TEA News Releases Online
Oct. 14, 2009
Texas’ 8th grade African-American students
tie for first place on NAEP mathematics test
AUSTIN – Eighth-grade African-American students in Texas tied Massachusetts for first place on a national mathematics exam. African-American students in these two states earned an average scale score of 272 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a higher score than was earned by students in 40 other states for which data is available.
The national average score for African-American students was 260.
Among white students, Texas’ eighth-grade students earned the fourth highest score with an average scale score of 301. Only students in Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey earned higher scores. Massachusetts had the highest average score at 305, while the national average for white students was 292.
Among Hispanic students, Texas’ eighth-graders had the fourth highest score, earning an average scale score of 277. The average scale score nationally for Hispanic eighth-grade students was 266.
Only Hispanic students in the states of Missouri, Montana and Delaware earned higher average scores than did their Texas peers. Hispanics represent the largest ethnic group in eighth-grade classrooms in Texas.
Overall, Texas ranked 18th among 50 states on the NAEP, often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card.” Most, if not all, the states that rank above Texas have less diverse student populations.
Texans also demonstrated strong performance on the fourth grade NAEP mathematics test.
African-American fourth-grade students in Texas earned the third highest score with an average scale score of 231. Massachusetts, with a score of 236, and Hawaii, with a score of 232, had higher averages. The national average was 222.
Texas’ white fourth-graders tied for fifth place with North Carolina, earning an average score of 254. The states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, Minnesota and Maryland earned higher average scores. The national average was 248.
Hispanic students in Texas ranked eighth nationwide. This is the largest student group in fourth grade, accounting for 48 percent of the Texas fourth graders.
Higher average scores were earned by Hispanics students in the states of Montana, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, New Hampshire and Virginia. The national average was 227.
Overall on the fourth grade test, Texas had an average scale score of 240, which ranked it in 27th place out of the 50 states. Like the eighth grade results, the score was not statistically significant from the average score received in 2007.
“Today’s results describe the strong performance Texas students have consistently shown on NAEP mathematics tests. Our rigorous state standards in math provide a solid academic base for our students,” said Commissioner of Education Robert Scott. “Texas teachers are preparing more students to earn the Commended Performance level on the TAKS. These high expectations helped Texas students perform well on NAEP and compare very favorably to their peers in other states,” he said.