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N.C. fourth-, eighth-graders outperform nation in math

Posted October 14, 2009

— North Carolina fourth- and eighth-graders outperformed the nation in math in 2009, according to the National Assessment of Educational Progress results released by the U.S. Department of Education on Wednesday.

North Carolina fourth-graders increased their average score by two points over fourth grade performance in 2007, according to the state Department of Public Instruction.

June Atkinson, state superintendent of schools, said, "What is particularly exciting to me is that the fourth graders in these test results were in kindergarten during the first year of our current math curriculum. So, this shows us that the changes we made in mathematics instruction are having an impact."

The average score among the state's fourth-graders was 244 versus 239 for the nation. Only Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Vermont performed above North Carolina in fourth grade mathematics.

North Carolina's performance at fourth grade was not significantly different from that of 18 other states and was higher than 29 other states or jurisdictions.

Eighth grade students in North Carolina outperformed their national counterparts as well, although their score did not change from 2007. The average score among the state's eighth-graders was 284, which is higher than the national score of 282. North Carolina's eighth grade performance was higher than 19 other states or jurisdictions, not significantly different from 18 and lower than 14 states or jurisdictions.

Over time, students in North Carolina have improved their performance on the NAEP, according to North Carolina school leaders. When the assessments began in the early 1990s, North Carolina students scored below the national average. Over time, the state's performance has improved at a faster rate than the nation's performance, school leaders said.

Gov. Bev Perdue praised the students and their accomplishments saying, " As we prepare our students for the 21st century workforce, the importance of a solid foundation in mathematics cannot be overstated. We must continue to make progress in this area — and push for excellence in all subjects — to ensure that all of our kids, everywhere in North Carolina, get the skills to succeed in any career, anywhere in the world."


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  • seaturtlesrule Oct 15, 2009

    I agree with "nursemom"..."children should ALWAYS be doing well in school". The title sounds fantastic but the article is a totally different story! So VERY much is left out... I've always wanted to see a comparison of our students today with their parents and grandparents. It would be an eye-opener. The "old folks" didn't have it so easy....no computers or high-tech anything! I'm still amazed that my grandfather and grandmother (long passed on) were studying Latin, French and pretty difficult subjects in high school - back in the 1920's! No, they didn't have the chance to go to college...but they should have. And this was in Stantonsburg! ~~~

    Peace to you'all ~

  • kilnntime Oct 14, 2009

    Great we are doing government math, which means you can spend trillions even though you only have billions in your bank account. Apparently the governor and the state representatives all graduated from public school. Probably also above average,lol. Lets see facing a deficit and 10% unemployment rather than cutting spending they increase it, then increase sales taxes, property taxes, personal taxes, gas taxes. Then realizing that won't bring in enough money they still do not cut spending, they just force furlows on teachers instead. Average citizen who runs on deficit spending, I think can end up in jail for bad checks, lose their homes for not paying the morgage and see their property auctioned off for failure to pay those taxes. I guess they are just creating good little politicians in the school systems everywhere.

  • cary1969 Oct 14, 2009

    slow clap for tikisha

  • Professor Oct 14, 2009

    It's funny but very sad that high school graduates can't do math without their calculators.

    Very true comment. I have observed this myself. Take away the cashier register and go back to the old ways and everyone will see the big picture.

  • Professor Oct 14, 2009


  • voice your opinion Oct 14, 2009

    carolinaalabamadog wrote: So why is it that nobody can give correct change that has graduated?

    I agree. I love to watch the faces of people who are cashiers when I give them a challenge. For example: if my bill is $7.87 and I give them $10.07, they have no idea what to do. Here's a clue, give me $2.20 in change. It's funny but very sad that high school graduates can't do math without their calculators.

  • thewayitis Oct 14, 2009

    What test was used for this report? If it's the end-of-year test given in NC, that test is specific to NC -- it's not the same as the test that kids in other states take -- each state sets its own standards. Are they comparing apples to apples, or just the scores on the NC test compared to the scores on the other states' tests?

    A little more info here would be useful in figuring out if this is as good as it sounds.

  • ConcernedNCC Oct 14, 2009

    So why is it that nobody can give correct change that has graduated?

  • TheAdmiral Oct 14, 2009

    "She continues to learn the basics in school because WCPSS educates the children to the lowest potental student in the class."

    I have said this before, and I will say it again - you do not have a good school system if they take extremely bright kids and educate them to the lowest common denominator.

  • TheAdmiral Oct 14, 2009

    Webguy -

    Don't confuse teaching to a test as doing better than average. 4th and 8th graders when they get to the last day of school are still only graduating 58% of the time. In Wake county it is 70%. So out of 100,000+ students, that is still 30,000+ students who are not graduating, oh, and by the way - they probably did higher than average in 4th and 8th grade math.