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Chapter 8. State Indicators

Elementary and Secondary Education

Eighth Grade Mathematics Proficiency



Findings

  • In 2011, 34% of eighth grade public school students nationwide performed at or above the proficient level in mathematics, a sizable increase from 27% in 2003.
  • Of the 51 jurisdictions that participated in both the 2003 and 2011 eighth grade mathematics assessments, 43 showed increases in mathematics proficiency among public school eighth graders during the period. Only 25 showed a significant increase from 2007 to 2011.
  • Nationally, the percentage of eighth grade white public school students demonstrating proficient performance in mathematics was 43% in 2011 compared to 13% for black students, a gap of 30 percentage points, and 20% for Hispanic students, a gap of 23 percentage points, based upon racial classifications provided by the schools. In 2003, these gaps were 29 and 25 percentage points, respectively.
  • The percentage of eighth grade students proficient in mathematics increased for both sexes between 2003 and 2011, and the size of the gender gap decreased from 3% to 1% during this period.


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

Approximately 175,200 eighth grade students in 7,610 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 8-6
Students reaching proficiency in eighth grade mathematics, by state: 2003, 2007, and 2011
(Percent)
 
State 2003 2007 2011
 
United States 27 31 34
Alabama 16 18 20
Alaska 30 32 35
Arizona 21 26 31
Arkansas 19 24 29
California 22 24 25
Colorado 34 37 43
Connecticut 35 35 38
Delaware 26 31 32
District of Columbia 6 8 17
Florida 23 27 28
Georgia 22 25 28
Hawaii 17 21 30
Idaho 28 34 37
Illinois 29 31 33
Indiana 31 35 34
Iowa 33 35 34
Kansas 34 40 41
Kentucky 24 27 31
Louisiana 17 19 22
Maine 29 34 39
Maryland 30 37 40
Massachusetts 38 51 51
Michigan 28 29 31
Minnesota 44 43 48
Mississippi 12 14 19
Missouri 28 30 32
Montana 35 38 46
Nebraska 32 35 33
Nevada 20 23 29
New Hampshire 35 38 44
New Jersey 33 40 47
New Mexico 15 17 24
New York 32 30 30
North Carolina 32 34 37
North Dakota 36 41 43
Ohio 30 35 39
Oklahoma 20 21 27
Oregon 32 35 33
Pennsylvania 30 38 39
Rhode Island 24 28 34
South Carolina 26 32 32
South Dakota 35 39 42
Tennessee 21 23 24
Texas 25 35 40
Utah 31 32 35
Vermont 35 41 46
Virginia 31 37 40
Washington 32 36 40
West Virginia 20 19 21
Wisconsin 35 37 41
Wyoming 32 36 37
 
Puerto Rico NA NA NA
 

NA = not available.

NOTES: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) grade 8 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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