A national assessment of math proficiency in our schools shows two-thirds of our fourth and 8th graders are not proficient in math. And, it’s even worse in reading proficiency. The National Assessment of Educational Progress says only 30 percent of Missouri’s fourth graders and only 28 percent of Missouri’s 8th graders meet guidelines measuring reading proficiency at their grade levels. Missouri’s numbers are near the national average. Although proficiency levels remain low, the percentage of students scoring in the lowest category has declined.