America's eighth graders are falling behind in math and reading, while fourth graders are doing slightly better in math. That's according to the latest results from the Nation's Report Card.
There were exceptions to the findings, which also showed declines among fourth graders in reading.
Mississippi, the District of Columbia and some big-city school districts showed gains.
Locally, Duval County reading scores dropped for eighth graders.
Nationwide, a little more than a third of eighth graders are proficient in reading and math. About a third of fourth graders are proficient in reading, while more than 40% of fourth graders are proficient in math.
Findings for Florida include:
- Math scores for Florida fourth graders are higher than the national average.
- Math scores are higher for eighth graders as well, but not by much – and not significantly higher than eighth graders in other states.
- Florida's fourth graders scored higher than the national average in reading
Findings for Duval County include:
- The percentage of students who performed at or above the proficiency level in math and reading is either slightly better or about the same as the national average.
- The average score for Duval County fourth graders in mathematics was 244, nine points higher than the average score of 235 for public school students in large cities.
- Duval County is one of 11 large school districts where reading scores for eighth graders decreased.
The nationwide test is given to a sampling of students in those grades every two years.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos calls the results "devastating" and is using them to renew her push for expanded school choice.
“Today’s NAEP results make it very clear that unless we start raising expectations for students, we will continue to see stagnant growth. What we’ve learned after 20 years of reforms is that where expectations are flat, results are flat," Florida Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran wrote in a statement. “I share Governor DeSantis’ vision to make Florida the Education State and make Florida number one in all metrics of student achievement. Florida’s NAEP results have relatively flat lined."
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