While states have demonstrated some improvement over time, measuring student progress by using higher-caliber test questions, they have a long way to go. The report shows that what’s considered proficient in 25 states translates to “below basic” on the NAEP for fourth-grade reading. Only two states’ “proficient” levels—New York and Wisconsin—matched NAEP’s definition of “proficient” in fourth-grade reading. In eighth-grade reading, just New York could say the same.
During a press call with reporters, the acting commissioner of the education-statistics center, Peggy Carr, explained that the national board that sets the “proficient” level on the NAEP considers that score an indication that students are college-ready. By that measure, only a handful of states call on their students to reach levels of academic prowess that line up with NAEP’s definition for “college readiness.”
Five states had fourth-grade math proficient levels that match NAEP’s while four states’ proficient levels placed below NAEP’s basic cut score. The charts below summarize the rest of the findings.