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Vermont students score on national assessments

Journal Opinion of Bradford, Vermont

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BARRE — Vermont's fourth and eighth graders were among the top scoring students on the 2015 reading and mathematics National Assessment of Educational Progress tests.

Vermont students also showed some improvement in reading, including closing the achievement gap among low-income students. But the 2015 test scores suggest that students everywhere, including in Vermont, did not perform as well on the mathematics assessment compared to previous years.

Vermont students continued to perform in the top 10. In eighth-grade reading, no other state scored significantly higher than Vermont. The only state to score higher than Vermont in fourth-grade reading was Massachusetts. Vermont showed a significant increase in scores from the previous years for fourth-grade reading. The increase in average scores can be attributed to significant gains in scores for low income students, which closed the achievement gap by approximately four points. In 8th grade math, only Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Minnesota outscored Vermont students. In comparison to the rest of the country, Vermont students exceeded the national average by about nine points.

The drop in mathematics scores in Vermont and elsewhere, however, reflects a national trend, according to Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe. She and other experts are trying to understand the reasons why the scores were lower this year.

Vermont low-income students are among the highest performing students in the nation, but achievement gaps between students who come from low income families compared to more affluent students continues to be an area of concern.

On the NEC AP science assessments given to students in grades 4, 8 and 11, the results this year at all levels were virtually unchanged from the previous year.

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Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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