merican Indian and low-income students in South Dakota continued to score lower than white students in both reading and math.
merican Indian and low-income students in South Dakota continued to score lower than white students in both reading and math.
Wikipedia photo
Nov 22, 2016

South Dakotan Students Perform Well in Reading and Math Overall, But Achievement Gaps Persist

South Dakotan eighth graders outperformed students nationally in reading and math, while fourth graders in South Dakota held steady with national scores in both subjects, according to scores from the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress. However, American Indian and low-income students continued to score lower than white students in both reading and math.  

In 2015, 43 percent of fourth graders received proficient scores in reading—one percentage point ahead of national scores. For math, fourth graders tied with national proficiency scores at 33 percent.

South Dakotan eighth graders outperformed students nationally in math with 44 percent achieving proficient scores compared to 38 percent across the nation. Reading scores for eighth graders in the Rushmore State were three percent higher than the national rate, at 45 percent.

While South Dakota students performed well compared to national results, achievement gaps between American Indian and white students in the state continue to persist. The largest discrepancy was in fourth grade math test scores, in which 33 percent more white students were proficient than American Indian students.

Percentage of Students Receiving Proficient Scores

  Fourth Grade Reading Fourth Grade Math Eighth Grade Reading Eighth Grade Math
American Indian 11 14 16 11
White 41 47 38 39
Percentage Difference 30 33 22 28

 

 

 

 

 

 

Similar results were seen in Montana and North Dakota—states that also have large American Indian populations. Only 11 percent of American Indian fourth graders in Montana received proficient math scores compared to 46 percent of white fourth graders in the state. In North Dakota, 17 percent of American Indian fourth graders were proficient in math, compared to 50 percent of white North Dakota fourth graders.

Students who were eligible for the National School Lunch Program—used to indicate low family income—received lower scores than those who were ineligible for the program. Forty-two percent of the Rushmore State’s eighth graders who were ineligible for the program received proficient math scores, while just 19 percent of program-eligible eighth grade students received proficient scores. Similarly, 25 percent of eligible fourth grade students were proficient in math, while 51 percent of fourth graders who were ineligible for the program received proficient math scores. 

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