Fourth Grade Reading and Math
As the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores show, Virginia fourth-graders as a group have consistently exceeded the national average in reading and math.
Why is This Important?
The increase in student achievement since adoption of the Standards of Learning (SOL) in 1995 is confirmed by the performance of Virginia students on the NAEP, also known as the "Nation's Report Card." Performance on fourth grade reading and math assessments predict success in future grades.
How is Virginia Doing?
In 2011, Virginia ranked 8th in reading and 9th in math on the fourth grade NAEP tests; that math rank is a jump up from 17th in 2009. Virginia's scores continue to exceed the national averages, which in 2011 were 221 for reading and 241 for math (out of 500). Massachusetts fourth graders continued to outperform the rest of the nation in both reading and math, scoring 237and 253, respectively.
In reading, Virginia's 2011 score of 226 represented a second year of slight decline, but was better than North Carolina's (221) and Tennessee's (215); Maryland's score was 231. Virginia's score in math in 2011 was 245 -- better than Tennessee's (233) and equal to North Carolina's (245), but again lower than Maryland's (247).
What Influences Fourth Grade Reading and Math Scores?
Adoption of the SOL accountability program and improvement in the quality of instruction in Virginia's public schools have both influenced student achievement in all subject areas and on a variety of national tests, including the NAEP.
What is the State's Role?
The state's role in promoting student achievement is to provide rigorous academic standards, promote effective instruction, and encourage accountability for results at every level.