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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


According to the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress report card, 43% of Wisconsin fourth-grade students tested proficient or higher in math — tied with Nebraska and Massachusetts for the second highest percentage across all U.S. states. For eighth graders, Wisconsin tied with New Jersey for the third highest “at or above proficient” percentage.

For reading, Wisconsin fourth and eighth graders’ proficient or higher percentage is slightly better than the national public average. However, Wisconsin’s average reading test scores for fourth and eighth graders do not show a statistically significant difference from the national average.

While Wisconsin saw less steep score drops than other states amid the pandemic, Wisconsin had the widest score gaps between Black and white students out of all the states that provided data. Wisconsin already had the worst racial disparities in the nation — and now, the margins have grown.


The Nation’s Report Card: State Profiles for NAEP 2022 Report Card

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin reports widest score gap between Black and white students in nation

USA Today: Reading and math test scores fell across US during the pandemic. How did your state fare?

Erin Gretzinger joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism and French major at UW-Madison and will graduate in spring 2023. Erin previously worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a reporting intern and served as the 2021-22 editor-in-chief at The Badger Herald. She is a recipient of the Jon Wolman Scholarship, the Sigrid Schultz Scholarship and the Joseph Sicherman Award Fund for her academic and reporting work.