## Largest score declines in NAEP mathematics at grades 4 and 8 since initial assessments in 1990

In 2022, the average fourth-grade mathematics score decreased by 5 points and was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2005; the average score was one point higher compared to 2003. The average eighth-grade mathematics score decreased by 8 points compared to 2019 and was lower than all previous assessment years going back to 2003. In 2022, fourth- and eighth-grade mathematics scores declined for most states/jurisdictions as well as for most participating urban districts compared to 2019. Average scores are reported on NAEP mathematics scales at grades 4 and 8 that range from 0 to 500.

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Between January and March 2022, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics assessment was administered to representative samples of fourth- and eighth-grade students in the nation. Results for the nation reflect the performance of students attending public schools, private schools, Bureau of Indian Education schools, and Department of Defense schools. Results are also available for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 26 participating districts. Students’ academic achievement during the COVID-19 pandemic is compared to pre-pandemic performance on the 2019 NAEP mathematics assessment as well as to previous mathematics assessments dating back to 1990.

This **Report Card Highlights **contains key findings from the 2022 mathematics assessment. See the NAEP Mathematics Report Card to explore the full set of student performance results and information about students’ learning experiences inside and outside of school. Download a summary of the 2022 mathematics results.

Scroll to read details for each grade or select items in the table of contents.

### Grade 4Region, state, and district performance

#### Fourth-grade mathematics scores declined across all regions of the country and in 43 states/jurisdictions

Results for states/jurisdictions reflect the performance of students in public schools only and are reported along with the results for public school students in the nation.

(public)

**West**

**Midwest**

**Northeast**

**South**

In 2022, average mathematics scores at fourth grade declined in all four census-defined regions of the country—Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Scores were lower by 7, 3, 5, and 4 points, respectively, compared to 2019. Looking at state/jurisdiction performance for fourth-graders in public schools in 2022, average scores were lower in 43 states/jurisdictions and were not significantly different in 10 states/jurisdictions. This is the largest number of states/jurisdictions with score declines in fourth-grade mathematics going back to 2003. Among the states/jurisdictions with score declines, 13 scored lower than the national average score for public school students in 2022; 17 had average scores that were not different from the national public average; and 13 scored higher.

Explore detailed state average score results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Larger proportion of fourth-grade students performed below *NAEP Basic *in mathematics in 43 states/jurisdictions

*NAEP Basic*in mathematics between 2019 and 2022, by state/jurisdiction

*NAEP Basic*between 2019 and 2022

Across all states/jurisdictions in 2022, the percentage of fourth-graders performing below *NAEP Basic* ranged from 8 to 90 percent; the percentage was 26 percent nationally. In the 43 states/jurisdictions with larger proportions of students performing below *NAEP Basic* compared to 2019, percentage increases ranged from 3 to 16 percentage points; nationally, there was a 6 percentage point increase for public school students. There were no significant changes in the percentage of students performing below *NAEP* *Basic *in 10 states/jurisdictions since 2019.

Explore detailed state achievement-level results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Fourth-grade mathematics scores declined in 23 of 26 participating urban districts; no significant score change in three districts

The Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) is intended to focus attention on urban education and measure educational progress within participating districts. Fourth-graders in 26 urban districts participated in the mathematics assessment in 2022. TUDA district results are compared to results of public school students in large cities with a population of 250,000 or more.

In 2022, average mathematics scores declined in 23 of 26 districts compared to 2019, with declines ranging from 4 to 15 points. The average score for large city schools declined 8 points compared to 2019. Among the 23 districts with score declines, 9 scored lower than the average for large city schools; 10 districts had average scores that were not significantly different from the large city average, and 4 scored higher.

Explore detailed district average score results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Larger proportion of fourth-grade students performed below *NAEP Basic* in mathematics in 24 of 26 participating urban districts

*NAEP Basic*in mathematics between 2019 and 2022, by district/jurisdiction

*NAEP Basic*between 2019 and 2022

Across all participating districts in 2022, the percentage of students performing below *NAEP Basic*ranged from 18 to 77 percent and the large city average was 36 percent. In the 24 districts with larger proportions of students performing below *NAEP Basic* compared to 2019, percentage increases ranged from 5 to 21 percentage points; the increase for large city schools was 10 percentage points. There were no significant changes for students performing below the *NAEP Basic* level in 2 districts compared to 2019.

Eighteen of the 23 districts with mathematics score declines between 2019 and 2022 had average scores that were within the *NAEP Basic* range in 2022. Five districts with declines scored below *NAEP Basic*; among these districts, four of them shifted the average scores from within the *NAEP Basic* range in 2019 to below *NAEP Basic* in 2022.

