South Dakota’s 12th grade reading and math scores are well above the national average, according to results released last month by the National Assessment Governing Board. South Dakota was one of 11 states to participate in a 2009 pilot program that provided state-level results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress at 12th grade.
In reading, South Dakota’s 12th graders had an average score of 292, compared to the national average of 287. In math, South Dakota’s 12th graders had an average score of 160, compared to the national average of 152.
“Our students have typically performed well at both grades 4 and 8, and our 12th graders were no different,” said Secretary of Education Tom Oster. “South Dakota was one of five states with higher average scores than the nation in both reading and math.”
Besides South Dakota, NAEP pilot states included Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, South Dakota and West Virginia.
Forty percent of South Dakota’s 12th grade students scored at or above the proficient level in reading, compared to the national average of 37 percent. When these same students were in 8th grade, only 35 percent scored at or above proficient. “It was good to see that growth from 8th to 12th grade, especially when we’ve seen a bit of a dip on our Dakota STEP scores at 11th grade,” Oster said.
In math, the trend went in the opposite direction. A larger percentage of students scored in the proficient and advanced categories in 8th grade, which may indicate a need for more exposure to rigorous math concepts. The state’s new graduation requirements, which began with this year’s incoming freshmen, require all students to take Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry.
For more information, visit www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/