared better than students in every state in the nation except Vermont, New Hampshire, Minnesota and Kansas. As in the reading results, only Massachusetts scored higher.
The state NAEP assessment is administered biennially at randomly selected schools in all states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Department of Defense domestic and overseas schools. It is the only standardized test for which valid state-to-state score comparisons can be made.
The results, known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” routinely place New Jersey among the top states in the nation in both fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math results.
In addition to the fourth-grade reading results, the following trends are noteworthy:
Compared to the nation’s average scale scores, New Jersey students fared better in all four test areas:
Since 1969, NAEP has periodically conducted assessments in reading, mathematics, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, and the arts. The announced results are from the state NAEP assessment that was administered during January and March of 2007.
The scoring range for both math and reading is 0-500 and the achievement level descriptions are “Basic,” “Proficient,” and “Advanced.” NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools, but offers results regarding instructional experiences, school environment for populations of students (for example, fourth-graders and eighth-graders) and subgroups of those populations (for example, male students, students with disabilities).
To view the results at the time of the test results release, please visit the following Web site: http://nationsreportcard.gov. For more information about NAEP in general and its report results, please log onto http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/ .
For more information, please contact the New Jersey Department of Education Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.