U.S. high school students are taking more advanced math classes and earning higher grades, but math achievement hasn’t improved, writes Mark Schneider, a visiting scholar at AEI and a vice president at American Institutes for Research.
More of our high school students are getting through Algebra II and calculus, while fewer and fewer of them are stopping at general math and Algebra I. And transcript data show that even as they take more difficult courses, they are earning higher grades.
. . . while the math skills of elementary and middle school students entering high schools have improved, what American high school students know and what they can do in math have barely changed over the course of thirty years and not at all over the last fifteen. And when we step outside the United States to compare our high school students to students in other advanced industrial countries that are our peers and our competitors, the picture is also grim.
The new NAEP scores for math achievement will be out next week.