Chapter 8: State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Select Indicator:

Quartiles | Findings | Description

Eighth grade mathematics proficiency: 2003

Eighth grade mathematics proficiency: 2003

Eighth Grade Mathematics Proficiency: 2003.


Eighth grade mathematics proficiency: 2003*

1st Quartile
2nd Quartile
3rd Quartile
4th Quartile
Colorado Alaska California Alabama
Connecticut Indiana Delaware Arizona
Iowa Maryland Florida Arkansas
Kansas Nebraska Georgia District of Columbia
Massachusetts New York Idaho Hawaii
Minnesota North Carolina Illinois Louisiana
Montana Ohio Kentucky Mississippi
New Hampshire Oregon Maine Nevada
New Jersey Pennsylvania Michigan New Mexico
North Dakota Utah Missouri Oklahoma
South Dakota Virginia Rhode Island Tennessee
Vermont Washington South Carolina West Virginia
Wisconsin Wyoming Texas  
*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 8-6.

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  • In 2003, the nationwide percentage of eighth grade public school students who performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics was 27%, an increase from 25% in 2000 and 22% in 1996 based on testing with accommodations.

  • The proportion of eighth grade students who reached the proficient achievement level was 35% for whites, 7% for blacks, 10% for Hispanics, 41% for Asians/Pacific Islanders, and 9% for American Indians/Alaska Natives.

  • Gender differences in mathematics proficiency were smaller in the eighth grade (3 %) than in the fourth grade (5 %). Among eighth grade students, 29% of males reached the proficient level in mathematics compared with 26% of females.

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This indicator provides a measure of the extent to which a state’s eighth grade students in public schools have achieved proficiency in mathematics. High values show that a high percentage of a state’s eighth graders have demonstrated the ability to undertake the study of high school mathematics, a prerequisite to the further study of science and engineering and a necessary life skill.

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 (262–298) denotes partial mastery of prerequisite knowledge and skills that are fundamental for proficient work at the eighth grade level. The proficient level (299–332) represents solid academic performance at the eighth 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 (333–500) signifies superior performance. Approximately 153,200 eighth graders participated in the NAEP assessment.

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National Science Board.