Nation's Report Card Home

Summary of Major Findings


Mathematics scores up since 2007 at grade 8, but unchanged at grade 4

Five state and jurisdictions make gains at both grades 4 and 8. Compared to 2007, average mathematics scores increased at both grade in Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and the District of Columbia; increased at grade 4 only in Colorado, Kentucky, and Maryland; decreased at grade 4 only in Delaware, Indiana, West Virginia, and Wyoming; increased at grade 8 only in Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Utah, and Washington; showed no significant change at either grade in 30 states and jurisdictions.

Nationally representative samples of more than
168,000 fourth-graders and 161,000 eighth-graders
participated in the 2009 National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP) in mathematics. At each
grade, students responded to questions designed to
measure their knowledge and abilities across five
mathematics content areas: number properties and
operations; measurement; geometry; data analysis,
statistics, and probability; and algebra.

  • Gains in students’ average mathematics scores seen in earlier years did not continue from 2007 to 2009 at
    grade 4 but did continue at grade 8.
  • While still higher than the scores in the six assessment years from 1990 to 2005, the overall average score for fourth-graders in 2009 was unchanged from the score in 2007.
  • The upward trend seen in earlier assessments for eighth-graders continued with a 2-point increase
    from 2007 to 2009.
  • The percentages of fourth-graders performing at or above Basic (82 percent) and at or above Proficient (39 percent) in 2009 were unchanged from those in 2007, but still remained higher than in the assessment years from 1990 to 2005.
  • The percentages of eighth-graders performing at or above Basic (73 percent) and at or above Proficient (34 percent) in 2009 were higher than those in 2007 and in all earlier assessment years.


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