Math Scores Fell in Nearly Every State, and Reading Dipped on National Exam, and Those are the Trends for All Grades
WASHINGTON—As students began the last week of the school year, the annual National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, produced the first year in which scores among kindergartners have fallen in a majority of the nation’s states.
The results are not a cause for alarm, however. As the Washington Post points out, the decline is happening at both ends of the age spectrum. While scores for 5-year-olds declined by 3.6 percent nationally, they rose among 7-year-olds by more than 2 points (from 66.0 to 67.4). And while reading scores for 10-year-olds fell by 6 percent, they rose by nearly 4 points among 9-year-olds (from 78.8 to 79.6).
The NAEP also recorded some of the largest gains for all states in math scores for 5-year-olds, while math scores for 10-year-olds rose in most states (as well as at the bottom end of the scale). In reading for 10-year-olds, math scores rose in most states but plummeted in Alabama, California, and Georgia (in all cases, by more than 2 points).
The overall picture was more subdued, however. A majority of states (all but Utah, South Dakota, and Nevada) and students experienced increases in math scores (though this is largely the result of more than 1,000 gains in the smallest states, and declines in larger ones), and most states saw declines in reading.
The NAEP uses results from the first national assessment of the nation’s children in reading, math, science, and social studies from fourth through eighth grade, conducted in 2012-2013. The Post notes that in these years, the average gain for fifth-graders was slightly higher than it had been in the previous 10 years, while the decline in seventh-graders was more similar to, or even larger than, the previous decade’s average.
The assessments are administered to students in more than 30,000 schools, and are funded by the National Institute of Education.
The Washington Post notes that the NAEP data was released at the end of the week in which the final SAT exam was released, and that the two tests likely reflect “different aspects of learning and achievement