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Mathematics 2009: National Assessment of Educational Progress at Grades 4 and 8

Abstract

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

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.

A similar pattern of results was seen for students performing at different achievement levels. 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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