The results from the fourth grade math portion of the National Assessment of Education Progress are in and of the 46 states that participated, Massachusetts and Minnesota hold the highest average scores in the nation. But Connecticut students topped the nation in the higher scoring category of "proficient."
The Department of Education administers NAEP - also referred to as the Nation's Report Card - in states that volunteer to participate. In 2000, about 43,000 students were randomly selected to take the test that ranks them in one of four categories: below basic, basic, proficient and advanced. The test targets students in 4th and 8th grades to catch trends in learning. Eighth graders in 44 states also took the math test.
Average scores increased for students in both grades keeping up the trend started in 1990. But high school seniors who had been improving their math scores lost footing on this test with many more performing below the basic level. The gap also grew between white and Black and Latino students who are proficient in math.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas and California lag behind the rest of the nation's students who are ranked proficient in mathematics.
State by state results can be seen at the Department of Education's website: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/mathematics/results/index.asp.