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The 2007 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) evaluated studentsí understanding of mathematics concepts and their ability to apply mathematics to everyday situations. 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 in the nation.
NAEP mathematics results are reported on a 0-500 scale. Results from the 2007 NAEP mathematics assessment revealed that fourth-gradersí mathematical skills have improved over the last 17 years. Fourth-graders in 2007 scored 2 points higher than in 2005 and 27 points higher than in 1990 (figure 1).
Fourth-grade White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander students all showed higher average mathematics scores in 2007 than in any of the previous assessments (figure 2). The 35-point1 gain for Black students from 1990 to 2007 was greater than the gains for White (28 points) and Hispanic students (27 points). American Indian/Alaska Native students showed no significant score change since 2005.
Similar to the results for grade 4, the mathematical ability of eighth-graders also continued an upward trend in 2007. The average score in 2007 was higher than the score in any previous assessment. Students scored 3 points higher in 2007 than in 2005 and 19 points higher than in 19901 (figure 3).
The overall improved performance of eighth-graders was not reflected in all of the five student racial/ethnic groups. White, Black, and Hispanic students showed higher average mathematics scores in 2007 than in all previous assessment years. The score for Asian/Pacific Islander students showed no significant change in comparison to 2005, but was higher than in 1990. No significant change in the score for American Indian/Alaska Native students was seen when compared to previous assessment years (figure 4).