Explore detailed district achievement-level results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

### Grade 4Closer look at student performance

#### Mathematics scores decreased for lower-, middle-, and higher-performing fourth-graders

NAEP reports scores at five selected percentiles to show the progress made by lower- (10th and 25th percentiles), middle- (50th percentile), and higher- (75th and 90th percentiles) performing students.

In 2022, fourth-grade mathematics scores declined at all five selected percentiles for the first time since the initial mathematics assessment in 1990. The magnitude of score declines for lower-performing students at the 10th and 25th percentiles (7 and 6 points, respectively) were greater than the declines for higher-performing students at the 75th and 90th percentiles (3 and 2 points, respectively).

Across the states/jurisdictions at grade 4, score declines since 2019 for lower-performing students (10th and 25th percentiles) were more prevalent than score declines for higher-performing students (75th and 90th percentiles) in 2022. Among the 43 states/jurisdictions with score declines, scores decreased for lower-performing students in 30 states/jurisdictions while scores decreased for higher-performing students in 13 states/jurisdictions.

Explore detailed percentile results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### One-quarter of fourth-graders performed below *NAEP Basic* in mathematics; larger percentage compared to 2019

In 2022, twenty-five percent of fourth-graders performed below the *NAEP Basic**NAEP Proficient*

Explore detailed mathematics achievement-level results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Fourth-grade mathematics scores declined across most racial/ethnic groups; scores declined for male and female students

Average Score | 75th and 25th Percentiles |
---|

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In 2022, average fourth-grade mathematics scores decreased for most student groups in comparison to 2019. For example, looking at racial/ethnic groups, scores declined for American Indian/Alaska native, Asian, Black, and Hispanic students, students of Two or More Races, and White students.

The score gaps between White students and their Black and Hispanic peers were larger in 2022 than in 2019. Greater score declines in mathematics from 2019 to 2022 for Black and Hispanic students contributed to a widening of the score gaps between these groups and their White peers. See detailed student score gap results in the mathematics report card.

Performance at the lower (25th) and higher (75th) percentiles provides insight into the score declines for selected student groups. Compared to 2019, scores in 2022 declined at the lower and higher percentiles for Black and Hispanic students, students of Two or More Races, and White students; scores declined at the lower percentile for American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian students.

Average Score | 75th and 25th Percentiles |
---|

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Mathematics scores declined for male and female fourth-graders. In addition, the gender gap widened in 2022. The 6-point score difference between male and female students in 2022 was larger than the 3-point score gap in 2019. This is largest gap going back to 1990. A greater score decline for female students in 2022 contributed to the widening of the gender gap. In 2022, scores declined for both male and female fourth-graders performing at the 25th and 75th percentiles in comparison to 2019.

Explore detailed student group score and score gap results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

### Grade 8Region, state, and district performance

#### Eighth-grade mathematics scores declined across all regions of the country and in 51 states/jurisdictions

Results for states/jurisdictions reflect the performance of students in public schools only and are reported along with the results for public school students in the nation.

(public)

**West**

**Midwest**

**Northeast**

**South**

In 2022, average mathematics scores at eighth grade declined in all four census-defined regions of the country—Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. Scores were lower by 9, 8, 8, and 6 points, respectively, compared to 2019. Looking at state/jurisdiction performance for eighth-graders in public schools, average scores were lower in 51 states/jurisdictions and not significantly different in 2. This is the largest number of states/jurisdictions with score declines in grade 8 mathematics going back to 2003. Among the states/jurisdictions with score declines, 18 scored lower than the national average score for public school students in 2022; 16 had average scores that were not significantly different from the national public average; and 17 scored higher.

Explore detailed state average score results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Larger proportion of eighth-grade students performed below *NAEP Basic* in mathematics in 48 states/jurisdictions

*NAEP Basic*in mathematics between 2019 and 2022, by state/jurisdiction

*NAEP Basic*between 2019 and 2022

Across all states/jurisdictions in 2022, the percentage of eighth-graders performing below *NAEP Basic**NAEP Basic* compared to 2019, percentage increases ranged from 5 to 14 percentage points; nationally, there was an 8 percentage point increase for public school students.

Explore detailed state achievement-level results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Eighth-grade mathematics scores declined in 22 of 26 participating urban districts; no significant score change in four districts

The Trial Urban District Assessment (TUDA) is intended to focus attention on urban education and measure educational progress within participating districts. Eighth-graders in 26 urban districts participated in the mathematics assessment in 2022. TUDA district results are compared to results of public school students in large cities with a population of 250,000 or more.

