ARLINGTON, VA — March 25, 2010 — Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) fourth and eighth grade students continued their strong performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2009 Reading Assessment.
The NAEP was administered to all DoDEA fourth and eighth grade students from January to early March. DoDEA’s domestic and overseas school systems participated in NAEP as a single jurisdiction.
In 2009, the average score on the Reading Assessment for DoDEA’s fourth graders was 228. This score was not significantly different from their average score of 229 in 2007, but it was higher than the 2009 average score of 220 for their counterparts in public schools nationally. DoDEA’s eighth grade students’ average score for the NAEP 2009 Reading Assessment was 272. This score was not significantly different from their average score in 2007 of 273, and like their fourth grade colleagues, the DoDEA students’ 2009 average score was higher than the average score of 262 for public school students in the nation.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history. NAEP does not provide scores for individual students or schools; instead, it offers results regarding subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students). NAEP results are based on a sample of student populations of interest.
DoDEA Reading Achievement Maintains Upward Trend
DoDEA students at both the fourth and eighth grade levels continued to maintain their upward trend over the past 12 years in reading assessment scores. In 1998, DoDEA students’ average score on the NAEP Reading Assessment was 222 when compared to 228 in 2009. DoDEA eight graders average score on the NAEP Reading Assessment in 1998 was 269; in 2009 the average score was 272. These results follow a national trend, with overall results for fourth graders in 2009 remaining on an upward trend.
Additional Key Findings for the 2009 NAEP Reading Assessment
Highlights for DoDEA students’ performance on the 2009 NAEP Reading Assessment include:
African American and Hispanic students in DoDEA continued to score higher when compared with their stateside counterparts at both grade levels tested in reading.
In 2009, DoDEA’s African-American fourth grade students had an average score of 218 on the NAEP Reading Assessment. This score compares to an average of 204 for their counterparts in public schools nationally. DoDEA’s eighth grade African-American eighth grade students scored an average of 262 on the 2009 NAEP Reading Assessment. This compares to an average score of 245 for their counterparts in public schools nationally.
DoDEA’s Hispanic fourth grade students scored an average of 223 on the 2009 NAEP Reading Assessment. This compares to an average score of 204 for their counterparts nationally. DoDEA’s Hispanic eighth grade students scored an average of 269 on the 2009 NAEP Reading Assessment while their national counterparts scored an average of 248.
“Our students are performing well and we want to help them achieve even more,” said DoDEA Director, Dr. Shirley A. Miles. “Our continuous improvement initiatives include conducting a comprehensive review of our Pre-K-12 Literacy Program and in School Year 2008-2009, we convened a Task group to review data from our Literacy Program, identify current issues, conduct program evaluations, and examine student achievement,” Dr. Miles said.
The Pre-K-12 Literacy Task Group meets several times throughout the school year and is composed of educators, administrators, and association representatives from all levels of DoDEA. In keeping with DoDEA’s intent to maximize Task Group representation at the classroom-level, more than 80% of each task group is composed of teachers. Following their reviews, Task Groups make recommendations to the DoDEA Director and Deputy Director for improvement, modifications, or the elimination of programs. Task groups meet until their activities are completed and in some cases this may span several years.
“We’re looking forward to reviewing the Task Group’s recommendations once they are finished with their review,” Dr. Miles said. “Their recommendations will give us the opportunity to implement initiatives and refine our literacy program to continue to move DoDEA’s reading program forward and help more of our students become proficient readers,” she added.
Detailed statistical information on the 2009 NAEP reading assessment and all other NAEP assessments can be found on the web at the following URL:: www.nationsreportcard.gov.