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The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2007

September 2007

Authors: Jihyun Lee, Wendy S. Grigg, and Gloria S. Dion

Download sections of the report (or the complete report) in a PDF file for viewing and printing.


NAEP 2007 Mathematics Report Card cover

Executive Summary

Student groups make gains, few gaps narrow

Both fourth- and eighth-graders reached a higher level of performance in 2007 compared to earlier assessment years.

The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) evaluated students’ understanding of mathematics concepts and their ability to apply mathematics to everyday situations. Students demonstrated their knowledge of these critical skills by responding to questions about number properties and operations, measurement, geometry, data analysis and probability, and algebra.

A nationally representative sample of more than 350,000 students at grades 4 and 8 participated in the 2007 mathematics assessment. Comparing these results to results from previous years shows the progress fourth- and eighth-graders are making both in the nation and in individual states.

The average score for fourth-graders increased 27 points over the past 17 years, and the score for eighth-graders increased 19 points. Students at all levels of performance made gains, resulting in higher percentages of students at or above the Basic and Proficient achievement levels.

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Student groups make gains, few gaps narrow

As indicated in the chart on the following page, improvements for minority students did not always result in narrower achievement gaps with White students. White, Black, and Hispanic students at both grades showed a better understanding of mathematics in 2007 when compared to all previous assessment years. However, when compared to the first assessment year in 1990, only the White – Black score gap at grade 4 narrowed in 2007. The White – Black score gap at grade 8 narrowed between 2005 and 2007.

The mathematics score for Asian/Pacific Islander students was higher in 2007 than in previous assessment years for grade 4, but at grade 8 showed no significant change from 2005 to 2007.

 Student groups Grade 4 Grade 8
Since
1990
Since
2005
Since
1990
Since
2005
Overall
Up
Up
Up
Up
White
Up
Up
Up
Up
Black
Up
Up
Up
Up
Hispanic
Up
Up
Up
Up
Asian/Pacific
Islander
Up
Up
Up
No significant difference/gap
American Indian/
Alaska Native
Reporting standards not met.
No significant difference/gap
Reporting standards not met.
No significant difference/gap
White – Black gap
Down
No significant difference/gap
No significant difference/gap
Down
White – Hispanic gap
No significant difference/gap
No significant difference/gap
No significant difference/gap
No significant difference/gap

Up Indicates the score was higher or the gap increased in 2007.
Down Indicates the score was lower or the gap decreased in 2007.
No significant difference/gap Indicates there was no significant change in the score or the gap in 2007.
Reporting standards not met. Sample size was insufficient to permit a reliable estimate. Reporting standards not met. Sample size was insufficient to permit a reliable estimate.

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At both grades 4 and 8, scores rose for students regardless of their eligibility for the free and reduced-price school lunch program, a measure of socioeconomic status. Average scores were higher in 2007 than in 2005 for students who were eligible as well as for students who were not eligible.

 Fifteen states and jurisdictions make gains in mathematics at both grades

Map of the 2007 NAEP Mathematic results compared 2005 results that shows 14 states (Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia ) and the District of Columbia improved at both grades, 8 states (Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin ) improved at grade 4 only, 11 states (Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming ) improved at grade 8 only, 17 states and the Department of Defense schools showed no significant change at either grade, and that no states showed score decreases.

Compared with 2005,

2007 scores up in both grades.

14 states (Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia) and the District of Columbia improved at both grades,

2007 math scores improve at grade 4 only.

8 states (Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, New York, West Virginia, and Wisconsin) improved at grade 4 only,

2007 math scores improve at grade 8 only.

11 states (Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming) improved at grade 8 only,

2007 math scores showed no significant change at either grade.

17 states and the Department of Defense schools showed no significant change at either grade.

 

No states showed score decreases.

Differing patterns emerged when results were examined by different mathematics content areas. For example, 9 of the 29 states and jurisdictions that showed no change in overall performance at grade 4 did show a gain in at least one of the five content areas.

1Department of Defense Education Activitiy (overseas and domestic schools).

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Download sections of the report (or the complete report) in a PDF file for viewing and printing:

NCES 2007-494 Ordering information

Suggested Citation
Lee, J., Grigg, W., and Dion, G. (2007). The Nation’s Report Card: Mathematics 2007 (NCES 2007-494). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.

For more information, see the results of the 2007 Mathematics assessment on the Nation's Report Card website.

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Last updated 12 October 2007 (RH)

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