2009 Nation’s Report Card in Math Reveals No Change at 4th Grade, But New High for 8th Grade Score

There has been no significant change in the performance of the nation’s 4th-graders in mathematics from 2007 to 2009, a contrast to the progress seen from 1990 to 2007 at that grade level and subject, according to the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics. But the 8th-grade mathematics score on the NAEP, which is also called The Nation’s Report Card, continued to improve nationwide and reached its highest level since 1990.

The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics 2009 details the achievement of 4th- and 8th-graders on the NAEP, administered by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year. The report compares national results in 2009 with each prior assessment year going back to 1990, and state results going back to 1990 at grade 8 and 1992 at grade 4.

At the state level, scores improved at 4th-grade in eight states, while four states saw decreases from 2007. At the 8th-grade, scores increased from 2007 to 2009 in 15 states, and no states showed declines. Overall, four states and the District of Columbia saw increases at both 4th- and 8th-grades.

None of the gaps in either grade narrowed from 2007 to 2009. The gaps between Black and White students and between private and public school students narrowed from 1990 to 2009 for 4th-graders and remained unchanged for 8th-graders.

Results across NAEP performance levels were also consistent with national trends. In grade 4, there were no significant changes in scores from 2007 to 2009 for lower-performing students (at the 10th and 25th percentiles), middle-performing students (at the 50th percentile), or higher-performing students (at the 75th and 90th percentiles). The scores at grade 8 improved at all performance levels, except for the lowest-performing students (10th percentile) who saw no significant change since 2007.

Male students continue to score two points higher than female students in mathematics at both grades 4 and 8. The gaps have not widened, however, since 2007.

Source: National Assessment of Educational Progress

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