National Assessment Confirms That Kentucky Education Progress Has Stalled Declining 4th Grade Reading Results, Lack of Improvement in Math and 8th Grade Reading

Kentucky students have lost ground in  4th grade reading, according to results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress released today. The percent of students meeting or exceeding NAEP proficiency standards has declined from 40% in 2015 to 38% in 2017 to 35% in 2019, and the drop from 2015 to 2019 is statistically significant. Results for  8th grade reading and  4th and  8th grade math did not show significant change.

In response, Prichard Committee Executive Director Brigitte Blom Ramsey stated, “Today’s NAEP results provide further evidence that Kentucky’s educational progress has stalled, with the  4th grade reading results suggesting we are  moving backward in critical areas. We must stop the decline and return to a place of progress in educational outcomes.”

Disaggregated results for student groups add to the concerns. Looking at four-year changes, white students, students without disabilities, and students not eligible for free or reduced-price meals saw significant drops in  4th grade reading results. No other groups had significant changes over four years on any of the four tested subjects.

Looking just at two-year changes, Asian/Pacific Islander students had a significant decline in 4th grade reading, and no other groups had significant changes over two years in any of the four tested subjects.

Blom Ramsey urged, “As a state, we must ensure that our schools have the resources necessary to provide rigorous and supportive learning environments for each and every student – including high-quality teaching and access to curricula that promotes the development of problem solving, teamwork, communication, and artistic expression.”

The Prichard Committee stands ready to support citizens across the state as they mobilize at the local level to improve outcomes for students. In addition to multiple resources on our website and blog, we are actively seeking to support citizens who want to take a leadership role in their community. For support and resources, contact Suzetta Yates Creech ([email protected]) about the Groundswell Initiative.

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