U.S. Performance on National Test Drops

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The fourth and eighth graders across the nation lost ground on the mathematics tests this year. This is the first test decline since the federal government began monitoring the exams back in 1990.

The reading test was also the same way. Eighth-graders scores declined, according to the results that were revealed on Wednesday. On the other hand, the fourth-grade performance was the same compared to the 2013 school year, which happens to be the last time the students took the test.

On the other hand, the test shows a huge achievement gap between the whites and minority students as well as the poor and disadvantage students.  Basically, the disadvantage students’ test scores are not increasing despite over a decade of federal laws created to boost their achievements.

Researchers say it is extremely difficult to find the reason why there is a fluctuation in scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. However, many individuals think of the test as an important factor of the United States achievement since they are the only exams given over a certain period of time. This exam collects the performance of the poor and rich children of all backgrounds.

With the recent data showing that schools are having a difficult time with the increasing number of students who come from a disadvantage or a low-income family that are learning how to speak English. In recent years, most states are changing their educational policies, including the Common Core academic standards, and teacher evaluations.

Arne Duncan, U.S. Education Secretary explained that with these big changes in schools this can lead to temporary declining test scores while the students and the teachers adjust. With these new standards and policies in place, the student’s will improve in the long run.

Since the early 1990s, students have taken the national test every two years. This exam is the only consistent measure we have for the K-12 progress and because it has been around for so long, it allows us to see the different effects that demographics and policy changes have.

With that being said, the 2015 scores revealed that 64 percent of fourth-graders and another 66 percent of eighth-graders are not gifted in reading. While in math, 67 percent of eighth-graders and another 60 percent of fourth-graders are also below average.

This new data shows how states and cities ranked. The individual state performance reflected the nation’s performance by showing more states decreased rather than increased. On the other hand, the cities ranking were more positive.


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