Fourth- and eighth-graders in Texas public schools still struggle with reading, according to the 2019 nation's report card. Math scores show mixed results.
Every two years, selected students are given the National Assessment of Educational Progress in reading and mathematics to see how students perform across the country.
Math scores for fourth-graders showed positive signs in 2019, with Texas students improving to an average score of 244, up from 240 in 2017. The national average climbed from 239 to 240.
When breaking scores down by subpopulations, African American, Hispanic and Anglo fourth-graders in Texas perform in the top 10 nationally in math, with African Americans ranking first among their peers nationwide.
Reading scores for Texas fourth-graders climbed slightly to 216, from 215, but remain the below the national average of 219 (a decline from 221 in 2017).
Eighth-grade reading scores in Texas dropped 4 points to 256, and remain below the national average score of 262, which fell from 265 in 2017.
In math, Texas eighth-graders averaged a score of 280, down from 282 in 2017. Nationwide, average eighth-grade math scores fell from 282 to 281.
Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath praised the fourth-grade math scores, but said more work needs to be done.
“We should be proud of the performance of our fourth-grade students in mathematics, especially the leading position of our African-American students. We still have work to do so our fourth-grade achievements in mathematics extend through eighth grade and beyond,” Morath said in a statement. “In reading, our students have great promise, but our system has much room for improvement.”