This year the Nation’s Report Card tested students in grades four and eight in two subjects: reading and math.
When it comes to eighth grade math, students in Texas are doing better than the national average. They ranked 24th in the country.
But that’s the main bright spot for Texas in the Nation’s Report Card this year.
DeEtta Culbertson is with the Texas Education Agency.
“We’re very pleased with the math scores. We think our students did well on those and we can acknowledge that reading was not as strong as we would like.”
In reading, Texas did worse than the national average.
Take Texas fourth graders: They ranked 41st in the country in reading.
Culbertson says state administrators will look at the data and try to figure out how to improve especially in reading.
“There could be an issue with that area of the curriculum perhaps or perhaps with teacher training or better staff development. It could be those or other areas that might need to be improved upon.”
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan sees a lesson for states with lackluster results. He’s talking with reporters on a conference call.
“I think where people are more timid you’re seeing less movement, less progress, stagnant, flat-lined or even some states are going south a little bit.”
Texas scores were flat across the board since the last time students took the reading and math tests two years ago.
State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, a Democrat from San Antonio, says it’s important to watch how Hispanic students are doing.
They now make up the majority of public school students in Texas.
“Scores for Hispanic students were at least numerically higher in 2013 than the early 1990s in Texas at both grades and in both subjects.”
But Van de Putte worries that the gap between how Hispanic students and white students scored didn’t get any closer in the last two years.
Next month, there will be more information released on the Nation’s Report Card, with a detailed look at large school districts like Dallas and Houston.
SOURCE: Nation's Report Crad - U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2013 Mathematics and Reading Assessments.