Idaho leads nation in Hispanic-student progress

The most recent Nation’s Report Card comparing student achievement across the country shows that Idaho’s Hispanic students are making more progress in vocabulary than students in any other state.

The National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card, results released today analyzed vocabulary skills tested in 2009 and 2011. The results are important because the tests show students who do well on vocabulary also perform well on reading comprehension.

According to the report released today, all Idaho students in grades 4 and 8 continue to score above the national average. The scores among Idaho’s Hispanic students in 8th grade increased significantly from 2009 to 2011. Across the country, Hispanic students improved their vocabulary scores in 8th grade and narrowed the achievement gap, but Idaho’s Hispanic students showed the largest gain of 13 percentage points – more than any other state in the nation.

“This is excellent news for the students in our state. We know we have an achievement gap and have been working to eliminate it, not just close it. We still have a lot of work to do, but this is a positive step in the right direction,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna said. Superintendent Luna currently serves on the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees NAEP testing across the country.

“We are thrilled to see all the hard work that the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the Idaho Department of Education has done is starting to show closure in the academic achievement gap with our Hispanic students,” said Margie Gonzalez, the Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs. “We applaud all of the schools who are implementing strong initiatives to address the achievement gaps.”

Here is a summary of how Idaho students compare to students across the country on the NAEP Vocabulary:

  • In Grade 4, all Idaho students scored an average 221 in 2011 compared to 220 in 2009. The national average remained the same at 217.
  • In Grade 4, Idaho Hispanic students scored an average 201 in 2011 compared to 196 in 2009. Nationally, Hispanic students scored 200 in 2011 compared to 198 in 2009.
  •  In Grade 8, all Idaho students scored an average 270 in 2011 compared to 268 in 2009. The national average stayed the same at 263.
  • In Grade 8, Idaho Hispanic students scored an average 251 in 2011 compared to 238 in 2009. Nationally, Hispanic students scored 247 in 2011 compared to 245 in 2009.
  • Idaho was one of 11 states to administer NAEP in Grade 12 in 2009. In that year, Idaho students scored 300 on vocabulary skills compared to the national average of 294.

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Jennifer Swindell

Jennifer Swindell

Managing editor and CEO Jennifer Swindell founded Idaho Education News in 2013. She has led the online news platform as it has grown in readership and engagement every year, reaching over two million pageviews a year. Jennifer has more than 35 years of experience in Idaho journalism. She also has served as a public information officer for Idaho schools and as a communication director at Boise State University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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