2010 Spotlight

High-Poverty Public Schools

Mathematics

On each NAEP assessment given between 2000 and 2009, average mathematics scores for 4th- and 8th-grade students from high-poverty schools were lower than the scores for students from low-poverty schools (see tables A-12-1 and A-12-2). In 2009, the average NAEP mathematics score (on a 0–500 point scale) for 4th-grade students from high-poverty schools was 223, while the average score for 4th-graders from low-poverty schools was 254. The average score for 4th-graders from high-poverty schools increased 18 points between 2000 and 2009, from 205 to 223, while the score for 4th-graders from low-poverty schools increased 14 points, from 239 to 254. The mathematics achievement gap between low- and high-poverty 4th-grade students was 31 points in 2009. The percentages of 4th-grade students from high-poverty schools performing at or above the Basic, at or above the Proficient, and at the Advanced mathematics achievement levels were lower than the respective percentages of 4th-grade students from low-poverty schools (see table A-12-3). In 2009, about 64 percent of 4th-graders from high-poverty schools performed at or above Basic, 17 percent performed at or above Proficient, and 1 percent performed at Advanced. In contrast, about 93 percent of 4th-graders from low-poverty schools performed at or above Basic, 60 percent performed at or above Proficient, and 12 percent performed at Advanced.

In 2009, the average NAEP mathematics score (on a 0–500 point scale) for 8th-grade students from high-poverty schools was 260, while the average for 8th-graders from low-poverty schools was 298. Between 2000 and 2009, scores for 8th-graders from high-poverty schools increased 14 points, from 246 to 260. During that period, scores for 8th-graders from low-poverty schools increased 11 points, from 287 to 298. The mathematics achievement gap between low- and high-poverty 8th-grade students was 38 points in 2009. The percentages of 8th-grade students from high-poverty schools performing at or above the Basic, at or above the Proficient, and at the Advanced achievement levels were lower than the respective percentages of 8th-grade students from low-poverty schools. In 2009, about 49 percent of 8th-graders from high-poverty schools performed at or above Basic, 13 percent performed at or above Proficient, and 1 percent performed at Advanced. In contrast, about 87 percent of 8th-graders from low-poverty schools performed at or above Basic, 50 percent performed at or above Proficient, and 15 percent performed at Advanced.

For more information, visit the List of Figures.