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The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2005

October 2005

Authors: Marianne Perie, Wendy S. Grigg, and Gloria S. Dion

PDF Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing. (743K PDF)


Executive Summary

National Mathematics Results
Mathematics Results for Student Groups at Grade 4
Mathematics Results for Student Groups at Grade 8
Mathematics Results for the States

This report presents the national and state results of the NAEP assessment in mathematics and compares them to results from assessments in 2003 and in the first year data were available, usually 1990. In 2005, nationally representative samples of about 172,000 fourth-grade and 162,000 eighth-grade students nationwide participated in that assessment.

Results from the NAEP 2005 Math assessment for grades 4 and 8

* Significantly different from 2005.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), various years, 1990–2005 Mathematics Assessments.

National Mathematics Results

Fourth-graders’ average score was 3 points higher, and eighth-graders’ average score was 1 point higher in 2005 than in 2003 on a 0 to 500 point scale. The average scores increased since the first assessment year, 1990, by 25 points at grade 4 and by 16 points at grade 8.

Average mathematics scores increased between 2003 and 2005 at both grades 4 and 8.

Between 1990 and 2005, the percentage of fourth-graders performing at or above Basic increased by 30 percentage points, from 50 to 80 percent, and the percentage performing at or above Proficient increased from 13 to 36 percent. The percentage of eighth-graders performing at or above Basic was 17 percentage points higher in 2005 (69 percent) than in 1990 (52 percent), and the percentage performing at or above Proficient increased from 15 to 30 percent.

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Mathematics Results for Student Groups at Grade 4

White fourth-graders scored higher on average in mathematics than their Black and Hispanic peers in 2005. The average scores for all three racial/ethnic groups were higher in 2005 than in any previous assessment year.

In 2005, students who were eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch and those who were not eligible had higher average scores in 2005 than in 1996.

In 2005, male students scored higher on average than their female counterparts. Both male and female fourth-graders’ average scores were higher in 2005 than in any previous assessment year.

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Mathematics Results for Student Groups at Grade 8

The average scores for White, Black, and Hispanic eighth-graders were higher in 2005 than in any previous assessment year.

Average scores for White, Black, and Hispanic students were higher in 2005 than in any previous assessment year at both grades 4 and 8.

Students who were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch and those who were not eligible scored higher on average in 2005 than in any previous assessment year from 1996 through 2003.

Average scores for male and female eighth-graders were both higher in 2005 than in 1990 or in 2003.

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Mathematics Results for the States

Examining the short-term trends between 2003 and 2005, when all 50 states and the District of Columbia and Department of Defense Schools were assessed, shows average scores for students at grade 4 increased in 31 states and both jurisdictions. The percentage of students performing at or above Basic increased in 23 states and the District of Columbia.

At grade 8, there were 7 states with higher average scores in 2005 than in 2003. The percentage of students performing at or above Basic increased in 5 states.

Turning to the longer trend, the first state assessment at grade 4 was given in 1992 in 42 states and jurisdictions. Each of them had a higher average score and showed a greater percentage of students performing at or above Basic in 2005 compared to 1992.

At grade 8, there were 38 states and jurisdictions that participated in both 1990 and 2005. Each of them had a higher average score and showed a greater percentage of students performing at or above Basic in 2005 than in 1990.

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PDF Download the complete report in a PDF file for viewing and printing. (743K PDF)

NCES 2006-453 Ordering information

Suggested Citation
Perie, M., Grigg, W.S., and Dion, G.S. (2005). The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics 2005
(NCES 2006–453). U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences,
National Center for Education Statistics. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

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Last updated 04 November 2005 (RF)

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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
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