Bay State students lead nation on NAEP

Once again, Massachusetts public school students have outscored their counterparts in every other state on a series of exams often referred to as “The Nation’s Report Card.”

For the second time, the Commonwealth beat every other state in the country on three of four National Assessment of Educational Progress exams and tied for first on the fourth. The only other time one state has ever ranked first on all four NAEP exams was when Massachusetts outscored the nation in 2005.

“This is great news for the students and teachers of Massachusetts,” MTA President Anne Wass said. “These results show how hard educators are working to help students achieve despite the daily challenges they face in their classrooms. I congratulate the students and teachers of the Commonwealth on this very important achievement.”

Shortly after the NAEP scores were released, Wass received a phone call from Senator Edward Kennedy thanking MTA members for their hard work and congratulating them on the test results.

The NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in core subjects. The NAEP assesses representative samples of students in all 50 states and reports state-level results at grades four and eight.

Governor Deval Patrick, who announced the results at a press conference in Lynn on Sept. 25, also offered words of praise for Massachusetts students and educators.

“It is wonderful news that Massachusetts students continue to outperform their peers nationwide,” Patrick said. “This is an outstanding achievement, and our students, teachers, administrators and parents deserve to be congratulated.

“Our goal is to build on that success,” he continued. “To reach that goal, we must work to educate the whole child from the time they start learning before kindergarten, through grade 12 and higher education, and continue that effort in work-force development and lifelong learning.”

In 2007, Massachusetts fourth-graders ranked first nationwide on the reading and math exams, and the state’s eighth-graders ranked first in math and tied for first with Montana, New Jersey and Vermont in reading. In 2005, the Commonwealth ranked first on reading in grades four and eight and tied for first in mathematics at grades four and eight.