Little Change In National Twelfth Grade Math, Reading Scores

May 7, 2014

The federal government just released its latest national test scores for high school seniors and it’s not good news. A significant number of graduates are below standard for math and reading. But there are some signs of improvement in the Northwest.

Score gains for math and reading among high school seniors in 11 pilot states.
Credit U.S. Department of Education

The National Assessment of Educational Progress is often called "the nation's report card." Nationally, almost three-quarters of high school seniors tested below grade level in math skills. The figures were a bit better for reading. But both subjects showed little change from the last full-scale assessment four years ago.

Idaho was one of 13 states nationally that participated in a more detailed version of the testing. The state's results were slightly better than the nation as a whole, and math skills showed an improvement. But that's not good enough, says Lauren Necochea. She's director of the education advocacy group Idaho Kids Count.

"We need to better prepare our students for the rigor of college and the workforce," Necochea said.

Idaho was right in line with the national average in another area: There's a significant lag among test results for students of ethnic minority groups. Oregon and Washington did not participate in the more detailed version of the testing.

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