Test scores across U.S. reveal ‘heartbreaking’ pandemic declines, with math hit hard in grades K-3.
A snapshot of student performance from the new Common Core State Assessments shows that math and science are key areas of struggle in many U.S. schools where students are being taught in the Common Core.
The new tests, which the federal government will administer on high school students in October, reveal that math scores across the country are in big trouble. In high-poverty urban and suburban school districts across the country, scores show the achievement gap between low-income and high-income students is vast.
“We are seeing in many of the places we are seeing that math and science are the subjects that are really struggling,” said Andrew Van Dam of the National Center for Education Statistics, which conducted the tests. “There’s a lot of variation among urban districts and suburban districts, and a lot of variation within suburban districts.”
The tests will take about three weeks. They were administered across 47 states by NCE. They show that only about 29% of high-school students scored proficient, or at least a 2-3 grade point average, on the new exams, while 52% of students got a passing score, or about a 3.5 grade point average.
The passing scores on the new Common Core tests fell short of the nation’s high school graduation rate, which remains low. More than a quarter of high school students are not ready for college or serve in the armed forces, according to the Pew Research Center, and one-third of that group is not at least 19 years old.
The latest testing results are at odds with the Obama administration’s promise of higher math standards, which it claims will raise the proportion of high school graduates who go and obtain a degree in science and math to about 40%. Many conservative states, arguing that the new exams will be too tough, have refused them for high school students.
As NCE’s Van Dam noted, students in some areas of the country are “trying to catch up