Similar to widespread score declines across the states/jurisdictions, eighth-grade mathematics scores declined since 2019 in 22 of 26 districts that participated in the 2022 NAEP Trial Urban District Assessment; score declines ranged from 4 to 14 points. The average score for large city schools declined 8 points compared to 2019. Among the districts with score declines, 11 scored lower than the average for large city schools in 2022; seven districts had average scores that were not significantly different from the large city average; and 4 scored higher.

Explore detailed district average score results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Larger proportion of eighth-grade students performed below *NAEP Basic* in mathematics in 22 of 26 participating urban districts

*NAEP Basic*in mathematics between 2019 and 2022, by district/jurisdiction

*NAEP Basic*between 2019 and 2022

Across all participating districts in 2022, the percentage of eighth-graders performing below *NAEP Basic**NAEP Basic* level. In the 22 districts with larger proportions of students performing below *NAEP Basic* compared to 2019, percentage increases ranged from 5 to 19 percentage points; the increase for large city schools was 8 percentage points.

Thirteen of the 22 districts with score declines in 2022 had average scores that were within the *NAEP Basic* range. Nine districts scored below *NAEP Basic*; five of these districts had score declines that shifted the average scores from within the *NAEP Basic* range in 2019 to below the *NAEP Basic* level in 2022.

Explore detailed district achievement-level results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

### Grade 8Closer look at student performance

#### Mathematics scores decreased for lower-, middle-, and higher-performing eighth-graders

In 2022, eighth-grade mathematics scores declined across the performance distribution for the first time since the initial mathematics assessment in 1990. The magnitude of score declines for lower-performing students at the 10th and 25th percentiles (6 and 8 points, respectively) were not significantly different than the declines for higher-performing students at the 75th and 90th percentiles (9 and 8 points, respectively) with one exception; the score decline for students at the 75th percentile was higher than the decline for students at the 10th percentile.

Across the states/jurisdictions at grade 8, score declines since 2019 for higher-performing students (75th and 90th percentiles) were more prevalent than score declines for lower-performing students (10th and 25th percentiles) in 2022. Among the 51 states/jurisdictions with score declines, scores decreased for higher-performing students in 38 states/jurisdictions while scores decreased for lower-performing students in 24 states/jurisdictions.

Explore detailed percentile results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Thirty-eight percent of eighth-grade students performed below *NAEP Basic* in mathematics; larger percentage compared to 2019

In 2022, the percentage of eighth-graders performing below the *NAEP Basic**NAEP Basic* was larger than all previous assessments dating back to 2003. Twenty-six percent of eighth-graders performed at or above the *NAEP Proficient*

Seven percent of eighth-grade students performed at *NAEP Advanced**NAEP Advanced* in 2022 was lower than all previous assessments dating back to 2009.

Explore detailed mathematics achievement-level results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

#### Mathematics scores at grade 8 declined across most racial/ethnic groups; scores declined for male and female students

Average Score | 75th and 25th Percentiles |
---|

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In 2022, average eighth-grade mathematics scores decreased for most student groups in comparison to 2019. For example, looking at racial/ethnic groups, scores declined for Asian, Black, and Hispanic students, students of Two or More Races, and White students.

Performance at the lower (25th) and higher (75th) percentiles provides insight into the score declines for selected student groups. Compared to 2019, scores in 2022 declined at the higher percentile for Asian students and at the lower and higher percentiles for Black and Hispanic students, students of Two or More Races, and White students.

Average Score | 75th and 25th Percentiles |
---|

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Mathematics scores also declined for male and female eighth-graders. While there was no score gap between male and female eighth-graders in 2019, a greater score decline for female students in 2022 resulted in a score gap, with male students scoring higher than their female peers. In 2022, scores declined for both male and female eighth-graders performing at the 25th and 75th percentiles in comparison to 2019.

Explore detailed student group score and score gap results in the NAEP Mathematics Report Card

### Grades 4 & 8Deeper dive into disrupted learning

The selected NAEP grades 4 and 8 mathematics survey questionnaire results below describe learning disruptions and recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as learning contexts, opportunities, and student and educator perspectives. A special COVID-19 module was added to the 2022 NAEP grades 4 and 8 survey questionnaires to collect self-reported information about students’ learning during the pandemic.

Although comparisons in students’ performance shown below are made based on self-reported student and teacher characteristics and educational experiences, these results cannot be used to establish a cause-and-effect relationship between the characteristics or experiences and student achievement. NAEP is not designed to identify the causes of performance differences. There are many factors that may influence average student achievement, including local educational policies and practices, the quality of teachers, and available resources. Such factors may change over time and vary among student groups.

