RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina’s youngest students made more progress in reading during the last school year than they did in other places across the country, state data shows.

Figures provided Thursday by the state Department of Public Instruction — which are identical to those found in a CBS 17 News fact check two weeks ago — showed the gains made by North Carolina students in grades K-2 exceeded those in other states that use the same assessment.

(Source: NCDPI)

For example, 27 percent of North Carolina kindergarteners began the 2021-22 school year at or above the benchmark. That number grew to 67 percent by the end of the year — a jump of 40 percentage points.

It only climbed by 24 percentage points for the students in other states using the updated version of the mCLASS with DIBELS assessment, moving from 36 percent at the beginning of the year to 60 percent at the end.

Similar jumps were observed in North Carolina’s first- and second-graders, the data showed.

“North Carolina took a huge step forward with the passage of the Excellent Public Schools Act in the spring of 2021, ensuring that all students learn to read based on the principles outlined by the science of reading,” said Catherine Truitt, the state superintendent of public instruction.

“We still have a long way to go, but the results we’re seeing from last year are clearly pointing in the right direction. We’re going to reach the goal of getting students to be proficient readers by the time they finish third grade,” Truitt added.”