Maryland Tops Nation in Progress for Low-Income Students

By Baye, Rachel | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, June 10, 2013 | Go to article overview

Maryland Tops Nation in Progress for Low-Income Students


Baye, Rachel, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


Low-income students in Maryland made more academic progress over an eight-year period than in any other state in the country, according to a new report.

Fourth- and eighth-grade students in Maryland eligible for free and reduced meals raised their reading and math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress -- the standardized test known as "the Nation's Report Card" -- by a combined 55 points between 2003 and 2011, according to a report by the advocacy and research organization Education Sector.

In fourth place, low-income students in the District raised their scores by 43.3 points. Virginia ranked 40th, with a gain of 15.9 points.

By comparison, West Virginia came in last place with a drop of 8.4 points in the eight-year period.

The test measures academic progress as a student moves from one grade to the next, explained Education Sector Interim CEO John Chubb, one of the report's authors. Each year, a student is expected to gain on average 10 points in each subject.

As a result, score differences between Iowa -- where students across income brackets lost 0.4 points -- and Maryland show that, "kids in Maryland are achieving in fourth grade what kids in Iowa don't achieve until fifth grade," said Chubb.

The report also looked at a state's expected gains based on 2003 performance. In the District, where scores were low at the beginning of the eight-year span, its gains were only about five points better than expected. …

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