Indiana students continue to score above the national average, according to data released this week by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).
Year-to-year scores remained relatively flat -- increasing or decreasing slightly -- depending on the subject and grade level tested.
"Our educators, students and parents should be encouraged by these results," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. "But there remains much room for improvement. We must take advantage of the new opportunities to drive academic success and accelerate student growth. Indiana can and should be the nation's leader when it comes to preparing our students for college and career success."
On the NAEP Reading assessment, Indiana fourth-graders achieved an average scale score of 221, one point higher than the national average of 220. Eighth-graders finished one point above the national average, with an average scale score of 265.
Fourth-grade students outpaced their national peers by four points on the NAEP Mathematics assessment, with an average scale score of 244 compared to 240 nationally. Indiana eighth graders achieved an average scale score of 285, two points above the national average of 283.
The NAEP assessment provides a common measure of student achievement across the country. Currently, it is the only measure of how students across the nation are performing in math and reading. Indiana fourth- and eighth-graders last took the NAEP assessment in 2009.
More than 12,000 Indiana students were pre-selected to take the assessment in order to represent the geographical, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity across Indiana. Schools are selected on the basis of school location, minority enrollment, level of school achievement and the area's average income area.
Indiana remains a national leader in the NAEP when it comes to including English Language Learner students and students with disabilities. Inclusion rates were significantly higher than in 2009 and 2007 in all subjects and grade levels tested.
NAEP was administered across the country between Jan. 24 and March 9, 2011.