Test scores released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) revealed a widening gap between high- and low-achieving students. Moreover, the results reveal a concerning trend in which the nation’s highest-performing eighth graders inched higher, while the results for the lowest-performing students declined—an indication that achievement gaps are widening. In fourth-grade reading, the gap between the top 10% and the bottom 10% of students widened by four points. For eighth graders, national reading scores increased by three points—but only because students in the top 10% and top 25% scored higher. Scores for average and below-average students were flat. The results highlight the need for greater equity in literacy education.
The Nation’s Report Card (2018). How did U.S. students perform on the most recent assessments? United States: The Nation’s Report Card. https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/