State Schools Superintendent Richard Ross is pointing to Ohio's performance in a national report as evidence a new reading requirement for third-graders is justified.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress shows the average reading scores for Ohio fourth-graders were unchanged from 2011 to 2013. Eighth-graders improved by one point. Amy Hansen of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, administers math and English tests to fourth and eighth graders every other year.
According to this year’s results, Ohio’s students rank slightly above the national average in all areas, and haven’t shown any significant improvement over their 2011 scores.
Chad Aldiss is the Vice President for Ohio Policy and Advocacy for The Fordham Institute.
He says he’s a little disappointed in Ohio’s overall outcomes, especially because the knowledge gap in both math and English between the state’s white and African American fourth graders has slightly increased.
Aldis:"That gap is already way too big. Our achievement gap is wider than the national average in both of those categories, which is something we need to continue working on addressing..”
Aldis thinks the recent adoption of a new set of learning expectations known as the Common Core will help.
He says the new standards will help challenge all of Ohio’s students and put them on a more even playing field with students from traditionally higher performing states.
Aldiss: “We need to make sure we’re clearly doing as well as other states like Massachusetts, which I think we all know we can compete with, we just have to make sure we have the bar high enough.”
Aldiss says he hopes to see at least a slight increase in the next round of NAEP test scores.