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Indiana Students Improve on National Exam

Indiana fourth graders made significant gains in their performance on national tests designed to compare their reading and math skills with students across the nation. Federal education officials released the results of the exams Thursday.

From 2011 to this year, Indiana fourth graders average score on both the reading and math tests went up 5 points.  On the 500-point National Assessment of Educational Progress, that might not sound like much. But that’s a bigger jump than all but a handful of states. 

Indiana eighth graders’ scores went up too, but not by as much as the fourth graders.  The number of Indiana fourth graders earning a rating of “Proficient” or better in reading jumped from 33 to 38 percent.  In only three states are more fourth graders proficient in math. 

Still, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan points out this year’s national scores edged up only slightly from 2011.

“We're not seeing yet the transformational change nationwide," Duncan said. "But we are seeing meaningful, but generally-modest progress.”

The test also shows little progress in closing the achievement gap between white and minority students.  In Indiana, the difference between white and black students’ test scores remained just as big as it was in 2011.  But between white and Hispanic students, the gap shrunk significantly, especially in fourth grade reading.

You can find more from our StateImpact Indiana team covering education at