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Home » About OSPI » News Releases and Statements » State NAEP Scores Continue to Exceed National Average

State NAEP Scores Continue to Exceed National Average

Additional work is needed to close gaps between groups of student groups.

OLYMPIA - April 11, 2018 - Yesterday, the National Center for Education Statistics released results for the 2017 National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). Washington's fourth and eighth graders exceeded the national average in both reading and math.

In math, Washington students finished with an average score of 242 in fourth grade and 289 in eighth grade. The national average was 239 (fourth grade) and 281 (eighth grade). In eighth grade, three states scored statistically higher than Washington.

In reading, Washington students finished with an average score of 223 in fourth grade and 272 in eighth grade (the national averages were 221 and 266, respectively). In eighth grade, only one state - Massachusetts - scored statistically higher than Washington.

Compared to 2015, fourth grade scores in both math and reading in 2017 were not statistically different. In eighth grade, reading was higher than in 2015 but math was statistically equal.

Graph comparing Washington and National statistics for Grades 4 and 8 in Math and Reading

"Washington students continue to outperform most other states on the NAEP test," said Chris Reykdal, Superintendent of Public Instruction. "This is a testament to the incredible educators in our state and how hard they work."

Reykdal noted the results illuminated some issues the state already knows. Gaps in performance between groups of students continue. "Much of our agency work going forward will focus on closing these and other gaps," he said.

"In March, we released our new School Improvement Framework. The Framework gives parents, families, and educators a deep look into how schools are performing," he continued. "It also holds schools accountable for the improved education of every single student. The NAEP results show us how much work we need to do."

About NAEP
NAEP is a program of the U.S. Department of Education. Commonly called "The Nation's Report Card," it is the only test that assesses students in all states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. NAEP allows comparisons of the performance of a sample of students in Washington with performance of students nationally. Assessments are conducted periodically in math, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.

Not all students participate in the tests. But the relatively small sample of students taking the assessments is statistically representative of the student population of Washington.

For more information

About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K-12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI works with the state's 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and improve student achievement on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Director of the Office of Equity and Civil Rights at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015 | nathan.olson@k12.wa.us


The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015

Release Date: 
Wednesday, April 11, 2018