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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Fourth grade mathematics proficiency



Findings

  • In 2009, 38% of fourth grade public school students nationwide performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics, which represents a statistically significant increase from 22% in 2000 and 35% in 2005.
  • All 41 jurisdictions that participated in both the 2000 and 2009 assessments showed significant increases in mathematics proficiency levels for public school fourth graders in 2009.
  • Substantial differences in mathematics proficiency exist among racial/ethnic groups of fourth graders. The gap between white and black students increased from 26% to 35% between 2000 and 2009. The gap between white and Hispanic students increased from 23% to 29% during this period. All racial/ethnic groups showed gains between 2000 and 2009, but at varying rates.
  • The gender gap in mathematics proficiency among fourth graders decreased from 5% to 3% between 2000 and 2009. The range by state in 2009 was 17%–59% for males and 17%–55% for females.


Description

This indicator represents the proportion of a state's fourth grade students in public schools that has met or exceeded the proficiency standard in mathematics. The National Assessment Governing Board sets performance standards that provide a context for interpreting National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) results. The standards define "proficiency," as well as "advanced" and "basic" accomplishment. For the fourth grade, the proficient level (scores 249–281) represents solid academic performance and demonstrates competency over challenging subject-matter knowledge. The advanced level (282–500) signifies superior performance. The basic level (214–248) denotes partial mastery of knowledge and skills that are prerequisite for proficient work.

Approximately 168,800 fourth grade students in 9,510 schools participated in the 2009 NAEP mathematics assessment.

NAEP allows students with disabilities or limited English-language proficiency to use certain accommodations (e.g., extended time, individual testing, or small group testing). All data presented here represent scores from tests taken with accommodations offered.

Data Table

Table 8-2
Students reaching proficiency in fourth grade mathematics, by state: 2000, 2005, and 2009
(Percent)
 
State 2000 2005 2009
 
United States 22 * 35 * 38
Alabama 13 * 21 * 24
Alaska NA 34 38
Arizona 16 * 28 28
Arkansas 14 * 34 36
California 13 * 28 30
Colorado NA 39 45
Connecticut 31 * 43 46
Delaware NA 36 * 36
District of Columbia 5 * 10 * 17
Florida NA 37 * 40
Georgia 17 * 30 34
Hawaii 14 * 27 * 37
Idaho 20 * 41 41
Illinois 20 * 32 * 38
Indiana 30 * 38 * 42
Iowa 26 * 37 * 41
Kansas 29 * 47 46
Kentucky 17 * 26 * 37
Louisiana 14 * 24 23
Maine 23 * 39 45
Maryland 21 * 38 44
Massachusetts 31 * 49 * 57
Michigan 28 * 37 35
Minnesota 33 * 47 54
Mississippi 9 * 19 22
Missouri 23 * 31 * 41
Montana 24 * 38 * 45
Nebraska 24 * 36 38
Nevada 16 * 26 * 32
New Hampshire NA 47 * 56
New Jersey NA 46 * 49
New Mexico 12 * 19 * 26
New York 21 * 36 * 40
North Carolina 25 * 40 43
North Dakota 25 * 40 * 45
Ohio 25 * 43 45
Oklahoma 16 * 29 33
Oregon 23 * 37 37
Pennsylvania NA 41 * 46
Rhode Island 22 * 31 * 39
South Carolina 18 * 36 34
South Dakota NA 40 42
Tennessee 18 * 28 28
Texas 25 * 40 38
Utah 23 * 37 41
Vermont 29 * 44 * 51
Virginia 24 * 40 43
Washington NA 42 43
West Virginia 17 * 25 * 28
Wisconsin NA 40 * 45
Wyoming 25 * 42 40
       
Puerto Rico NA NA NA
 

*significantly different (p < .05) from the 2009 score for the jurisdiction; NA = not available

NOTES: National average for United States is reported value in National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports. NAEP grade 4 mathematics scores for public schools only.

SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics, NAEP (various years).

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012

Source Data

State Data Tool

The state data tool allows interactive exploration of the 58 indicators in this chapter. Users have the ability to choose and explore a single indicator in-depth, compare multiple indicators for preselected groups, customize their own graphics, or download data tables. Click the button below to get started.