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Nation’s Report Card: Kansas Students Do Better on Vocabulary Test Than Students In Missouri

Do fourth-grade students’ vocabularies include the words “created” and “puzzled”? How about your eighth-grade students? Do they use words such as “permeated” and “replicate” correctly?

According to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics, Kansas students performed above the national average on the vocabulary section of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a test that is also known as the Nation’s Report Card. Missouri students performed at about the national average. According to the report, these test scores are important, because students who perform well on vocabulary tests tend to be good readers, an essential learning skill.

The report authors cite “the large body of research that supports the link between vocabulary and comprehension” and recognizes “vocabulary as fundamental to the active process or reading comprehension across all levels of schooling.”

In both states, white students actually performed better than the national average. However, the vocabulary scores for black, Hispanic and disadvantaged students were below-average. This achievement gap is not just a local problem. It echoes the national statistics.

Results recently released are from testing conducted in 2011, which is the most recent data available.

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About jwmartinez

JoLynne is a journalist and educator. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Park University and is certified to teach high school journalism and English. Former employment includes work for Cable News Network and the University of Missouri-Kansas City in addition to freelancing for clients such as the Kansas City Star and The Pitch.

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