Maths and reading test scores slip for US school children

The Associated Press (via the Mail) is reporting on what it calls a ‘not-so rosy report card’ for schoolchildren in the United States as the latest test results are published.

Math scores slipped for fourth and eighth graders over the last two years, and reading grades were not much better, flat for fourth graders and lower for eighth graders, according to the 2015 Nation’s Report Card.

The results of the test, officially known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP, were released Wednesday.

The report suggests students have a ways to go to demonstrate a solid grasp or mastery of their reading and math skills.

Only about a third of the nation’s eighth-graders were at proficient or above in math and reading. Among fourth graders, the results were slightly better in reading and in math, about two in five scored proficient or above.

And the report found a continuing achievement gap between white and black students.

There were a few bright spots. The District of Columbia and Mississippi both saw substantial gains in reading and math.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan urged parents, teachers, and others not to panic about the scores as states embrace higher academic standards, such as Common Core.

“We should expect scores in this period to bounce around some, and I think that ‘implementation dip’ is part of what we’re seeing here,” Duncan said in a phone call with reporters. “I would caution everyone to be careful about drawing conclusions … anyone who claims to have this all figured out is pedaling a personal agenda, rather than an educational one.”

More at: Math, reading scores slip for nation’s school kids


Anyone familiar with the system in the US or the changes around Common Core able to out these results in context?

The suggestion seems to be that the results may have dropped because teachers are trying new approaches that might not be in sync with the questions being asked.

Please let us know how you see it in the comments below or via Twitter…


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  1. Common core is controversial.   Some states fight Common Core tests.  In those which do, some parents withdraw their children (about 200,000 according to Diane Ravitch, US education analyst, one time US Assistant Secretary of State for Education, and author of ‘Reign of Error’).
    Common core tests are lucrative for businesses such as Pearson which have a stake in the proliferation of these kinds of high stakes tests.  (Note: Pearson has since lost the core test contract for New York – this article speaks of the Pearson’s loss and the ‘bitter controversy’ surrounding the core tests

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