FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2003
Illinois Reading and Math Results Parallel Nations
National Assessment of Educational Progress results
SPRINGFIELD, ILL. Reading and math scores earned
by Illinois students are on par with national averages.
Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress
(NAEP) test released today show that for the most part
Illinois 4th and 8th graders are performing at or
above the national level in reading and mathematics.
A total of 5,000 4th grader, and 4,000 8th grade Illinois
students participated in the 2003 test selected
by NAEP to represent state figures and demographics. Illinois
used a type of standard-setting process similar to NAEP
resulting in a great deal of overlap in test content.
Overall, NAEP ranked Illinois number 10 for 4th grade
math results, 13th at the 8th grade level. The rankings
also gave Illinois number 11 in 4th grade reading and
number 7 in 8th grade reading.
Illinois students did well overall, compared
to 53 states and jurisdictions tested, said Superintendent
of Education Robert E. Schiller. The math results
are certainly encouraging and most of the results were
positive indicating that Illinois is doing better than
other states. However, our goal needs to be to seek continued
The test results for reading shows 35 percent of Illinois
8th grade students scored at or above the national proficient
level of 30 percent. The average scale score for eighth-grade
students in Illinois was 266 higher than the nations
public school score of 261.
Results for grade 4 students are no different than the
national average, with 32 percent scoring at or above
the proficient level. Grade 4 students, in
Illinois and nationwide, recorded an average scale score
Females outscored males in both grades, also mirroring
national gaps. Illinois grade 4 males recorded an average
of 5 points lower than females compared to a 7 point
gap in national scores. At grade 8 the gap was slightly
narrower for females and males with only 6 points difference,
compared to an 11-point gap nationally.
Reading scores also show fourth grade Black and Hispanic
students still lag behind White students in reading by
34 and 31 points respectively. Moreover, 8th grade Black
and Hispanic students lag behind White students in reading
by 29 and 26 points respectively.
Fourth graders significantly improved between 2000 and
2003 with 32 percent scoring at or above proficient
on the 2003 math assessment on par with the 32
percent nationwide, but higher than the 20 percent reaching
that mark in 2000. Their scale score was 233, and was
higher than the 223 score recorded in 2000.
For grade 8, 29 percent of Illinois students reached
that mark, compared to 27 percent of the national sample.
The average scale score for grade 8 was 277 close to the
national average of 276.
Demographic results for 4th grade show white students
improving by nine points, Black students by 8 points,
and Hispanic students by seven points. However Blacks
and Hispanics still lag behind white students. Fourth
and eighth grade Asian students scored significantly higher
than their national counterparts.
Scores for males and females did not significantly differ
in either 4th or 8th grade. Scores for 4th grade males
and females have increased since 2000, and the score for
8th grade males was higher than in 2000.
- Reading scores for 4th and 8th graders attending central
city schools were lower than for those in either urban
fringe/large towns or those in rural areas/small towns.
- Exclusion rates for disabled and limited English proficient
students do not differ from the national average in
either 4th or 8th grade scores.
- Students eligible for free/reduced lunch scored lower
than students who are not eligible in both 4th and 8th
For more information on the National Assessment of Educational
Progress, visit http://www.nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/