News Release

April 10, 2018


Nebraska’s 2017 fourth- and eighth-graders scored higher than their peers across the country in math and reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

The NAEP math assessment measures both mathematics knowledge and students’ ability to apply their knowledge in problem-solving situations.  The NAEP reading assessment measures reading comprehension by asking students to read selected grade-appropriate materials and answer questions based on what they have read. More than 4,600 Nebraska students were sampled for the exams.

Nebraska’s average math score is 246 for fourth-grade, seven points higher than the national average of 239, and 288 for eighth-grade, six points higher than the national average of 282.

Nebraska’s average reading score is 224 for fourth-grade, three points higher than the national average 221, and 269 for eighth-grade, four points higher than the national average 265.

Only six states outscored Nebraska in fourth-grade reading and only two scored better than Nebraska in math.  Similarly, in eighth-grade only seven states scored higher than Nebraska in reading and only five in math.

The following are among other key findings from this year’s Nebraska NAEP math and reading assessment data:

  • The average scores for Nebraska students were not significantly different in any of the four tests from 2015 (the last NAEP assessment of math and reading).
  • Black students in Nebraska scored 32 points below white students in fourth-grade math, 37 points lower in eighth-grade math, and 30 points lower in both fourth- and eighth-grade reading.
  • The gap in score averages was similar for Hispanic students with a difference of 19 points in fourth-grade math, 27 points in eighth-grade math, 20 points in fourth-grade reading and 21 points in eighth-grade reading compared to white students.

The 2017 national NAEP report card can be viewed at:

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education