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Reading Scores Improve for Arkansas 8th Graders

National Assessment shows significant increase. Arkansas' 8th grade reading score was 262 out of a possible 500,
LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - Arkansas' eighth-grade reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed a significant increase in 2013.

The U.S. Department of Education conducts the national assessment every two years. In Arkansas, around 2,700 students in grades four and eight at 160 school districts were assessed in math and reading.

Arkansas' eighth-grade reading score was 262 out of a possible 500, a statistically significant increase of 3 percent. The national average score was slightly higher at 266; however, the national increase was 2 percent.

Arkansas was one of 14 areas (including states, the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Schools) to show significant gains in eighth-grade reading.

"The increase in Arkansas' eighth-grade reading scores can be attributed to the hard work of our teachers," Arkansas Department of Education Commissioner Dr. Tom Kimbrell said. "There is still work to do, though, as we strive to increase our scores among other states in the nation."

In addition to an overall increase in these scores, more students (3 percent) moved from the proficient to the advanced achievement level. This shift upward also was seen among the other levels (below basic, basic and proficient).

Arkansas' fourth-grade reading and math scores, in addition to eighth-grade math scores, did not show significant movement. The fourth-grade math and reading scores did reflect a similar movement upward among achievement levels.

Click here for more detailed information about Arkansas' scores and how the state compares to other states and the nation.
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