Achievement gap remains in Florida students' vocabulary results
The National Center for Education Statistics has released new data on students' understanding of vocabulary words, as manifest in the 2011 NAEP test (often referred to as the Nation's Report Card).
Florida fourth and eighth graders outperformed their peers nationally on the 0-500 point scale, although their scored declined slightly from 2009. Florida 12th-graders scored below their national peers.
More notably, the results among different demographic groups within Florida were stark. Among fourth graders, for instance, white students scored a 235 - well above the national score - while black students scored 204 and Hispanic students scored 213. Girls outpaced boys, and students eligible for free-reduced price lunches logged in well behind those who were not eligible.
The results were similar for eighth and twelfth graders.
The NAEP looked at vocabulary separately from reading because word knowledge plays heavily into reading comprehension. “We discuss concepts such as reading comprehension and reading on grade level, but we can’t have success in those areas if our students also do not learn to understand the meaning of words in a variety of contexts,” NAEP board member Brent Houston said in prepared remarks.