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Little Improvement in City Math and Reading Scores

According to a new report, there has only been a slight improvement in scores since 2003.

Eighth-grade test scores for math and reading have barely improved since 2003, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Assessment for Education Progress.

According to New York Metro, despite Mayor Bloomberg’s promises to turn the public school system around, less than a quarter of eighth-grade students can read and do math at proficient levels. The report says that test scores have remained mostly unchanged since 2009.

William Cooper, principal of Bed-Stuy’s P.S. 25, said to Metro: “We just have to work harder. One kid that’s illiterate is an adult that’s going to be illiterate.” 

Nationally, 34 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math, and 32 percent are proficient in reading. In New York City, only 24 percent of students are passing both subjects.

There was some good news in the report, though. The New York Times reports that the city improved in narrowing the achievement gap for poor students: eighth grade students who qualified for free or reduced lunches only scored 14 points lower than those who did not (compared with 30 points lower in 2003).

Also according to the Times' analysis, black students scored an average of 26 points lower than white students on reading tests in fourth-grade, while in 2002, black students scored 29 points lower. In math, black students averaged 22 points lower in fourth-grade and 30 points lower in eighth grade this year, compared with scoring 25 points and 36 points lower in 2003.

Interestingly and somewhat related, the debate on the fairness of standardized tests being used to determine a child’s future was put to the test this week, when a Florida school board member with two Masters degrees took a standardized test meant for 10th graders and got a “D.”

Christina December 08, 2011 at 07:48 PM
This is a hot topic that as a parent I wished more parents would get more involved with. We need to get to the root of why our schools are failing. Privatization!!
kurtis L. Miller December 09, 2011 at 12:07 PM
As an Alumni of both Sarah Garnett Junior High School 324 and Boy's and Girl's High school both in Brooklyn, New York I can honestly say that what was missing for me in the class room was the relevance to what I was learning and my real life experiences. I truly believe that today's students would benefit and improve on their learning skills tremendously is they were given the answer to why?, must they learn what the teachers are challenged to teach them. I am in the process of developing interactive programs which will enhance the learning capabilities of students everywhere. Kurtis L. Miller kurtismiller14@gmail.com
Alan Cook December 12, 2011 at 10:16 PM
National math test scores continue to be disappointing. This poor trend persists in spite of new texts, standardized tests with attached implied threats, or laptops in the class. At some point, maybe we should admit that math, as it is taught currently and in the recent past, seems irrelevant to a large percentage of grade school kids. Why blame a sixth grade student or teacher trapped by meaningless lessons? Teachers are frustrated. Students check out. The missing element is reality. Instead of insisting that students learn another sixteen formulae, we need to involve them in tangible life projects. And the task must be interesting. Project-oriented math engages kids. It is fun. They have a reason to learn the math they may have ignored in the standard lecture format of a class room. Alan Cook info@thenumberyard.com www.thenumberyard.com

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