April 27, 2016

High school test score stagnation

Christian Science Monitor - According to the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress, an annual multiple choice test taken by thousands of randomly selected 12th grade students across the country, average reading and math scores slightly decreased from 2013. Between 2013 and 2015, the nation’s average mathematics score decreased from 153 to 152 out of total score of 300 and the average reading score decreased from 288 to 287 out of 500.

But a breakdown of these statistics suggests that educators face more than just stagnation: while the average scores are relatively the same, they also reveal a widening gap between proficient and below-average students. The top-achieving students are scoring better and the struggling students are scoring worst. 

But if US high school graduation rates are also a barometer of success, then these statistics contradict the recent NAEP report. Whereas the NAEP says only 40 percent of high school students are ready for college, 82 percent of US seniors graduated from high school in 2014 – the highest level since the Department of Education started tracking graduation rates five years ago.

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