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Georgia's 4th-graders outperform nation in reading

The State Board of Education is reporting that many of Georgia's students are exhibiting steady growth on standardized tests, based on results from the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress report (NAEP).

Improvements are showing up in three subject areas, said Board of Education Spokesperson Matt Cardoza: Fourth-grade reading, and math, and eighth-grade reading.

"Georgia had higher results on the fourth-grade reading test [than the nation,]" said Cardoza. The scale score for fourth-graders in Georgia was 221, he said, compared to 220 for the nation.

"The fact that our students showed improvement on a test with a nationally-set cut score is encouraging," said State School Superintendent John Barge. "[This] demonstrates that Georgia's students are making great strides in competing with the rest of the nation."

"It is my belief that, as we transition to the Common Core Georgia Performance Standards, we will continue to see this kind of positive growth," he said.

Some of the highlights from the 2011 NAEP report include:

Fourth-Grade Reading

• Georgia's average score in 2011 is 221, which is one point higher than that of the nation's average score of 220.

• The average reading score for white students in Georgia increased from 229 in 2009, to 231 in 2011. For black students, the average score increased four points, from 204 in 2009, to 208 in 2011. Hispanic students' average score increased six points, from 208 in 2009, to 214 in 2011.

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 66 percent, a 3 percentage-point increase from 2009 (63 percent), and an 8 percentage-point increase from 2005 (58 percent).

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 32 percent, a 3 percentage-point increase from 2009 (29 percent), and a 4 percentage-point increase from 2007 (28 percent).

• Georgia had the 29th highest reading score out of all states and the District of Columbia.

Fourth-Grade Math

• The average mathematics score for white students in Georgia increased two points, from 247 in 2009, to 249 in 2011. The average score for black students increased three points, from 221 in 2009, to 224 in 2011. For Hispanic students, the average score increased two points, from 231 in 2009, to 233 in 2011.

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 80 percent, a 2 percentage-point increase from 2009 (78 percent).

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 37 percent, a 3 percentage-point increase from 2009 (34 percent).

• Georgia had the 36th highest math score out of all states and the District of Columbia.

Eighth-grade Reading

• The average reading score for white students in Georgia (272) was four points higher than the score in 2009 (268). Black students' average score increased two points, from 2009 (249), to 2011 (251). For Hispanic students, the average score increased four points, from 2009 (254), to 2011 (258).

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic was 74 percent, a 2 percentage-point increase from 2009 (72 percent), and a 4 percentage-point increase from 2007 (70 percent).

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 28 percent, a one percentage-point increase from 2009 (27 percent).

• Georgia had the 35th highest score out of all states and the District of Columbia.

Eighth-grade Math

• The average mathematics score for white students in Georgia increased two points, from 289 in 2009, to 291 in 2011. Black students' average score remains the same at 262 in 2009 and 2011. For Hispanic students, the average score increased seven points, from 270 in 2009, to 277 in 2011.

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Basic increased one point, from 67 percent in 2009, to 68 percent in 2011.

• The percentage of students in Georgia who performed at or above Proficient was 28 percent, a one percentage-point increase from 2009 (27 percent).

• Georgia had the 43rd highest score out of all states and the District of Columbia.

To view the full 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) report, visit the federal Department of Education's web site at www. doe.k12.ga.us.