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N.H. students outperform national average in reading, math

New Hampshire students once again scored well above the national average in fourth- and eighth-grade math and reading, according to results of a national assessment test released yesterday.

Every two years, students across the country take the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The test measures “proficiency” in reading and math in the two grades and is used to measure the nation’s overall academic progress. Although New Hampshire’s scores are higher than the national average in each category, scores rose only slightly and sometimes not at all from the 2011 results.

In fourth-grade math, 59 percent of New Hampshire students scored at or above proficient, which is on par with the 2011 scores. Those scores place New Hampshire second nationally behind only Minnesota.

In eighth-grade math, New Hampshire ranks fifth, with 46 percent of students at or above proficient. Those scores jumped by several percentage points more than the national average.

Reading proficiency levels are slightly lower, with only 45 percent of students in fourth grade and 44 percent in eighth grade scoring at or above proficient. Statewide and nationally, the eighth-grade reading scores are up slightly while the fourth-grade scores haven’t changed. New Hampshire sits behind Massachusetts and Maryland in fourth-grade reading and in sixth place in eighth-grade reading.

Since the tests began in the 1990s, math scores in New Hampshire have seen a much greater increase than reading scores.

(Kathleen Ronayne can be reached at 369-3309 or kronayne@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @kronayne.)

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