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Harrison Special Ed

Special Education teacher Amy Kenyon's goes over a reading assignment with her students March 8 at Harrison Elementary School in Twin Falls.

PAT SUTPHIN TIMES-NEWS

BOISE — Idaho’s average student scores on national reading tests remained steady in 2017, but dropped slightly in math.

Results were released April 10 from the National Assessment for Education Progress, also known as “the Nation’s Report Card.”

The tests are administered every two years to a sampling of fourth and eighth-graders, a total of 2,400 last year selected by a contractor for the U.S. Department of Education.

Here in Idaho, average scores remained the same or increased by one point — a “statistically insignificant difference” — compared with the 2015 tests, the Idaho State Department of Education wrote in a statement Tuesday.

But math scores dropped two points.

A bright spot: Eighth-graders in the Gem State performed near the top of the pack in reading, with more than 80 percent scoring “basic” or better.

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Only two places did better — Massachusetts and U.S. Department of Defense schools — while 18 states had similar scores to Idaho and 31 states had lower scores, according to the Idaho State Department of Education.

“It’s sometimes popular to complain that the quality of Idaho education ranks near the bottom of the barrel nationally, but this well-respected assessment shows that is simply not true,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said in a statement. “Idaho’s results are in line with the national average, and many states posted lower average scores than Idaho in all four tested cohorts.”

The NAEP, though, does highlight the need to improve achievement for students who are learning English or qualify for special education services, she said.

To see results, visit nationsreportcard.gov.

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