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New York State and the National Assessment of Educational Progress Tests

March 17, 2015

By Bennett Liebman
Government Lawyer in Residence

We confess to having limited expertise and no firm position on the issues surrounding the future of education funding in New York State. But we are bothered by the fact that objective data rarely seems to emerge in the public debate on this issue. To try to provide some hopefully objective data, we are posting the National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP] test results for New York State. NAEP bills itself as the “nation’s report card” and is regularly regarded in the media as the “gold standard” for educational testing data. (All cites are to the NAEP website at http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/)

The “NAEP is a congressionally authorized project of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education.” Its report cards since 1969 “communicate … a continuing and nationally representative measure of achievement in various subjects over time.”

“NAEP is the only assessment that allows comparison of results from one state with another, or with results for the rest of the nation. The NAEP program helps states answer such questions as: How does the performance of students in my state compare with the performance of students in other states with similar resources or students? How does my state’s performance compare with the region’s? Are my state’s gains in student performance keeping up with the pace of improvement in other states?” Unlike other testing, there does not appear to be any way to teach or prepare students for the NAEP exams, and it is often quoted that ten points on the exam is the equivalent of a grade level.

We are posting NAEP’s own summaries of certain test results plus the direct links to these results.

National Long Term Trends from 2012

http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/ltt_2012/

  • Compared to the first assessment in 1971 for reading and in 1973 for mathematics, scores were higher in 2012 for 9- and 13-year-olds and not significantly different for 17-year-olds.
  • In both reading and mathematics at all three ages, Black students made larger gains from the early 1970s than White students.  Hispanic students made larger gains from the 1970s than White students in reading at all three ages and in mathematics at ages 13 and 17.
  • Female students have consistently outscored male students in reading at all three ages, but the gender gap narrowed from 1971 to 2012 at age 9.
  • At ages 9 and 13, the scores of male and female students were not significantly different in mathematics, but the gender gap in mathematics for 17-year-olds narrowed in comparison to 1973.

New York State Profile

 http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/states/ and go to New York for the general profile and for particular tests. The main chart on this page shows the results of NAEP testing in New York since the 1990’s

Mathematics: The score gap between higher performing students in New York (those at the 75th percentile) and lower performing students (those at the 25th percentile) was 48 points in 2013. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1990 (50 points)

Science: In 2011, the average score of eighth-grade students in New York was 149. This was lower than the average score of 151 for public school students in the nation

Reading: The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 37 percent in 2013. This percentage was greater than the nation (34 percent).

Student Characteristics: Number enrolled: 2,704,718 Percent in Title I schools: 98.0% With Individualized Education Programs (IEP): 16.6% Percent in limited-English proficiency programs: 7.6% Percent eligible for free/reduced lunch: 49.3% Racial/Ethnic Background: White: 48.2% Black: 18.4% Hispanic: 23.3% Asian: 8.3% Pacific Islander: 0.1% American Indian/Alaskan Native: 0.5% School/District Characteristics: Number of school districts: 728* Number of schools: 4817 Number of charter schools: 183 Per-pupil expenditures: $18,621 Pupil/teacher ratio: 12.9 Number of FTE teachers: 209,527

4th Grade Math NYS

In 2013, the average score of fourth-grade students in New York was 240. This was not significantly different from the average score of 241 for public school students in the nation.

The average score for students in New York in 2013 (240) was higher than their average score in 2011 (238) and in 1992 (218).

The score gap between higher performing students in New York (those at the 75th percentile) and lower performing students (those at the 25th percentile) was 38 points in 2013. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1992 (43 points). The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 40 percent in 2013. This percentage was greater than that in 2011 (36 percent) and in 1992 (17 percent).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 82 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (80 percent) and was greater than that in 1992 (57 percent).

In 2013, Black students had an average score that was 23 points lower than White students. This performance gap was narrower than that in 1992 (31 points).

In 2013, Hispanic students had an average score that was 19 points lower than White students. This performance gap was narrower than that in 1992 (32 points).

