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Math And Reading Performance Holds Steady In Wyoming

Wyoming Department of Education

Wyoming continues to lead the nation in math and reading. That’s according to the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which tests fourth and eighth-grade students across the country on reading and mathematics every two years.

Wyoming has scored above average across the board since 2013. In 2015, two states scored higher on fourth-grade math, but on the 2017 assessment, Wyoming was among the nation’s top performers.

Along with the release of the results, policymakers and educators convened in Washington D.C. to discuss the significance of the 2017 scores. Among those selected to speak was Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow, who told participants that NAEP results can help address achievement gaps.

“You know one of my main responsibilities as a chief state school officer in Wyoming and in the nation is to make sure we think comprehensively all the time about equity,” said Balow.

She said to further improve educational performance all students need to be supported.

“We have a lot of equity issues with respect to poverty, disabilities, rural versus urban,” said Balow. “So always bring all inequities and all equity issues to the table, so it remains a comprehensive issue, is important.”

According to the Wyoming Department of Education, math scores for Native American eighth graders in Wyoming also improved, indicating that the achievement gap between Native American and white students in the state is narrowing.

Tennessee -- despite what the name might make you think -- was born and raised in the Northeast. She most recently called Vermont home. For the last 15 years she's been making radio -- as a youth radio educator, documentary producer, and now reporter. Her work has aired on Reveal, The Heart, LatinoUSA, Across Women's Lives from PRI, and American RadioWorks. One of her ongoing creative projects is co-producing Wage/Working (a jukebox-based oral history project about workers and income inequality). When she's not reporting, Tennessee likes to go on exploratory running adventures with her mutt Murray.
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