April 26, 2017

Vermont students score high in vocabulary tests

Vermont’s vocabulary scores by students at both the fourth grade and eighth grade levels are well above the national averages, according to data released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The newly released report focuses on how well students are able to use words to gain meaning from the passages they read.

The Nation’s Report Card results analyzed vocabulary skills tested in 2009 and 2011. Vermont students demonstrated strong vocabularies and passage-comprehension skills.

“Helping students to increase their vocabulary and to feel comfortable using words in various contexts is paramount,” said Commissioner of Education Armando Vilaseca. “There is significant research in the field supporting a link between vocabulary and comprehension.”

The results showed that vocabulary scores for Vermont fourth and eighth grade students from the 2011 NAEP reading assessment continue to outpace the national average. Fourth grade students scored a 224, while the national average was 217. Eighth grade students scored 274, while the nation scored a 263. Only four states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Montana and North Dakota) had higher scores than Vermont in eighth grade vocabulary.

For the first time in 2009, NAEP integrated a new vocabulary measure into the reading portion to assess students’ ability to use their understanding of words to acquire meaning from the passages they were reading.

“Students use their knowledge of words in order to understand what they are reading, to identify ideas and themes,” said Commissioner Vilaseca. “Summer reading programs continue to support the good work that is done throughout the school year, keeping our children’s minds active supports strong reading and comprehension skills.”

For more information, visit nationsreportcard.gov.

—Observer staff report


  1. youngvt says:

    I am writing in response to Mr. Hoxworth’s article on transportation costs for the poor in Vermont. I would like to suggest further research on this topic before we simply just give another handout or tax credit. The poor, may, have a higher disproportionate burden on their transportation costs than the wealthier residents of Vermont; however, they also have a lower disproportionate burden on taxes and housing. Pick your evil.
    We can simply just give every poor Vermonter an energy efficient car, gas card, free tuition, renter’s rebate, etc.…but the only way out of poverty is through the combination of education, hard work, and discipline. Education and degrees are not handed out or purchased; a person has to EARN them. This seems to be the only way out of poverty—sorry, there are no shortcuts.
    If we continue this trend of enabling, our entire state will be a welfare state.

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