Alabama 8th graders ranked 50th in nation for math, 47th for Reading

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – The National Assessment of Education Progress (NEAP) test garnered some hard news for Alabama.

The longest, and largest national progress test ranked 8th graders 50th in math in the nation. Fourth graders ranked 47th. Students scored marginally better in reading and science, but still trail the pack.

Only 25% of 8th were rated as proficient or better in mathematics.

The National Center for Education Statistics shows the the state average has ranked below the national average since the 1990s, but has been on the rise.

State Board of Education Member Mary Scott Hunter thinks she knows what has contributed to the discouraging results.

“In the past we have essentially measured ourselves against ourselves and to really know how well you`re preparing students you have to measure them against an international norm,” said Hunter.

Despite the results, Hunter believes the state’s Plan 20/20 and the Alabama College and Career Readiness Standards that set Alabama up to compete on the national stage. Focusing on education strategies that the state previously did not employ.

“What we do in Alabama a lot is dig up the seed before its sprouted. We tend to not allow our strategic plans to play out like they`re supposed to,” said Hunter. “We have a great strategic plan in education Plan 20/20. If we let it do its work it will work in Alabama.”

The NAEP randomly samples schools across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense school jurisdiction. The test is scheduled to be administered again in 2015.

3 comments

  • Michael

    Sometimes I wonder if our kids are really struggling this bad or are they just doodling on their bubble answer sheets like a few of my classmates did whenever they’d make us take the SATs.

  • Derek Fox

    From what I’ve observed, the problem lies within the state of mind of MOST teachers in Alabama (not all, but most). It seems to me that MOST teachers are more concerned with the ‘status’ of being a teacher than actual teaching. Its the same way with other professions throughout the state. In short, the people in Alabama have severe ego problems to the point that it distracts them from doing their jobs.

  • Susan Spruill

    Teachers are some of the hardest working people I know. Teachers do not go into education for status. Teaching salaries will prove that. We do it because we love it and we care about the children. We wear many hats with limited resources. Sadly, we get little praise for the hard work we do. Test scores don’t tell the whole picture. Perhaps supporting educators is what we should be doing instead of criticizing them based on test scores.

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