Welcome to Laurie Goodman's blog. I use this space to share news and opinions about education and schools in Ridgewood, the state of New Jersey and the nation, in addition to other issues I'm personally interested in. I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, questions or opinions, too, by posting comments on any blog entry. Please observe basic courtesy -- keep your comments focused on issues, no personal attacks or bullying, please. Contact me directly at: lauriegood@mac.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Math scores: NJ up slightly, nation is flat.

(Revised 9:42 AM)

A news release from Governor Corzine today proudly proclaimed:

Fourth grade scores surpass national average by eight points; Eighth grade scores eleven points higher than national average

Isn't that great news? Sure it is, if you define "great" as "not bad" or "better than it could have been."

Another story (New York Times), states that, for the first time in 19 years, U.S. math scores nationwide are "flat." No increase whatsoever.

According to the Times story, "The latest results on the most important nationwide math test show that student achievement grew faster during the years before the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law, when states were dominant in education policy, than over the years since, when the federal law has become a powerful force in classrooms."

NCLB requires schools to bring 100 percent of students to reading and math proficiency by 2014. Guess what, as a nation, we're not going to make it.

Sure, New Jersey's numbers are encouraging, in an inching-forward kind of way. According to the press release from the NJDOE: "New Jersey fourth graders continue to score higher on the NAEP math test than students in all but three other states, the report noted. The average math score of fourth graders in New Jersey was 247, while the average score for public school students across the nation was 239."

"This is good news for our kids, our families and our future," said Governor Corzine. "The average scale score for the grade eight students at 293 is four points higher that it was in 2007 and eleven points higher than the national average of 282. While there is still much more work to be done, the eighth grade results in particular show that the investments this administration is making in education is paying off, and that the efforts of our educators are yielding positive results."

Those are just a few excerpts from the press release. Click here to read the entire thing.

And click here to review the complete NAEP report card.


Anonymous said...

How did Ridgewood students do?

Laurie said...

As far as I know, the results have only been released on a state-by-state basis. I don't know of district-level scores for the NAEP. I will see what I can learn.

Laurie said...

Sorry it took me so long to find this out, but here's what I'm told the NJ Dept of Education says:

"NAEP results are reported at the state level in reading, mathematics, science, and writing at grades 4 and 8. Only national results are available for twelfth-grade students. NAEP does not provide results for participating students, schools or districts."

This makes sense, since the purpose of the NAEP is to make international comparisons. There are other tests to compare districts (NJASK, for example).