Congratulations to MTA educators and students!

Massachusetts 4th and 8th grade students ranked first in the nation in math for the third time in a row last year, according to results from the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Math exam.

According to the Mass. DESE announcement, "8th graders outscored students from every other state and ranked first alone, while the Commonwealth's 4th graders tied for first with students from New Hampshire and Minnesota. In both 2005 and 2007, Massachusetts 4th and 8th graders either ranked first or tied for first on the NAEP reading and math exams."

African-American 8th graders made significant gains, with the percent scoring Proficient or higher rising from 13 to 23 percent since 2007, the last time the NAEP math exam was administered, according to the DESE. Nationally, just 38 percent of 4th graders scored Proficient or above, as did 33 percent of 8th graders.

Additional results for Massachusetts students

Grade 4 Math:

  • 57 percent scored Proficient or above, significantly more than the national average of 38 percent.
    White students (average scaled score of 258) outscored African American/Black students (236) and Hispanic students (232), but scored lower than Asian/Pacific Islander students (264).
  • 67 percent of white students scored Proficient or above in Massachusetts, as did 30 percent of African American/Black students, 25 percent of Hispanic students, and 70 percent of Asian students.
    The average scaled scores of male students (253) and female students (251) were not found to differ significantly; 59 percent of males and 55 percent of females scored Proficient or above.
  • 32 percent of students with disabilities scored Proficient or above, compared to 61 percent of non-disabled students.
  • 15 percent of English language learners (ELL) scored Proficient or above, compared to 60 percent of non-ELL students.

Grade 8 Math:

  • 52 percent scored Proficient or above, significantly more than the national average of 33 percent.
    Between 2007 and 2009, the percent of African American/Black students who scored Proficient or above in mathematics increased from 13 percent to 23 percent.
  • White students (average scaled score of 305) outscored African American/Black students (272) and Hispanic students (271), and were not different than Asian/Pacific Islander students (314).
  • 59 percent of white students scored Proficient or above in Massachusetts, compared to 23 percent of African American/Black students, 21 percent of Hispanic students, and 66 percent of Asian/Pacific Islander students.
  • The average scaled score of male students (300) and female students (298) were not found to differ significantly. 53 percent of males and 50 percent of females scored Proficient or above in 2009.
    21 percent of students with disabilities scored Proficient or above, compared to 57 percent of non-disabled students.
  • 8 percent of English language learners (ELL) scored Proficient or above, compared to 53 percent of non-ELL students.

NAEP is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and overseen by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB) appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan named former Massachusetts Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll chair of the NAGB board. Driscoll has served on the board as a member since 2006.

The 2009 NAEP reading and science results will be released in 2010.

Additional information is available on the Nation's Report Card Web site, http://www.nationsreportcard.gov/ and the DESE Web site, www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/naep.