Nebraska school students have improved on standardized reading and math scores.
State Education Commissioner Roger Breed reports 74.2% of Nebraska students met or exceeded reading standards, compared to 71.8% last year. Math scores rose from 62.8% to 67.4%.
The tests for science and writing are new. In writing, 73.3% of Nebraska students passed; 66.9% in science.
State Director of Science Education, Jim Woodland, says a standardized test cannot disclose everything students need to understand in the study of science.
“To be honest, there are some things you cannot do for a science skill,” Woodland says. “It’s very difficult – not you can’t do it – but it’s very, very difficult to measure some of the science process skills on a standardized test.”
Breed cautions against placing too much importance on standardized test scores.
“What the statewide tests provide us with is a single-shot look in four different areas about the progress of Nebraska schools and school districts toward student learning on Nebraska identified standards,” according to Breed. “That is one part of accountability.”
Breed says graduation rates and overall student improvement fill in the accountability for school districts. Breed adds that districts can use their test scores to adjust how they teach subjects.
AUDIO: Nebraska Education Commissioner Roger Breed announces standardized test score results. [9 min.]