The brightest spot in the tests statewide appeared to be reading for eighth- and 10th-graders. The results show that 85% of eighth-graders were proficient or better in reading, up six percentage points from a year ago, while 74% of 10th-graders cleared the proficiency bar, up five percentagepoints from a year ago.
But for fourth-graders, the percentage proficient or better went down in math and science, stayed the same in reading and language arts and went up one point in social studies.
And an eight-point jump in the percentage of eighth-graders who were at least proficient in math only reversed an eight-point drop among the eighth-graders in the prior year – a sign both of the way scores can change from year to year and of how little things have changed in recent years.
The gaps that leave low-income and minority students scoring far below other students remain large and in some instances were worse in this school year’s testing. There have been some instances of the gaps shrinking, but it remains as much as 50 percentage points in some cases (78% of white 10th-graders and 28% of black 10th-graders were demonstrated proficient in math.