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Published: Thursday, 10/20/2005

Students in Ohio top U.S. test score averages

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Fourth and eighth-graders attending Ohio's public schools performed better in the 2004-2005 academic year than the national and Michigan averages on the National Assessment of Educational Progress in both reading and mathematics, according to figures released yesterday.

In Michigan, students in those grades scored about average on national math and reading tests given last school year.

All states are required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act to assess fourth and eighth-grade reading and math. Black students in both states trailed white students in both subjects at both grade levels. Poor students also scored lower than middle and upper-income students.

The low-income analysis of students is based on average scores of those eligible for free and reduced-price lunches.

"These results demonstrate that we must redouble our efforts to raise achievement in large and small cities," Susan Tave Zelman, Ohio's superintendent of public instruction, said.

In Ohio, 69 percent of fourth-graders read at a basic level or better, up six points from the 2002-2003 academic year. Eighty-four percent performed math at a basic level or better, up from 81 percent.

In Ohio, 78 percent of eighth-graders read at a basic level or better, the same as in the 2002-2003 school year.

In Michigan, 63 percent of fourth-graders read at a basic level or better, down one percentage point from 2003-2004. Seventy-nine percent performed math at a basic level or better, up from 77 percent.

Among Michigan eighth-graders, 73 percent read at a basic level or better, compared with 75 percent two years ago.

On a scale from 0 to 500 points, Ohio fourth-graders had an average reading score of 223, and Michigan fourth-graders had an average reading score of 218, compared with the national average of 217.

The average reading score for Ohio's eighth-graders was 267, and the average reading score for Michigan's eighth-graders was 261. The national average was 260.

Ohio fourth-graders had an average math score of 242; fourth-graders in Michigan had an average math score of 238. The U.S. average was 237.

Ohio eight-graders averaged 283 in math, while Michigan eight-graders averaged 277. The national average was 278.



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