Indiana News

Indiana’s education secretary weighs in on results of ‘Nation’s Report Card’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The scores from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress — also called the “Nation’s Report Card” — are out and News 8 spoke with Indiana’s education secretary, Dr. Katie Jenner, about the results.

The assessment tested fourth and eighth-grade students across the country this year and compared the results to pre-pandemic years. Experts consider the results alarming and discouraging.

Math scores saw their most significant declines ever, and reading scores dropped to levels not seen in three decades.

Indiana’s assessment shows students outperformed their peers nationally in math, with 40% of fourth graders and 30% of eighth graders scoring at or above proficiency.

In addition, reading levels match the national average, with 33% of Indiana’s fourth graders and 31% of the state’s eighth graders marked proficient or better.

Dr. Jenner tells News 8 she believes the results show that an “intentional, targeted approach” is necessary.

“Typically, as a state, in mathematics and reading, we are above the national average. We are reading at the national average. However, when you dig into our data for our fourth-grade students beginning in about 2015, we’ve seen a decline, which is a significant reason and urgency. We must do everything we can to make sure all of our children in Indiana can read by the end of third grade,” Jenner said.

The Indiana Department of Education has launched several initiatives to help support Hoosier students and educators. The state and the Lilly Endowment are investing $111 million to support early literacy for Hoosier students, and a statewide tutoring program in math and English is also available.