Minnesota is making significant progress in narrowing the achievement gap between white students and students of color, national test results show.
Math scores among Minnesota fourth grade students were the best in the country this year, and reading scores showed significant achievement gap closures, according to 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) – also known as the “Nation’s Report Card.”
In addition, fourth and eighth grade students this year recorded the best scores in math and reading since NAEP scores started being collected in Minnesota.
Here’s where we stand:
· Minnesota students achieved the best scores on record;
· We achieved the best fourth grade math scores in the nation;
· Fourth graders also posted tenth-best reading scores in the country; and
· Eighth graders ranked fifth-best in math, eleventh-best in reading.
Minnesota’s NAEP results in full are available on the Minnesota Department of Education website .
Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius identified several initiatives that tell how we got here, including:
· Significant investments in early education by Governor Mark Dayton and the Legislature;
· The new “Read Well by Third Grade” law that includes a requirement for every school district to create a literacy plan;
· Minnesota’s waiver from the federal “No Child Left Behind” law; and
· More rigorous reading and math standards.
Minnesota has more work to do before every child is ready for college and career, however, and we’ll continue to knock down those barriers to opportunity with these future investments:
· More funding for every school in Minnesota;
· All-day kindergarten for every child;
· Reforming the special education formula;
· Early learning scholarships for 8,000 kids; and
· Repaying our schools.
Put in perspective: Today’s eighth grader is a member of Minnesota’s 2020 workforce.