Report card: Oklahoma’s math scores rise as reading falls

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Education officials say Oklahoma students are actually improving in some areas above the national standard.

On Tuesday, the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress reports were released and showed some improvement for Oklahoma students in mathematics.

Officials say that Oklahoma saw an increase in scores for 8th-grade math.

From 2017 to 2019, Oklahoma’s 8th-grade math scores showed a one to two-point gain in all percentiles. During the same time period, national scores were flat or actually showed a drop.

“We are encouraged to see improvement in 8th-grade math scores after strengthening our academic standards,” said Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Oklahoma students can compete academically with other students in the nation, but we have more ground to gain.”

In August, a study showed that the Sooner State was among the top states in strong expectations for 8th-grade mathematics.

“The bar is higher now, and our state has set the stage for considerable improvement,” Hofmeister said. “The latest NAEP results indicate challenges across the nation, and we are not immune. Lifting student achievement won’t happen automatically. It will take a new approach. It’s going to take all Oklahomans to keep momentum building for education and the future our kids deserve.”

On the other hand, Oklahoma’s 4th-grade reading score dropped by one point, while Oklahoma’s 8th-grade reading score dropped three points.

“Our kids do not have to be struggling readers. Extensive research shows us how the brain learns to read, and many classrooms across Oklahoma and the nation are still teaching reading strategies that have been discredited and could even make it harder for students to learn to read,” Hofmeister said. “In Oklahoma, we are encouraging teachers to be well-informed on the science of reading, and we stand ready to have open and honest conversations about what we can do moving forward. However, the conversation must be about more than just early literacy if we are serious about lifting academic outcomes for all students. It is imperative that we thoroughly teach our new academic standards, strategically invest in mentoring new teachers and support kids with deep learning challenges. There are no shortcuts to success. We must never underestimate the transformative power of prepared teachers and quality instruction in lifting student outcomes. Our kids need every opportunity and every day possible.”

Officials say NAEP chooses samples of students to represent the state’s student population. Approximately 8,900 Oklahoma students attending 250 schools were tested between January and March.

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