Chapter 8: State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

Fourth grade mathematics proficiency: 2003

Fourth grade mathematics proficiency: 2003

Fourth Grade Mathematics Proficiency: 2003.


Fourth grade mathematics proficiency: 2003*

1st Quartile
2nd Quartile
3rd Quartile
4th Quartile
Connecticut Colorado Alaska Alabama
Iowa Illinois Arizona District of Columbia
Kansas Indiana Arkansas Hawaii
Massachusetts Maine California Kentucky
Minnesota Michigan Delaware Louisiana
New Hampshire Nebraska Florida Mississippi
New Jersey New York Georgia Nevada
North Carolina North Dakota Idaho New Mexico
Ohio Oregon Maryland Oklahoma
Pennsylvania South Carolina Missouri Tennessee
Vermont South Dakota Montana West Virginia
Virginia Texas Rhode Island  
Washington Wisconsin Utah  
*States in alphabetical order, not data order.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress. See table 8-2.

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  • In 2003, the nationwide percentage of fourth grade public school students who performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics was 31%, which represented a significant increase from 22% in 2000 and 19% in 1996 based on testing with accommodations.

  • The proportion of fourth graders reaching the proficient achievement level was 43% for whites, 10% for blacks, 16% for Hispanics, 48% for Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 17% for American Indians/Alaska Natives.

  • Gender differences in mathematics proficiency were observed among fourth grade students; 34% of males reached the proficient level compared with 29% of females.

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This indicator provides a measure of the extent to which a state’s fourth grade students in public schools have achieved proficiency in mathematics. High values show that a high percentage of a state’s fourth graders have demonstrated a solid foundation for adult mathematics competency. Such competency is an important characteristic of a state’s future workforce.

Proficiency in mathematics is based on achievement level in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2003 Mathematics Assessment. Achievement levels represent performance standards set by the National Assessment Governing Board to provide a context for interpreting student performance on NAEP.

The basic level (scores of 214–248) denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at the fourth grade level. The proficient level (249–281) represents solid academic performance at the fourth grade level. Students who reach this level have demonstrated competency over challenging subject matter, including subject-matter knowledge, application of such knowledge to real-world situations, and analytical skills appropriate to the subject matter. The advanced level (282–500) signifies superior performance. Approximately 190,100 fourth grade students participated in the NAEP assessment.

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National Science Board.