State writing scores near national average (NAEP)

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Latest stats released this morning from the “Nation’s Report Card” indicate North Carolina’s 8th graders were near (but read…slightly below) the national average in writing.

N&R:

Eighth-graders in North Carolina scored on par with their peers across the country on the 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress, whose results were released Thursday. Students’ writing scores decreased when compared with results from 2002, the last time the national test was given.

NAEP is often referred to as “The Nation’s Report Card” because it is the only common assessment used by all states. Average writing scores increased from 2002 to 2007 for 19 of the 39 states and jurisdictions that participated in the writing assessment in both years.

North Carolina eighth-graders averaged a scale score of 153 in 2007, compared to a national average of 154. North Carolina’s average scale score was 150 in 1998; in 2002, the score was 157, one of the highest in the nation at the time.

In general, North Carolina students performing at the 50th percentile or below maintained their performance level from 2002 to 2007, while students at the 75th or 90th percentile lost ground. Students at the 50th percentile decreased four points during this period, but this change was not statistically significant, according to the NAEP report.

Students taking the NAEP writing assessment are given two, 25-minute writing tasks, and students’ essays are evaluated as first drafts in recognition of the short timeframe involved. A sample of students in each participating state takes the assessment. Because it is given to a sample of students, district or school-level results are not available, with the exception of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

For details on the NAEP assessments, visit http://www.ncpublicschools.org or http://nces.ed.gov/naep3/.

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There’s nothing to celebrate here. Clearly, we have work to do.

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E.C. )

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