NAEP Nation’s Report Card released scores on Wednesday, showing that only 37 percent of students, for both reading and math, performed well enough to be considered as academically prepared for college-level work.

2015’s math scores  represent the first drop in a decade while the reading scores were flat over the same period of time.

Fourth-graders and eighth-graders across Alabama slipped on mathematics tests last year, nationally ranking dead last. Credit: Alabama Today

According to the reports, just one-quarter of 12th-graders taking the test scored proficiently or better in math, while in reading only 37 percent of the students scored proficient or above.

The gap between the results of 2013 –last time the test was given –and the results of 2015 is actually small: for math, the average score declined one point from 2013; for reading the scores down five points from 1992 when the test was first given to students.

The results show that the nation’s struggling students are doing a little bit worse than they did two years ago, but higher achievers are doing a little bit better instead.

“There is a gap, a widening of a gap of higher and lower ability students, and I think that’s something we need to think about,” said Peggy Carr, acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers the test.

The scores NAEP released aren’t satisfying

The academic progress that is needed to assure greater preparation for college, for work, for military participation, hasn’t been accomplished, said Bill Bushaw, executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board. He added that the numbers aren’t going as planned.

Highest-performing students increased their reading scores up two points for the highest group of performers on the test last year, but it decreased six points for the lowest performing seniors of 2013. Even when the highest groups of test-takers didn’t see any significant difference over two years on math scores, the group of students at the bottom downed four points.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) a national yardstick that measures student achievement. The math test was given last year to about 13,200 twelfth-graders in both public and private schools, and about 18,700 students presented the reading test.

NAEP scores are comparable across decades, for math from 2005 and for reading from 1993.

Source: Charlotte Observer