NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Nation's Report Card Scores Down

October 30, 2015

The Nation's Report Card's recently released the results of an assessment of 279,000 fourth-graders and 273,00 eighth-graders representing both public and private schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity. 

  • National mathematics scores declined in both 4th and 8th grades for the first time since the early 1990s.
  • For 8th graders, the national average scores in both mathematics and reading were lower than in 2013.
  • Only in one state was the average 8th grade reading score higher than in 2013.
  • The reading gap between large city schools and the national average decreased from a difference of 15 points to 8 points since 2003.
  • Comparing 2015 to 2013, students eligible for the National School Lunch Program and identified with a learning disability had scores higher in grade 4 but lower in grade 8.

Achievement levels also varied by race. Those performing at a proficient level or above in grade 4 were either Asian (57 percent) or white (46 percent) while black and Hispanic students only had 18 percent and 21 percent of students, respectively, above proficient.

Source:  Peggy G. Carr, Ph.D., "2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grades 4 and 8 Mathematics and Reading," Institute of Education Sciences, October 28, 2015.


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