Skip all navigation and go to page content

Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Eighth grade mathematics proficiency



Findings

  • In 2009, 33% of eighth grade public school students nationwide performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics, which represents a significant increase from 25% in 2000 and 28% in 2005. Of the 39 states that participated in both the 2000 and 2009 assessments, 30 showed statistically significant increases in mathematics proficiency among public school eighth graders over the decade. Only eight showed a significant increase from 2007 to 2009.
  • Substantial differences in mathematics proficiency exist among racial/ethnic groups of eighth graders even though the gap in performance scores narrowed. The gap between white and black students who are proficient in mathematics increased from 28% to 31% between 2000 and 2009. The gap between white and Hispanic students remained around 25% during this period. All racial/ethnic groups showed gains between 2000 and 2009, but at varying rates.
  • The gender gap in mathematics proficiency among eighth graders remained at 3% between 2000 and 2009 although the percentage of proficient students increased for both sexes during this period. The range by state for 2009 was 12%–53% for males and 11%–50% for females.


Description

This indicator represents the proportion of a state's eighth 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 eighth grade, the proficient level (scores 299–332) represents solid academic performance and demonstrates competency over challenging subject-matter knowledge. The advanced level (333–500) signifies superior performance. The basic level (262–298) denotes partial mastery of knowledge and skills that are prerequisite for proficient work.

Approximately 161,700 eighth grade students in 7,030 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 8-6
Students reaching proficiency in eighth grade mathematics, by state: 2000, 2005, and 2009
(Percent)
 
State 2000 2005 2009
 
United States 25 * 28 * 33
Alabama 16 15 20
Alaska NA 29 33
Arizona 20 * 26 29
Arkansas 13 * 22 27
California 17 * 22 * 23
Colorado NA 32 * 40
Connecticut 33 35 40
Delaware NA 30 32
District of Columbia 6 7 11
Florida NA 26 29
Georgia 19 * 23 27
Hawaii 16 * 18 * 25
Idaho 26 * 30 * 38
Illinois 26 * 29 33
Indiana 29 * 30 * 36
Iowa NA 34 34
Kansas 34 * 34 * 39
Kentucky 20 * 23 * 27
Louisiana 11 * 16 20
Maine 30 30 * 35
Maryland 27 * 30 * 40
Massachusetts 30 * 43 * 52
Michigan 28 29 31
Minnesota 39 43 47
Mississippi 9 * 14 15
Missouri 21 * 26 * 35
Montana 36 36 44
Nebraska 30 * 35 35
Nevada 18 * 21 25
New Hampshire NA 35 43
New Jersey NA 36 * 44
New Mexico 12 * 14 * 20
New York 24 * 31 34
North Carolina 27 * 32 36
North Dakota 30 * 35 * 43
Ohio 30 * 34 36
Oklahoma 18 20 24
Oregon 31 33 37
Pennsylvania NA 31 * 40
Rhode Island 22 * 24 * 28
South Carolina 17 * 30 30
South Dakota NA 36 42
Tennessee 16 * 21 25
Texas 24 * 31 * 36
Utah 25 * 30 35
Vermont 31 * 38 * 43
Virginia 25 * 33 36
Washington NA 36 39
West Virginia 17 17 19
Wisconsin NA 36 39
Wyoming 23 * 29 * 35
       
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 8 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.