DODDS eighth-graders scored higher than the national average on a 2007 standard writing achievement test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress has announced.

According to a news release from NEAP, which administers the test, Department of Defense Dependents Schools eighth-graders were fourth in the nation with a score of 165 — 11 points higher than the national average of 154.

Students attending public schools in New Jersey placed first, followed Connecticut and Massachusetts. Forty-five states, 10 urban districts and DODDS participated.

The test, which assesses eighth- and 12th-graders, was taken from January to March in 2007, and measured writing skills through narrative, informative and persuasive writing assignments, the release said. The test previously was administered in 1998 and 2002.

In 2002, DODDS students ranked fourth in the nation; they placed second in 1998.

Black and Hispanic students enrolled in DODDS schools also continued to outshine their stateside counterparts, placing first among minority students in public schools, the release said.

Nancy Bresell, director of DODDS in the Pacific, credited the high scores to curriculum and dedicated teachers.

“The results clearly demonstrate the effectiveness of our rigorous educational programs and the ability of our teachers to provide a positive learning environment in our classrooms each and every day,” Bresell said.

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