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Latest Reading Assessments Find Few Gains in Ohio Schools

Release date: 11/7/2013

National Assessment of Educational Progress Releases Nation’s Report Card

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The latest Nation’s Report Card, 2013 Mathematics and Reading, emphasizes the need for the Third Grade Reading Guarantee that currently is being implemented in Ohio. According to the report card, Ohio’s fourth graders have shown virtually no progress in reading during the past 10 years.

“This is why the Third Grade Reading Guarantee is so important. It is imperative that students can read on a third grade level or higher when they complete third grade,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Richard A. Ross. “In Ohio, we have to do a better job of teaching our children—all of our children—to read. Their success as they continue through school and after they graduate from high school is dependent upon their ability to read.”

Ohio's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee requires schools to identify students behind in reading from kindergarten through third grade. Schools will provide help and support to make sure students are on track for reading success by the end of third grade. Students who do not score at the specified level will have to remain in third grade until they demonstrate they can read on grade level.

In a news release today, the National Assessment Governing Board noted that Florida is the only state to have narrowed the gap in achievement between black and white students at both grade levels in both subjects. Florida pioneered implementation of the third grade reading guarantee. The report card showed that Ohio’s fourth grade reading scores have made no statistically significant gains since 2003 while the average score for national public school students in the nation has gradually increased.

Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—also known as The Nation’s Report Card—are measured at three achievement levels, Basic, Proficient and Advanced, in both mathematics and reading for both fourth and eighth graders.

The latest report card, released today, shows that 29 percent of Ohio fourth graders scored below basic on reading, a rate that has not improved since 2005. In grade 8, Ohio’s reading scores have also been flat since 2003 while the national score has been improving.

The picture is better in mathematics. Ohio’s fourth and eighth graders performed well in mathematics once again as the scores continue to increase in each reporting period. Both fourth and eighth grade reports indicate Ohio is above the average score for national public school students in the nation.

This report card also shows improvement since 2011 in average scores for students of different racial/ethnic groups. Hispanic students were the only racial/ethnic group to improve their mathematics scores at both grades 4 and 8. Eighth-grade reading scores rose for white, black, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students. Despite such gains, gaps in reading achievement between racial/ethnic groups did not change significantly since 2011.

For the first time, the report findings are available in a new online format that makes it possible to find and sort the data more easily than the previous, paper version. The interactive website also allows visitors to explore side-by-side presentations of mathematics and reading achievement data and includes videos that guide visitors on how to easily explore the results. Visit http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_math_2013 to view the interactive report card site.