3 simple ways educators and families can accelerate math learning

Key points:

  • The latest assessments have made it clear that math achievement has plummeted
  • A combination of home-school communication and play-based activities can help students struggling with math
  • See related article: We can teach math better–here’s how

As the most recent nation’s report card made painfully clear, American students are struggling in math. At the same time, administrators, teachers, and parents are finding new ways to help these students address learning loss.

During my 20+ years in K–12 education, I’ve seen technology play a growing role in making learning more accessible and effective. As schools explore edtech solutions to improve learning outcomes, I want to bring to light three evidence-based learning methods that have withstood the test of time. Regardless of the resources at their disposal,  educators and families alike can benefit from these simple and effective strategies.…Read More

Making the grade: How to spur achievement after NAEP declines

Key points:

  • Alarming declines in NAEP scores are prompting educators to look for ways to increase academic achievement
  • Understanding each individual student helps educators design supplemental educational programs
  • See related article: What do superintendents really think of the NAEP?

For decades, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has pursued a mission to monitor student academic performance, providing insights into educational progress and long-term trends. It’s a record of consistency that has earned NAEP scores a reputation as “the nation’s report card.”

Recently, that report card revealed some worrying trends. In May, NAEP reported that eighth grade students’ U.S History and civics scores declined significantly between 2018 and 2022. Only 13 percent of eighth graders were at or above the level that NAEP categorizes as proficient in U.S. history—and only one in five were at or above the proficiency level in civics.…Read More

Tests show U.S. students struggle to explain answers

A second type of test, Interactive Computer Tasks, went beyond what had previously been measured, testing how students ran their own experiments in simulated environments.

American children do much better identifying the correct answers to simple scientific tasks than using evidence from their experiments to explain those answers.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, often called the Nation’s Report Card, asked students in grades four, eight and 12 to perform actual experiments to apply principles they learn in the classroom on a practical level. The results of the 2009 tests were released June 19.…Read More

Study: Eighth-grade students still lag in science

Just 31 percent of students were considered proficient or better on the test.

Eighth-graders in the U.S. are doing slightly better in science than they were two years ago, but seven out of 10 still are not considered proficient, the federal government said May 10. What’s more, just 2 percent have the advanced skills that could lead to careers in the field.

The information comes from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card, released by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The average score was 152, up from 150 in 2009.…Read More

Report: U.S. students don’t know much about history

"If you don't know your past, you will not have a future," says Steven Paine, former state schools superintendent for West Virginia.

Just 13 percent of high school seniors who took the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the Nation’s Report Card, showed a solid grasp of American history, a new report shows.

The results, released June 14, showed the two other grade levels tested didn’t perform much better, with just 22 percent of fourth-grade students and 18 percent of eighth-graders demonstrating proficiency.…Read More

U.S. students fare poorly in civics understanding

Only 27 percent of fourth-graders, 22 percent of eighth-graders, and 24 percent of twelfth-graders scored proficient or higher in civics.
Roughly three-quarters of U.S. students failed to reach proficiency in a national exam testing their awareness of civics last year—a result that severely undermines the nation’s democracy, some observers warn.

The National Assessment Governing Board released the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) “Civics Report Card” at a press conference May 4 at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The “Nation’s Report Card,” as the NAEP exam often is called, is the only nationally representative, continuing evaluation of the condition of education in the United States and has served as a national yardstick of student achievement since 1969. The data released May 4 provide a snapshot of what students nationwide know—and don’t know—about civics.…Read More

Reading scores hold steady on nationwide test

Fourth grade NAEP reading scores remained unchanged.
Fourth-grade NAEP reading scores remained unchanged.

The reading scores for fourth- and eighth-grade students on a national test held mostly steady last year, continuing a stubborn trend of minimal improvement across most racial, economic, and geographic groups.

Scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a series of federally funded achievement tests commonly referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card,” rose in two states and the District of Columbia in grade four and in nine states for grade eight in 2009. Overall, the fourth-grade average remained unchanged, while eighth-graders rose one point.…Read More