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Wyoming Students Beat National Averages On Nation's Report Card

Results for the nationwide assessment known as the Nation’s Report Card were released Wednesday. Wyoming’s scores are consistent with how students here have done in years past.

The National Assessment for Education Progress (NAEP) is a federal program that tests a sample of fourth and eighth graders in reading and math every two years.

This year, Wyoming’s scores were above national averages in all areas. Wyoming’s schools chief Jillian Balow says the scores are helpful for comparing Wyoming to other states.

“The scores really show Wyoming is doing favorably across the nation,” says Balow. “We like that for the reason that this was really an apples to apples comparison—from state to state. That tried and true nation’s report card. It’s not aligned to any state standards or curriculum, per say. It’s really just that dipstick.”

Since 2013, Wyoming’s average reading scores increased in fourth grade, but decreased in eighth grade. The state’s average math scores were basically flat for both grades.

Nationally, math scores were down this year for the first time in 25 years. Scores have typically edged up every two years.

Balow says despite Wyoming’s decent scores, there’s still room to improve.

“This is not a signal that Wyoming schools or the state should be complacent about education,” says Balow. “While it is favorable overall, and we are above the national average in all areas, we do have some gaps.”

Serious achievement gaps exist between students at both the state and national level—with poor and minority students struggling to gain ground.

Look at 2015's NAEP scores from around the country here.

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