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.