Nation’s Report Card finds Little Improvement in Math

The Wall Street Journal (and others) reports on the state of education ( in Few Gains are Seen in High School Test) show minimal improvement in math,  underscoring the vital need for programs like FIRST robotics:

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U.S. high-school students haven’t achieved any significant gains in reading or math for nearly four decades, according to a new federal report that underscores the challenges the Obama administration faces as it pressures schools to raise standards to produce a more competitive work force.

The report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress — a highly respected federal test also known as the “Nation’s Report Card” — looked at NAEP results for 9-, 13- and 17-year-olds since the early 1970s, when the tests in math and reading were first given.

Although the two younger groups have made progress in those subjects over that period, scores for 17-year-olds were virtually unchanged.

On a zero-to-500-point scale, 17-year-olds scored an average of 286 points in reading in 2008, up one point from 1971. The NAEP report said students with such scores have “intermediate skills” and are able to make generalizations about what they read.

In math, the same group’s average scores rose two points to 306 since 1973. The report said students scoring in that range are able to perform moderately complex procedures such as computing with decimals and simple fractions.

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Read the complete story at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124096292138666025.html or visit The Nation’s Report Card at http://nces.ed.gov/NATIONSREPORTCARD/ for a look at the complete report.

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