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Math scores up in grades 4 through 8


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The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has assessed the mathematics abilities of students in grades 4, 8, and 12 in public and private schools since 1990.1 In 2005, the national average mathematics scores of 4th- and 8th-graders were higher than in all previous assessments. Reported on a 0–500 scale, between 1990 and 2005, the average score of 4th-graders increased 25 points, from 213 to 238, and the average.


U.S. students at grades 4 and 8 scored above the international average in 2003. U.S. 4th-graders scored higher, on average, than students in 13 countries, while students in 11 countries outperformed U.S. students. At grade 8, the average U.S. mathematics score was higher than those of students in 25 countries, but below the average scores of students in 9 countries.


In 2005, the average score on the 4th-grade mathematics assessment decreased as the percentage of students in the school who were eligible for the school lunch program increased.


Comparing schools with different concentrations of poverty reveals that the highest poverty public schools in 2005 differed from other public schools in terms of particular student characteristics. For example, they had the lowest percentage of White students, the highest percentage of Black and Hispanic students, and the highest percentage of students who reported always speaking a language other than English at home. They also had the highest percentage of 4th-graders who were taught by a teacher with less than 5 years of teaching experience.



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