This is the final blog in this series comparing Kentucky’s performance on the NAEP to other states.
I provided some cautions in the first blog, which had Grade 4 reading results, about why comparisons of state performances with the National Assessment of Educational Progress using all student average scores ignores major differences in student demographics across different states and just winds up comparing scores for lots of white students in Kentucky to scores for minority students elsewhere. The picture that results is thus misleading.
I also pointed out that comparisons need to consider the statistical sampling errors in all NAEP scores.
So, the maps I am assembling in this series, which looks at only white students, honors those demographic and sampling error concerns.
Let’s see what the mapping tools in the NAEP Data Explorer web tool show us about NAEP Grade 8 Math.
Figure 1 shows how the state stacked up in 2017.
As you can see from the summary at the top, a whopping 41 states plus the DC schools (a total of 42 jurisdictions) had white student scores statistically significantly higher than Kentucky’s white student NAEP Grade 8 Math Scale Score of 282.
Thanks to those statistical sampling errors, Kentucky was in a tie with six states and statistically significantly outscored just two states. It is clear for NAEP Grade 8 Math for white students that Kentucky not only ranks nowhere near the middle of the pack, but it actually is located somewhere down among the bottom 8 states.
Again, data from the Department of Defense Schools (DS), whose circle is shown in gray, is not included.
Now, let’s see what happened in the new, 2019 NAEP. Figure 2 tells that story, the only somewhat happy story in this series.
Incredibly, Kentucky fell even more! Now 42 states plus the DC school system do statistically significantly better (total of 43 jurisdictions) and only one state does statistically significantly worse. Apparently, Alabama must have moved its score up a bit because Kentucky’s NAEP Grade 8 Math Scale Score did remain constant at 282.
So, overall, except for NAEP Grade 8 Reading, Kentucky saw definite declines in its relative rankings in 2019 for white student scores compared to other states.