by Dr. Terry Stoops
Former Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released an assessment of vocabulary comprehension among fourth- and eighth-grade students who took the NAEP reading test in 2009 and 2011.
Overall, fourth- and eighth-grade vocabulary scores did not change significantly from 2009 to 2011.
In North Carolina, the scores for fourth-grade students dropped from 220 to 217 and now equal the national average score. Eighth-grade students scores were higher in 2011 than in 2009. Vocabulary scores for all students increased from 262 to 265 and are now higher than the national average score of 263.
North Carolina was one of three states where female students scored higher on average than male students in 2011 at both grades.