Sorry state of Math, Science skills despite High Scores
The good news is that national exam scores have peaked to record highs. The bad news is that this record high scores seem to be cosmetic change that hides the worrisome truth. The fact is that most fourth and eighth grade students in the US continue to reel from lack of elementary skills in such important subjects as Math and science.
Citing the 2013 National Report card, released on November 7, the Associated Press reported that a vast majority of students fail to demonstrate solid academic performance in two key areas of science. This already bad situation is further worsened by the fact that Hispanic and African-American students performed much more poorly than their white peers.
Statistically speaking, only 42 per cent of fourth graders and an even lower 35 percent of eighth graders managed to score at or above minimal standards in math while the scenario for reading paints an even bleaker picture: Just 35 per cent of the fourth and 36 per cent of the eight graders could make the lowest acceptable level of proficiency.
The pleasure of knowing that American students are doing better today in math and writing than they were in the early 1990s offers little consolation to soothe the anxiety over fourth and 8th graders lacking basic math and science skills today. Some are wondering what this says about America’s future, as we are raising a generation of children who will be unable to compete in the global economy of tomorrow.
The analysis is based on the results released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, which is given every two years to a sample of fourth and eighth graders. The report shows a marginal increase of roughly one or two points on a 500-point scale in math and reading in grades four and eight.
Times are getting tough in the public school system.