PIERRE — South Dakota scores on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, are mostly steady and remain at or above national scores. Bright spots include state scores in eighth-grade math and fourth-grade reading.

A representative sample of students in grades four and eight in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Department of Defense schools take the test every other year. NAEP scores are based on a scale of 0 to 500.

The state’s average scale score in eighth-grade math was 287, compared to the national average of 281. This score was higher than that of 30 other states. In eighth-grade reading, South Dakota’s average scale score was 263, compared to a national average of 262.

In fourth-grade reading, South Dakota’s average scale score of 222 was higher than the national average of 219 and higher than that of 20 other states. In South Dakota, the fourth-grade reading score remained steady since the test was last administered in 2017, while the fourth-grade reading score average declined at the national level. South Dakota’s average scale score in fourth-grade math was 241 in 2019, compared to a national average of 240.

“South Dakota continues to score above the national average, but we must work to increase our students’ academic successes,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Ben Jones. “Our work to close the Opportunity Gap will focus on students who need additional support. We are working with school districts to implement knowledge-rich curriculum, partnering with communities to support children’s needs, and supporting teachers in their critical work in our classrooms.”

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