NAEP Math Scores by Math Gains by State

November 7, 2017

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

A conversation with Robert Pondiscio convinced me that it would be a good idea to balance progress with overall scores. Growth is dandy after all, but it is not the end-all-be-all. So here goes with math- statewide scores for 8th graders in 2015 by overall cohort progress between 4th graders in 2011 and 8th graders in 2015. Bonus-more states labeled. It’s a slow process so if I missed a desired state just let me know in the comments.

So the high performing usual suspects do better in this chart clustered over on the right side of the horizon. The 2015 NAEP math swoon hit some states very hard- yes I’m looking at you Florida, Maryland and North Carolina. Between 2013 and 2015 these states experienced a 6 point, 4 point and 5 point drops in 8th math respectively. Florida’s case was very odd as statewide charters and Miami Dade escaped the swoon. We will see what happens when the new data is released for in 2017 in January.


NAEP Reading Gains and Spending Trends by State

February 26, 2016

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

2003 to 2015 NAEP reading by spending

New York and North Dakota are your team captains of the Washington Generals in the spending up NAEP scores down sweepstakes. Meanwhile out west AZ and California did more with less.

This Just In: Money is Still Not the Answer…

February 7, 2014

NAEP 4r dot chart

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

Which is a relief since we are running out of money in any case. I took a stab at updating my favorite state NAEP chart ever for the 2013 NAEP.  My favorite chart ever of course is:

Hanuskek 4

I decided that it would be a bit easier to digest to do the chart by individual subjects and use points rather than percentages of a standard deviation and combined tests as an axis. Also revenue per pupil was easier to find than expenditures.  So what you see up there is a first crack at 4th grade reading between 1998 and 2013.  No shock- money is still not the answer (yes I am looking right at you New York and Wyoming).

8th Grade Reading Chart looks pretty similar:

NAEP 8r dot chart

Wyoming at least scores meh improvement this time for their gigantic increase in spending, New York- fuggedabouit.  Florida just blew you a kiss from the top left quadrant and said that you should come up and see her sometime.

In any case, these are prototype charts that have as yet been double checked by no one other than our family cat Charlie. Treat them accordingly for now, just putting them up for fun and feedback.

FRL Gains

April 6, 2011

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)

So I ran the NAEP learning gains for free and reduced lunch eligible children for the entire period in which all 50 states have data available on all 4 main NAEP exams.

West Virginia, you’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

What has Maryland been up to? Underrated?

North Carolina…you really let yourself go!

Florida wins despite the fact that starting the clock in 2003 ignores large gains between 1998 and 2002.

Discuss amongst yourselves…I’m feeling a little verklempt.

What’s the Matter with Oregon?

May 28, 2008

(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)



So, true story, last year I turned 40 near the end of a Phoenix summer. My fantastic wife, who I don’t deserve, told me that she had bought me a mystery trip for my birthday. “You’re leaving Thursday, I’m not telling you where you are going, but the high temperature there is around 78 degrees. You will be staying in a nice hotel and meeting an old buddy. Your pal has all sorts of fun things on the agenda.”



I said, “You had me at 78 degrees!”



So that Thursday I got on a plane for Oregon. I met my old pal Kevin, my partner in crime from my hipster-doofus days in Austin. We hit the Northwest Music Fest and sampled the local cuisine. We rented a car in downtown, and the kid behind the desk informed us that they only had a Jaguar.



Kevin and I looked at each other, and said “Usually we hate Jaguars, but if it the only one you’ve got…”


Twenty minutes later we were going 100 miles per hour headed out of Portland to see the wine country. I told Kevin “You can hit on the Asian women, I’ll be neurotic about merlots…”



Anyway- I noticed two things about Oregon while I was out there. First- the kids all have tattoos. Second, the place is very Anglo.



All of this is a prologue to wondering: why is a place as well to do as Oregon score so poorly on the NAEP?

Florida’s K-12 population is majority minority (50.4%) while Oregon is not (26.4%). According to the Census Bureau, they spend about the same amount per pupil.

One of these states is making substantial progress, and one of them is not. So, what’s going on Oregon? Where is the progress part of being progressive?