Texas 2036’s statement: NAEP scores release

A statement from Texas 2036 President and CEO Margaret Spellings on the release of NAEP scores on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.

While the Nation’s Report Card shows Texas has improved its performance relative to other states, the majority of our students being below proficient in reading and mathematics is cause for serious concern and urgency.  We can and we must do better for our students. In Texas, 38% of 4th graders are proficient in math and 30% are proficient in reading.  For Texas 8th graders, 24% are proficient in math and 23% are proficient in reading.

While much of the initial media attention has focused on national declines in math performance during the pandemic, in Texas this is unfortunately not new. After steadily rising from the late 1990s, Texas peaked a decade ago. Since 2011, the number of 8th graders proficient at math has declined from 40% to 24%. The six percentage point decline experienced during pandemic years is just a fraction of the overall decline over the past decade.

We can and we must do better for our students. – Margaret Spellings, Texas 2036 President and CEO

Bipartisan legislative achievements in recent sessions — including a redesign of the STAAR test, the new A-F accountability system, and the school finance overhaul of 2019 — use data to improve student and system performance. These reforms will take time to work, but Texas’ performance relative to other states during the pandemic provides a foundation on which to build.

The Legislature needs to stay the course on these reforms, investing in their data-proven strategies. These reforms of the past few sessions offer our best roadmap to continuing to improve student outcomes across our state and we cannot back off now.