Sun-Times reporter Lauren FitzPatrick reports that a new rundown released by the National Center for Education Statistics shows Illinois students in the 4th and 8th grades are about average nationally.
The NCES findings are an effort to measure vocabulary and reading comprehension for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The report and findings are prefaced with the idea of the crucial nature of these two courses of study:
Beginning in 2009, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) integrated a measure of students' understanding of word meaning with the measurement of passage comprehension in the NAEP reading assessment. The decision to focus on students' understanding of word meaning emphasized the important role vocabulary plays in the process of reading comprehension. To understand the overall topic or theme, students need to integrate their knowledge of individual words--or a sense of these words--with the way the words are used in particular passages.
FitzPatrick reports that Illinois students in eights grade scored an average 266 out of a possible 500, a bit higher than the national average of 264. Fourth graders scored an average 219, just under the national average of 220. Below the jump are PDFs from the NAEP reports breaking down the results for Illinois and Chicago 4th- and 8th-graders:
You can find the complete reading and vocabulary report card here. You can also find downloadable results for more urban areas and state-by-state.