What are the long-term trends in student achievement in reading and mathematics?
The long-term trend National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provides information on the reading and mathematics achievement of 9-, 13-, and 17-year-olds enrolled in both public and private schools in the United States.
NAEP long-term trend results indicate that the average reading and mathematics achievement of 9- and 13-year-olds improved between the early 1970s and 2008. In reading, 9-year-olds scored higher in 2008 than in any previous assessment year, scoring 4 points higher than in 2004 and 12 points higher than in 1971. The average reading score for 13-year-olds was higher in 2008 than in both 2004 and 1971, but the 2008 score was not significantly different from the scores in 1980, 1988, and any test years from 1992 through 1999. In mathematics, the average scores for 9- and 13-year-olds were higher in 2008 than in all previous assessment years. The 2008 average mathematics score for 9-year-olds showed a 4-point increase over the 2004 score and a 24-point increase over the 1973 score. Thirteen-year-olds scored 3 points higher in 2008 than in 2004 and 15 points higher in 2008 than in 1973 in mathematics.
The average performance of 17-year-olds on the 2008 reading and mathematics assessments was not measurably different from their performance in the early 1970s. The average reading score for 17-year-olds was higher in 2008 than in 2004 but was not significantly different from the score in 1971. In mathematics, the average score for 17-year-olds in 2008 was not significantly different from the scores in either 2004 or 1973.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2013). The Condition of Education 2013 (NCES 2013-037), Reading and Mathematics Score Trends.
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