News Release

October 30, 2019


Nebraska’s 2019 fourth- and eighth-graders scored higher than the national average and higher than most other states 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 9,900 Nebraska students were sampled for the exams.

Nebraska’s average math score is 244 for fourth-grade, four points higher than the national average of 240, and 285 for eighth-grade, four points higher than the national average of 281.

Nebraska’s average reading score is 222 for fourth-grade, three points higher than the national average 219, and 264 for eighth-grade, two points higher than the national average 262.

Only four states and jurisdictions outscored Nebraska in fourth-grade reading and math.  Similarly, in eighth-grade only nine states and jurisdictions 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:

  • Nationally scores were down in 3 out of four tests. Only fourth-grade math showed an increase.
  • While Nebraska scores showed a small decline in all four tests, students continued to score above the national average in each test.
  • Black students in Nebraska scored 31 points below white students in fourth-grade math, 42 points lower in eighth-grade math, and 31 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, 26 points in eighth-grade math, and 20 points in fourth-grade and eighth-grade reading compared to white students.

The 2019 national NAEP report card can be viewed at:

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education