#### More frequent access to resources for higher performers learning remotely

58% of students recalled experiencing remote learning last school year. What supports did those students have? | Proportion of lower-performing students (below 25th percentile) | Proportion of higher-performing students (at or above 75th percentile) |
---|---|---|

Had a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet all the time | ||

Had a quiet place to work at least some of the time | ||

Had their teacher available to help with schoolwork at least once or twice a week |

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All students who took the mathematics assessments in 2022 were asked if they ever attended school from home or somewhere else outside of school for any duration during the last school year (2020–21) because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Among fourth-grade students, 58 percent recalled learning remotely during the last school year, 20 percent reported they did not learn remotely, and 22 percent did not remember. Among eighth-grade students, 73 percent recalled learning remotely during the last school year, 18 percent reported they did not learn remotely, and 9 percent did not remember.

Of the fourth- and eighth-grade students who learned remotely during the 2020–21 school year, higher performers (those at or above the 75th percentile) had more frequent access to a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet *all the time*; a quiet place to work available at least *some of the time*; and a teacher available to help them with mathematics schoolwork *about once or twice a week* or more compared to lower performers (those below the 25th percentile). Additionally, higher-performing eighth-grade students reported more participation in real-time video lessons with their teacher *every day or almost every day* compared to their lower-performing peers.

#### Most students had teachers who were confident in doing remote instruction tasks; less than half had teachers who were confident in their ability to address pandemic-related learning gaps

Teachers of grades 4 and 8 students reported their confidence in teaching their students and addressing their students’ pandemic-related learning gaps in the current school year (2021–22). They also reported their confidence in performing four remote instruction tasks (creating materials to engage students, conducting a distance learning lesson in real-time, providing feedback to students, and helping students with difficulties in distance learning).

Over 80 percent of students at each grade had teachers who were *quite* or *extremely confident* in teaching their students this school year. However, fewer than half of students at each grade had teachers who were *quite* or *extremely confident* in their ability to address learning gaps that may have occurred due to pandemic-related school closures. For each of the four remote instruction tasks, over 80 percent of students at grades 4 and 8 had teachers who reported they *probably* or *definitely can* perform them.

### Grades 4 & 8Explore students' content area performance

The NAEP mathematics assessment measures students' knowledge and skills in five broad content areas of mathematics (Number properties and operations; Measurement; Geometry; Data analysis, statistics, and probability; and Algebra) and their ability to apply their content area knowledge to problem-solving situations. Learn more about the mathematics assessment.

In 2022, average scores decreased in all five content areas at both grades 4 and 8 compared to 2019. Among the states/jurisdictions and participating urban districts with overall average score declines in 2022, there were widespread content area score declines at both grades. For example, at grade 4, scores were lower in all five content areas in 26 of the 42 states/jurisdictions with score declines; at grade 8, scores were lower in all five content areas in 37 of 50 states/jurisdictions with score declines compared to 2019.

To better understand students’ mathematics knowledge and skills across the mathematics content areas, explore student performance on samples of publicly released mathematics test questions from the 2022 mathematics assessments at grades 4 and 8. You can also try sample grade 4 and grade 8 test questions to experience the assessment as students did.

##### Grade 4

Content area | 2022 score | 2019 score | Change |
---|---|---|---|

Number properties and operations | 239 | 243 | |

Measurement | 235 | 239 | |

Geometry | 230 | 234 | |

Data analysis, statistics, and probability | 233 | 237 | |

Algebra | 239 | 243 |

##### Grade 8

Content area | 2022 score | 2019 score | Change |
---|---|---|---|

Number properties and operations | 271 | 279 | |

Measurement | 272 | 280 | |

Geometry | 273 | 278 | |

Data analysis, statistics, and probability | 269 | 279 | |

Algebra | 281 | 289 |

Content area | Number of states/jurisdictions with score declines from 2019 to 2022 | |
---|---|---|

Grade 4(Among those 42 states/jurisdictions with overall score declines) | Grade 8(Among those 50 states/jurisdictions with overall score declines) | |

Number properties and operations | 37 | 47 |

Measurement | 34 | 46 |

Geometry | 40 | 42 |

Data analysis, statistics, and probability | 35 | 50 |

Algebra | 31 | 49 |

Content area | Number of districts with score declines from 2019 to 2022 | |
---|---|---|

Grade 4(Among those 23 districts with overall score declines) | Grade 8(Among those 22 districts with overall score declines) | |

Number properties and operations | 21 | 14 |

Measurement | 16 | 10 |

Geometry | 14 | 9 |

Data analysis, statistics, and probability | 13 | 12 |

Algebra | 16 | 16 |

### Grades 4 & 8About the mathematics assessment

**Learn more about the NAEP mathematics assessment**