Press Release

Press Release Massachusetts Remains Top-Ranked State on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

Results show scores declined since 2019 both in Massachusetts and nationally
For immediate release:
10/24/2022
  • Executive Office of Education
  • Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Media Contact for Massachusetts Remains Top-Ranked State on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

Jacqueline Reis

MALDENThe U.S. Department of Education today released state and nationwide results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) – often considered the Nation’s Report Card – for the first time since the 2018-2019 school year, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Massachusetts students received the highest numeric score of any state on two of the four assessments and the second-highest score on the other two assessments.
 
When scores are averaged across all four tests, Massachusetts continues to rank first in the nation overall. At the same time, states nationwide, including Massachusetts, saw declines in absolute scores when compared to 2019, underscoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student learning.
 
The scores reported today were from tests given to a sample of fourth and eighth grade students in reading and math in winter 2022. The tests, which are usually administered every two years, were last given in 2019.
 
Massachusetts’ scores were as follows: (The scoring scale ranges from 0 to 500)

  • Fourth grade reading: Massachusetts had the highest numeric score of any state at 227.
  • Eighth grade reading: Massachusetts had the second-highest numeric score of any state at 269. The highest numeric score was 270.
  • Fourth grade math: Massachusetts had the second-highest numeric score of any state at 242. The highest numeric score was 243.
  • Eighth grade math: Massachusetts had the highest numeric score of any state at 284.

Nationally, scores in all four areas have declined compared to 2019. Math in grades four and eight saw the largest score decline since 1990. National reading scores, however, dropped just 3 points in both grades when compared to the 2019 test.
 
“Massachusetts once again leads the nation in overall NAEP scores, showing the strength of our education system, despite the challenges of the past few years” said Governor Charlie Baker. “While students continue to perform well compared to other states, we know that the impacts of the pandemic continue to present challenges. Our Administration has made significant investments to help bridge learning gaps from the pandemic, and we remain committed to making sure every student can succeed.”
 
“We are proud that the Commonwealth remains an education leader,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “As students continue to make up learning loss from the pandemic, we will redouble our efforts to ensure every student has all the resources they need.”
 
“Similar to the 2022 MCAS results, the NAEP results indicate the need for additional student supports so students can make up lost ground,” Education Secretary James Peyser said. “With state and federal funding, we will continue to help districts provide intensive acceleration programs and other academic and emotional supports.”
 
“We’re proud of the efforts of our students, families, and educators during these challenging years,” said Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley. “At the same time, it’s clear our students have lost ground, and we have more work ahead to recover.”
 
The National Assessment of Educational Progress is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in core subjects. The assessment tests are representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade students in all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and the Department of Defense Education Activity, and NAEP reports state-level results. In Massachusetts, 2,500 students in fourth grade were selected to take a NAEP reading assessment, and 2,700 were selected to take a math test. In eighth grade, 2,500 students were selected to take reading and 2,500 were selected to take math.

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Media Contact for Massachusetts Remains Top-Ranked State on the National Assessment of Educational Progress

Executive Office of Education 

From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.

Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 

ESE oversees the education of children grades pre-k through 12 in Massachusetts, striving to ensure that all students across the Commonwealth succeed.

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