Gov. Perry Praises Texas Student Performance on National Math, Reading Tests
Texas is One of Three States to Make Significant Improvement in 4th Grade Math and Reading Test, and Eighth Grade Reading Test
ov. Rick Perry today heralded the significant achievement of Texas students, including the progress made by students of minority descent, on the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exams in math and reading. Texas is one of only three states (along with Arkansas and Massachusetts) where significant improvement was shown in each of the following three tests: the fourth grade reading test, the fourth grade math test and the eighth grade math test.
"Today's news underscores the importance of Texas' strong system of accountability and higher standards, and the value of the reading and math initiatives in making sure students succeed," Perry said. "Our students and educators have every reason to be proud of their performance on these important national exams."
"If anything, these results make the case for continued reform based on school accountability and higher standards, and a renewed focus on rewarding desired educational outcomes," Perry added.
Students in sixth grade and below have learned under, and benefited from, the reading initiative since the first day they started school. That initiative provides specialized training for teachers and intensive diagnosis of reading abilities and instruction for Texas students in kindergarten through fourth grade. A math initiative, patterned after the reading initiative, was implemented in 2001, and Perry said benefits of that program are already paying off.
The NAEP, often called the nation's report card, is the only assessment test given to students of all academic levels in all states. Results released today are based on the performance of 600,000 fourth and eighth-grade students across the country. There are four achievement levels: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced.
Texans scored higher than the national average on the fourth and eighth grade mathematics exams and on the fourth-grade reading tests, but were two points lower than the national average on the eighth-grade reading test. No states made significant progress on the eighth grade reading test. Texas students in all major ethnic groups - African-American, Hispanic, Asian-American and white - outperformed the national average of their peer group in every grade and in every subject area.
More complete information on testing scores is available at http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard and at http://www.tea.state.tx.us/press/2005naeppr.pdf.