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Reading: How Does Your State Compare?


American Education is "riddled with excellence but rife with mediocrity"
         - Education Week, 1/16/97


The goal of any education system is to see its students learn, achieve, and excel, which explains the nationwide concern regarding the state of schools in the US. According to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), little more than one-quarter of all fourth graders demonstrated reading proficiency for their grade level. In other words, almost three-quarters of these students do not have the fundamental knowledge or skills necessary to perform at their grade level!

[NAEP is a congressionally mandated survey that has been administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), U.S. Department of Education, since 1969.]

Explanations for these dismal statistics are many -- ranging from declines in real spending per pupil to declines in moral values -- but definitive conclusions are hard to come by. SuperKids took a look at one of the more commonly cited reasons, class size, in a separate article.

The table below presents the results of the 1994 NAEP reading exams for fourth graders. The numbers represent the percentage of students who received scores of "proficient" or better in reading. High scores are better than low scores.

Scroll down to see the entire table, or click on a state's initials to see that state's score. Click on the state name in the table to see Education Week's overall assessment of the quality of education in that state.

AL AK AR AZ CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD 

MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC 

SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY


StateReading Scores in NAEP Exam
Percent 4th graders proficient or advanced in reading, 1994
U.S. 28
1. Maine 41
2. North Dakota 38
3. Connecticut 38
4. New Hampshire 36
5. Massachusetts 36
6. Iowa 35
7. Wisconsin 35
8. Montana 35
9. Nebraska 34
10. Minnesota 33

Proficient or advanced in reading, percent of 4th graders, 1994
11. New Jersey 33
12. Indiana 33
13. Wyoming 32
14. Rhode Island 32
15. Missouri 31
16. Pennsylvania 30
17. Utah 30
18. North Carolina 30
19. Colorado 28
20. New York 27

Proficient or advanced in reading, percent of 4th graders, 1994
21. Tennessee 27
22. Washington 27
23. Maryland 26
24. Virginia 26
25. Texas 26
26. Kentucky 26
27. Georgia 26
28. West Virginia 26
29. Arizona 24
30. Arkansas 24

Proficient or advanced in reading, percent of 4th graders, 1994
31. Delaware 23
32. Florida 23
33. Alabama 23
34. New Mexico 21
35. South Carolina 20
36. Hawaii 19
37. California 18
38. Mississippi 18
39. Louisiana 15

Proficient or advanced in reading, percent of 4th graders, 1994
40. Idaho N/A
41. Michigan N/A
42. Ohio N/A
43. Oklahoma N/A
44. Alaska N/A
45. Illinois N/A
46. Kansas N/A
47. Nevada N/A
48. Oregon N/A
49. South Dakota N/A
50. Vermont N/A
U.S. 28


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