Math scores for 4th and 8th graders on the decline?
According to Edweek.org, math test scores for 4th and 8th grade students taking the NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) exam might be on the decline.
The article notes that scores from the exam, which is taken every two years, are lower than they were in 2013.
“U.S. 4th and 8th grade students are performing worse in math, and somewhat worse in reading, than they were two years ago, according to new data from a national test.”
But Peggy Carr, commissioner of the organization that conducts the tests, said that the scores represented “an unexpected downturn.”
She also notes that the drop in scores isn’t considered to be a trend because the test is given every two years. In addition to the recent drop, EdWeek shows that math test scores are still higher than they were in the 1990s.
While the news isn’t all bad, it’s not necessarily all good. There is still an achievement gap between white and black students, and the majority of states saw a decline of some sort. The children who need the improvement the most are not seeing it, despite newer initiatives like those included in Common Core math.
So what does the drop in scores mean? That depends on how one looks at the scores and what they may represent. Perhaps this is just a temporary dip on the road to a rise overall. The test will be taken again in 2017, and if scores continue to decline, then we have a trend.
If the scores remain the same or increase, 2015 may be seen as an anomaly. Either way, its worth looking at what may have caused the drop this year.