In 2013, male students in New York had an average score that was not significantly different from female students.

In 2013, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low family income, had an average score that was 21 points lower than students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch. This performance gap was narrower than that in 1996 (30 points).

State and nation both up 22 points from 1991-2013. State = 240 Nation = 241

8th Grade Math NYS

In 2013, the average score of eighth-grade students in New York was 282. This was lower than the average score of 284 for public school students in the nation.

The average score for students in New York in 2013 (282) was not significantly different from their average score in 2011 (280) and was higher than their average score in 1990 (261).

The score gap between higher performing students in New York (those at the 75th percentile) and lower performing students (those at the 25th percentile) was 48 points in 2013. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1990 (50 points).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 32 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (30 percent) and was greater than that in 1990 (15 percent).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 72 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (70 percent) and was greater than that in 1990 (50 percent).

In 2013, Black students had an average score that was 32 points lower than White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1990 (39 points).

In 2013, Hispanic students had an average score that was 28 points lower than White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1990 (35 points).

In 2013, male students in New York had an average score that was not significantly different from female students.

In 2013, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low family income, had an average score that was 24 points lower than students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1996 (29 points).

State up 21 points from1990-2013; Nation up 22 points. State – 282. Nation -284

4th Grade Reading NYS

In 2013, the average score of fourth-grade students in New York was 224. This was higher than the average score of 221 for public school students in the nation.

The average score for students in New York in 2013 (224) was not significantly different from their average score in 2011 (222) and was higher than their average score in 1992 (215).

The score gap between higher performing students in New York (those at the 75th percentile) and lower performing students (those at the 25th percentile) was 46 points in 2013. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1992 (46 points).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 37 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (35 percent) and was greater than that in 1992 (27 percent).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 70 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (68 percent) and was greater than that in 1992 (61 percent).

In 2013, Black students had an average score that was 22 points lower than White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1992 (27 points).

In 2013, Hispanic students had an average score that was 23 points lower than White students. This performance gap was narrower than that in 1992 (42 points).

In 2013, female students in New York had an average score that was higher than male students by 6 points.

In 2013, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low family income, had an average score that was 26 points lower than students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch. This performance gap was narrower than that in 1998 (35 points).

State up 9 points from 1992-2013; Nation up 6 points. State = 224. Nation = 221.

8th Grade Reading NYS

In 2013, the average score of eighth-grade students in New York was 266. This was not significantly different from the average score of 266 for public school students in the nation

The average score for students in New York in 2013 (266) was not significantly different from their average score in 2011 (266) and in 1998 (265).

The score gap between higher performing students in New York (those at the 75th percentile) and lower performing students (those at the 25th percentile) was 46 points in 2013. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (43 points).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 35 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (35 percent) and in 1998 (32 percent).

The percentage of students in New York who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 76 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (76 percent) and in 1998 (76 percent).

In 2013, Black students had an average score that was 25 points lower than White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (28 points).

In 2013, Hispanic students had an average score that was 25 points lower than White students. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (28 points).

In 2013, female students in New York had an average score that was higher than male students by 12 points.

In 2013, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch, an indicator of low family income, had an average score that was 24 points lower than students who were not eligible for free/reduced-price school lunch. This performance gap was not significantly different from that in 1998 (25 points).

State unchanged from 1998-2013; Nation up 5 points. State and nation both at 266.

Data from New York City

Go to http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/districts/ and go to New York City.

4th grade math In 2013, the average score of fourth-grade students in New York City was 236. This was not significantly different from the average score of 235 for public school students in large cities.

8th grade math In 2013, the average score of eighth-grade students in New York City was 274. This was not significantly different from the average score of 276 for public school students in large cities.

4th grade reading In 2013, the average score of fourth-grade students in New York City was 216. This was higher than the average score of 212 for public school students in large cities.

8th grade reading In 2013, the average score of eighth-grade students in New York City was 256. This was not significantly different from the average score of 258 for public school students in large cities.

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