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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Fourth Grade Mathematics Proficiency



Findings

  • In 2011, 40% of fourth grade public school students nationwide performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics, an increase from 31% in 2003.
  • Of the 51 jurisdictions that participated in both the 2003 and 2011 fourth grade mathematics assessments, 50 showed increases in mathematics proficiency among public school fourth graders over the period.
  • Nationally, the percentage of fourth grade white public school students demonstrating proficient performance in mathematics was 52% in 2011 compared to 17% for black students, a gap of 35 percentage points, and 24% for Hispanic students, a gap of 28 percentage points, based upon racial classifications provided by the schools. In 2003, these gaps were 32 and 27 points, respectively, indicating that these demographic gaps are not shrinking.


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. The National Center for Education Statistics has determined that achievement levels should be used on a trial basis and interpreted with caution.

Approximately 210,000 fourth grade students in 8,500 schools participated in the 2011 NAEP mathematics assessment. Students with disabilities or limited English-language proficiency are allowed to use certain accommodations (e.g., extra testing time or individual rather than group administration). All data presented here represent scores from tests taken with accommodations offered. For additional details on NAEP scores by gender and race/ethnicity, see appendix tables 8-1 to 8-12.


Data Table

Table 8-2
Students reaching proficiency in fourth grade mathematics, by state: 2003, 2007, and 2011
(Percent)
 
State 2003 2007 2011
 
United States 31 39 40
Alabama 19 26 27
Alaska 30 38 37
Arizona 25 31 34
Arkansas 26 37 37
California 25 30 34
Colorado 34 41 47
Connecticut 41 45 45
Delaware 31 40 39
District of Columbia 7 14 22
Florida 31 40 37
Georgia 27 32 37
Hawaii 23 33 40
Idaho 31 40 39
Illinois 32 36 38
Indiana 35 46 44
Iowa 36 43 43
Kansas 41 51 48
Kentucky 22 31 39
Louisiana 21 24 26
Maine 34 42 45
Maryland 31 40 48
Massachusetts 41 58 58
Michigan 34 37 35
Minnesota 42 51 53
Mississippi 17 21 25
Missouri 30 38 41
Montana 31 44 45
Nebraska 34 38 39
Nevada 23 30 36
New Hampshire 43 52 57
New Jersey 39 52 51
New Mexico 17 24 30
New York 33 43 36
North Carolina 41 41 44
North Dakota 34 46 46
Ohio 36 46 45
Oklahoma 23 33 33
Oregon 33 35 37
Pennsylvania 36 47 48
Rhode Island 28 34 43
South Carolina 32 36 36
South Dakota 34 41 40
Tennessee 24 29 30
Texas 33 40 39
Utah 31 39 43
Vermont 42 49 49
Virginia 36 42 46
Washington 36 44 45
West Virginia 24 33 31
Wisconsin 35 47 47
Wyoming 39 44 44
 
Puerto Rico NA NA NA
 

NA = not available.

NOTES: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) grade 4 mathematics scores are for public schools only. For additional details on NAEP scores by sex and race or ethnicity, see appendix tables 8-1–8-12.

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

Science and Engineering Indicators 2014


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.

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