Mississippi Black and Hispanic students still outperform Minnesota’s on nearly all national tests
Mississippi black and Hispanic students continue to outperform Minnesota black and Hispanic students in fourth-grade math and reading and eighth-grade reading, according to 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test scores.
NAEP results are the only objective student learning measures available to compare states’ academic achievement. The reading and math tests were last administered in 2019, and as I wrote here, Mississippi black and Hispanic students were outperforming Minnesota black and Hispanic students in both subject areas for each grade level tested.
Comparing 2022 NAEP reading and math scores between Hispanic students in Minnesota and Mississippi shows that while both states experienced score drops from 2019, Mississippi’s Hispanic students are still outperforming Minnesota’s Hispanic students in fourth-grade reading and math, and eighth-grade reading and math.
Mississippi’s 2022 NAEP results show its black students outperforming Minnesota’s black students in fourth-grade reading and math, and eighth-grade reading. Minnesota black eighth graders outperformed Mississippi black eighth graders in math, declining only one point from their 2019 average score (when Mississippi outperformed them) compared to Mississippi declining six points. Interestingly, Minnesota’s black eighth-grade students scored one point higher on the reading NAEP from their 2019 average score, but were still outperformed by Mississippi’s black eighth-grade students despite those students dropping four points from their 2019 average score.
Minnesota fourth-grade NAEP reading scores and eighth-grade NAEP reading and math scores among all students tested are the lowest they have been since the 1990s. And while NAEP assessments differ from states’ standardized testing — NAEP is considered more rigorous than most state tests — these score declines largely mirror student declines in math and reading proficiency on Minnesota’s state assessments.
The learning loss students have experienced will take years to recover, if that ever happens. The implications of these test results should drive Minnesota policymakers to pursue opportunity-based reforms that will help students achieve academic success in the classroom so they are prepared to contribute to our state and nation’s economic vitality.