Trends in Education

The New York Times reports on how students in New York's schools have performed based on data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, which is often referred to as the nation's report card. According to the article, the math scores as reported by the city's schools dropped slightly over the two-year period.

Fourth grade math score average dropped by three points, from 237 to 234, while eighth grade scores averaged at 272, one point lower than in 2009. The fourth grade reading score average remained the same as that in 2009, while the eighth grade average increased by two points to 254.

This trend, however, does not conform to the nationwide trend showing that test scores for both fourth and eighth graders are either the same or higher this year than ever before. Nationally, fourth grade scores in both reading and math increased by one point. While eighth grade reading scores stayed the same, the math average is higher by one point. However, experts advise that the slight drop in the test scores of New York students is not large enough to be significant. The national trends are shown in the four line graphs below.

One important fact to note is that New York City's achievement gap between black and white students is shrinking. While black students scored 29 points lower than white students on reading tests in 2002, in 2011 they scored 26 points lower. Black students also scored an average of 25 points lower on fourth grade math tests in 2003, compared with 22 points lower in 2011.

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