By Michelle Diament
April 13, 2018
A routine look at how fourth and eighth graders across the country are performing in reading and math finds children with disabilities struggling to make progress.
For fourth graders with disabilities math scores were down in 2017 compared to 2015 while reading was unchanged. Meanwhile, eighth graders with disabilities saw a slight increase in performance on reading but remained stagnant in math.
The findings released this week from the government’s National Center for Education Statistics come from the 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress. Known as the Nation’s Report Card, nearly 585,000 students at over 28,000 schools across the country took the test on tablet computers in early 2017.
The assessment found limited improvement for the nation’s students on the whole with a small uptick in reading scores among eighth graders, but scores holding steady in all other categories.
Even still, scores for typically-developing students outpaced those for children with disabilities across the board.
Among those with disabilities, the average math score for fourth graders dipped to 214 from 218 in 2015, while eighth graders averaged 247, the same as in 2015.
In reading, students with disabilities in the fourth grade were steady at 187 while the average score for eighth graders climbed to 232 from 230 in 2015. All scores are out of a possible 500 points.
“The report card is in, and the results are clear: We can and we must do better for America’s students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. “Our nation’s reading and math scores continue to stagnate. More alarmingly, the gap between the highest and lowest performing students is widening, despite billions in federal funding designated specifically to help close it.”