BISMARCK — North Dakota students scored higher than the national average on a standardized test, but all scores have dipped from previous years, according to test results released Tuesday, Oct. 29.

North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler announced Wednesday, Oct. 30, the results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, better known as "the nation's report card." The test is administered to fourth- and eighth-grade students every two years to assess math and reading skills.

The results show North Dakota's students continue to exceed the national average in both categories, however the state's eighth-graders peaked on the reading assessment in 2005 and the math assessment in 2009, while fourth-graders peaked on reading in 2007 and math in 2013.

All state average scores have declined since the last assessment in 2017, although students performed better against the national average in the reading assessments this year. Baesler said the Department of Public Instruction is working with schools to improve reading skills.

Baesler also noted that Native American students improved in both reading and math over the previous test in 2017. The increase in achievement were "an important step forward," Baesler said. Native Americans students still trail the state averages in reading and math by a wide margin.

In all, 7,085 fourth-graders and 7,720 eighth-graders took the test in North Dakota.