National Student Group Scores and Score Gaps

Student Group Score Trends
No changes in fourth-grade mathematics scores for most student groups compared to 2015

In 2017, average mathematics scores for most student groups at grade 4 were not significantly different in comparison to 2015, except for students eligible for the National School Lunch Program, students attending city schools, and students with disabilities who showed decreases by 1-, 2-, and 4-points, respectively.

In comparison to the first assessment year in 1990, average fourth-grade mathematics scores were higher for White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander students, male and female students, and students attending public and Catholic schools.

See trends in average scores for selected student groups by clicking on the thumbnails below. Scroll down the page to find out how percentages of student groups have changed over time.

The Type of School dropdown below presents the results for Catholic schools (a subcategory of private schools) and public schools. In 2017, results for private schools overall did not meet the minimum participation rate guideline for reporting and therefore are not included here. See more information about type of school and other student demographic groups reported by NAEP.

Trend in fourth-grade NAEP mathematics average scores, by selected student groups

Score Gap Trends
No significant change in score gaps among selected racial/ethnic groups in fourth-grade mathematics compared to 2015

In 2017, there were no significant changes in racial/ethnic score disparities in fourth-grade mathematics. The average mathematics score for White fourth-grade students was 25 points higher than their Black peers in 2017 and 19 points higher than their Hispanic peers. The 25-point score difference between White and Black students was not significantly different from the 24-point difference in 2015, the previous assessment year; however the score difference was smaller than the 32-point score difference in 1990, the first assessment year. The 19-point score difference between White and Hispanic students in 2017 was not significantly different compared to either the 18-point difference in 2015 or the 20-point difference in 1990.

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Group Population Percentages
Demographic changes in student populations

Compared to the previous assessment year in 2015, the racial/ethnic makeup of fourth-grade students who have taken the NAEP mathematics assessment has changed. For example, the percentage of White fourth-grade students was lower in 2017 compared to 2015, while the percentage of Hispanic students was higher. In comparison to the first assessment year in 1990, the percentages of White and Black students were lower while the percentages of Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander students were higher. Select a student group from the drop-down menu to view changes in the percentage distribution for that group over time.

Read more about changes in NAEP’s reporting for racial/ethnic groups.

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