4th graders plateau in math; 8th graders inch up

The 2009 NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) math “report card,” released today, shows no progress for fourth graders since 2007, but eighth grade scores improved.

Also unchanged were children’s achievement levels; only 39 percent of fourth-graders and 34 percent of eighth-graders performed at the proficient level, meaning they show the knowledge and skills they should have at that grade level. Eighth-grade scores were up from 32 percent, but that was not statistically different.

Racial achievement gaps showed no change.

Math scores have improved significantly since 1990, especially for fourth graders.

Education Trust responds to the news.

About Joanne


  1. Here’s an interesting (and, I think, mildly encouraging) detail: Black 4th graders are now scoring slightly higher than white fourth graders scored in 1990. Racial gaps have decreased for 4th graders since 1990, but not for 8th graders.

    On the other hand, the results from California are dismaying. So much money, such poor results.

    And we should worry that the progress we were seeing between 2000 and 2007 now seems to have stalled, or nearly stalled.