The 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress showed significant improvement in California eighth graders’ reading scores, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Thursday.
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The NAEP is the nation’s largest assessment for students in grades four and eight.
American students are tested on several different subjects to assess what they know and can do in those areas.
The NAEP is also referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” since it informs the public with results confirming students academic achievements.
The purpose of the NAEP is to measure the academic achievement and student progress  across the nation and over periods of time.
“The resilience and tenacity of our schools have seen them through some challenging years, and I’m glad to see this validation of the hard work of educators, students and their families,” Torlakson said. “These scores are another sign that we are moving in the right direction to prepare students for college and career, but we still have a lot of work to do to make sure every student graduates equipped to succeed.”
Since 1969, the NAEP has been assessing students in the elementary and secondary level with minimal annual updates to the test, demonstrating academic changes over the years.
According a State Board of Education news release , Board President Mike Kirst agreed with the purpose of the NAEP, stating the importance of academic achievement and noting the overall score improvements in tested areas
“Literacy is at the core of a child’s education, and it’s remarkable to see such a major gain in scores in just one year,” Kirst said. “We can all look forward to seeing where our students go from here as we continue to improve teaching and learning.”
The State Board of Education news release found that California students scored a few points below other students nationally, although, the state has made tremendous improvements over the past decade.
Some improvements include narrowing the gap between higher achieving students and African American and Hispanic students.
California’s Report Card Results
Grade Eight Reading Scores
California’s average grade eight reading score climbed 7 points, from 255 to 262, from 2011 to 2013. Scores were also up for students of color, socioeconomically disadvantaged pupils, and children with disabilities. English learner scores were unchanged. There was no change in scores for higher achieving students and African American and Hispanic students. The average remains in the NAEP “basic” category.
Grade Eight Mathematics Scores
The average grade eight mathematics score of California was 276, up 3 points from 2011 to 2013. Scores were also up for all subgroups, including students of color, socioeconomically disadvantaged pupils, children with disabilities, and English learners. The gap in scores between higher achieving students and African American and Hispanic students narrowed slightly. The average remains in the NAEP “basic” category.
Grade Four Reading Scores
The average grade four reading score of California was 213, up 2 points from 2011 to 2013. California’s score was in the NAEP basic range. There were modest improvements overall, with white and Hispanic students performing above the state average. The achievement gap widened slightly between higher achieving students and African American students
Grade Four Mathematics Scores
The average grade four mathematics score of California was 234, remaining relatively unchanged from 2011 to 2013. California’s score was in the NAEP basic achievement level. There was a narrowing in scores between higher achieving students and Hispanic students.
The NAEP only collects relative academic achievement and background data in order to protect the privacy of individual students and their families.
Additional tested subjects include, science, writing, U.S. history, civics, geography, arts and more.
Visit the Nation’s Report Card  website for a breakdown of the complete 2013 results.
Read more about the history of California state results here .
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California Students Achieve Higher Test Scores On Nation's Report Card
Article: California Students Achieve Higher Test Scores On Nation's Report Card 
Source: Santa Clarita News
Author: Jeanina Joseph