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Youth Indicators, 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth

Indicator 15: Mathematics Proficiency

Figure 15. National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics scores of 13- and 17-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: Various years, 1973 to 2004

National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) mathematics scores of 13- and 17-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: Various years, 1973 to 2004
1All participants of this age were in school.
NOTE: The NAEP scores range from 0 to 500, but have been evaluated at certain performance levels. Performers at the 150 level know some basic addition and subtraction facts, and most can add two-digit numbers without regrouping. They recognize simple situations in which addition and subtraction apply. Performers at the 200 level have considerable understanding of two-digit numbers and know some basic multiplication and division facts. Performers at the 250 level have an initial understanding of the four basic operations. They can also compare information from graphs and charts, and are developing an ability to analyze simple logical relations. Performers at the 300 level can compute decimals, simple fractions, and percents. They can identify geometric figures, measure lengths and angles, and calculate areas of rectangles. They are developing the skills to operate with signed numbers, exponents, and square roots. Performers at the 350 level can apply a range of reasoning skills to solve multi step problems. They can solve routine problems involving fractions and percents, recognize properties of basic geometric figures, and work with exponents and square roots. Excludes persons not enrolled in school and those who were unable to be tested due to limited proficiency in English or due to a disability. Includes students in public and private schools.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 2004 Trends in Academic Progress, Three Decades of Student Performance in Reading and Mathematics, 2005.

Average mathematics scores for 13- and 17-year-old students were higher in 2004 than in 1973 for all racial/ ethnic groups. The 2004 mathematics scores for Black and Hispanic 13-year-olds were higher than in any previous assessment year, and reflected an 11-point increase for Blacks and a 6 point increase for Hispanics between 1999 and 2004. There were no measurable differences in the average mathematics score for either Black or Hispanic 17-year-olds between 1999 and 2004. White students continued to outperform their Black and Hispanic peers at both ages; however, the differences decreased between the first (1973) and most recent (2004) assessments. The average mathematics scores for male and for female 13-year-olds increased by 5 points between 1999 and 2004. There was no measurable difference between the 1999 and 2004 scores for either male or female 17-year-olds. Male 13- and 17-year-olds scored higher than females in 2004.


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