NCES Report: Improvements in Mathematics and Reading

Positive outcomes of data from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) find that our eighth-grade students have made gains in both mathematics and reading since 2009.

The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2011 and The Nation's Report Card: Reading 2011 present results from the 2011 NAEP assessments administered to students at grades 4 and 8 across the country.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said:

"The modest increases in NAEP scores are reason for concern as much as optimism. While student achievement is up since 2009 in both grades in mathematics and in 8th grade reading, it's clear that achievement is not accelerating fast enough for our nation's children to compete in the knowledge economy of the 21st Century. After significant NAEP gains in the 1990s, particularly in mathematics, the 2011 results continue a pattern of modest progress."

"President Obama and I are committed to investing in education to protect teachers' jobs and help communities modernize their schools for the 21st century. Through the American Jobs Act, the President has proposed $30 billion to keep teachers in the classroom and off the unemployment line, and another $30 billion to repair and modernize schools that will upgrade science labs and create 21st Century learning environments in America's antiquated school buildings."

Key findings from the 2011 mathematics and reading Report Cards include:
In Mathematics:

• Both fourth- and eighth-grade students scored higher in 2011 than on any previous mathematics assessment.

• Higher percentages of students at both grades 4 and 8 performed at or above Proficiency than in any previous assessment. At grade 4, higher percentages of students also performed at or above Advanced.

• Four states and jurisdictions have made gains at both grades since 2009; five states made gains in grade 4 only and nine states made gains in grade 8 only. One state at grade 4 and one state at grade 8 had lower scores in 2011 than in 2009.

In Reading:

• Although the average score for fourth-grade students remained unchanged from 2009, it was higher than in 1992.

• The average score for eighth-graders was higher than in both 2009 and 1992.

• Also at grade 8, the percentage of students scoring at or above Proficient was higher than in 2011 or 1992.

• Two states made gains since 2009 at both grades 4 and 8; two states made gains at grade 4 only; eight states made gains at grade 8 only. Two states had lower scores at grade 4 in 2011 than in 2009.

The Nation's Report Card is a product of the National Center for Education Statistics at the Institute of Education Sciences, part of the U.S. Department of Education.

"Our agenda also offers flexibility from No Child Left Behind by removing barriers to reform and supporting educators who are committed to raising academic achievement," said Duncan.

"Enhancing education for all is the key to our nation's economic prosperity. It is time for America to renew the promise of providing all children a world-class education."

View the full reports here – Mathematics and Reading.

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