Massachusetts Students Rank #1 Again!

“Massachusetts teachers should be extremely proud of the consistently high performance of their students,” said MTA President Anne Wass in response to news that Massachusetts students ranked first in the country yet again on a national reading exam.

The Commonwealth’s fourth and eighth graders both had the highest scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress reading exam in 2009, marking the third time in a row that the state’s students outscored their peers nationwide. NAEP, often referred to as The Nation’s Report Card, is administered to a sample of students in every state plus the District of Columbia.

According to results of the 2009 NAEP exam, the state’s fourth graders scored an average of 234 on the reading assessment, well above the national average of 220 and first in the nation. At grade 8, Massachusetts students achieved the highest average of 274, which exceeded the national average of 262 and was a statistical tie for first with five other high performing states: New Jersey (273); Connecticut and Vermont (272); and New Hampshire and Pennsylvania (271).

Massachusetts students also rank first in the country on the NAEP math tests in grades four and eight. The math results were released last October.

“Education is our calling card around the world,” said Governor Deval Patrick in a statement released today. “I couldn't be more proud of our students, teachers, and school administrators whose dedication and hard work made this remarkable achievement possible.”

Once again, both nationally and in Massachusetts females out scored males on the test, and white and Asian students outscored African American and Hispanic students.

“The state’s overall high scores on both NAEP and on international measures of achievement demonstrate that there is a lot that our teachers and schools are doing right,” said Wass. “Given their obvious expertise, teachers must be at the forefront of figuring out effective strategies for reducing the persistent achievement gaps. The views of teachers and other practitioners must be paramount in the next phase of education reform.”

For more information on NAEP and the most recent results, go to