Vocabulary Test Results

Utah Fourth, Eighth Grade Students Perform Well on Vocabulary Tests

Utah State Office of Education LogoSALT LAKE CITY – Utah was just one of 18 states where both fourth and eighth grade students scored higher than the national average on the vocabulary results from the 2009 and 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading assessments, the U.S. Department of Education reported today.

Today’s results marked the first time vocabulary results were reported separately from the reading assessments.
NAEP results show Utah fourth graders scored 218 in 2009 and 220 in 2011 compared to the national average of 217 in both years. Utah eighth graders scored an average of 269 in 2009 and 272 in 2011 compared to the national average of 263 in both years, NAEP reported.

“It is gratifying to see Utah’s students performing well. It is even more gratifying to see them improving during a time when national scores are flat,” said Deputy State Superintendent Martell Menlove.

Additional data revealed in the vocabulary release includes:

  • In 2009, Utah fourth grade boys outscored girls by two points, but the girls proved equal to the boys in 2011. Nationally, girls outscored the boys in both years, although boys did improve by one point.
  • Utah eighth grade girls outscored boys in both assessment years; this was true nationally as well.
  • Both in Utah and nationally, white students outperform racial and ethnic minority students in both grades.
  • Also in both grades, students who are not eligible for free or reduced-price lunch outperform students who are both nationally and in Utah.

NAEP tests are given to a cross-section of Utah students so there are no district or school results. Only state-level data is available. Beginning in 2009 NAEP integrated word meanings into the reading assessments given to students.

With two years’ worth of assessment data, NAEP released the vocabulary results independent of the reading assessments, which were released earlier.

For more information on both state and national vocabulary results performance please visit http://nationsreportcard.gov/reading_2011/.

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